SXSW has long been a critical exporting platform for Australian artists, with 490 Australian acts having showcased at the premier music festival in Austin since Sounds Australia’s inception in 2009 and many of those multiple times.

As a result of showcasing at SXSW, Australian acts have secured countless deals, instigated key partnerships, garnered global media attention, won over legions of new fans and kick started their international careers.

Gang Of Youths, THE AUSSIE BBQ SXSW 2018, Australia House

The momentous announcement made today by the NSW Government, committing to the delivery of SXSW Sydney, is a gamechanger and the opportunities an event of this magnitude can garner for the Australian music industry are enormous.

SXSW Sydney is a much welcome antidote to the COVID shut down our live industry has suffered over the past two years, with an event of this scale promising significant economic benefits, along with the capacity to change the cultural landscape of a city that is primed to rise.

Kwame, Australia House, SXSW 2019

The opportunity for Australian artists and industry to commence or build upon their global networks and advance their international pathways on home soil honestly couldn’t come at a more needed or important time. International touring has never been harder, with the combined impacts of COVID-19, inflation, gas prices, supply chain shortages, climate change, US Visa processes, currency fluctuations and the current and potential unrest and conflicts.

Vera Blue, THE AUSSIE BBQ SXSW 2017, Brush Square Park

Thrilled to see its inclusion on the international music events calendar, SXSW Sydney brings a globally-renowned premier event to our doorstep and an enviable stage for us to shine the spotlight on our world-class pipeline of talent, at a fraction of the exporting costs.

Opportunities like this don’t come around very often and for Sydney to have secured the first SXSW outside of Texas in over 35 years is a significant coup for Destination NSW and one Sounds Australia is keen to embrace.

On Saturday June 18, 2022, Capital One City Parks Foundation SummerStage and Sounds Australia will present THE AUSSIE BBQ for the first time in three years to showcase a new class of undeniable Australian talent, in association with the Australian Consul-General, New York and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Since 2020, lockdowns and travel restrictions have kept American audiences particularly deprived of live music from Australian performers. Now finally back and able to export a line up showcasing the breadth, diversity, and history of Australian music, attendees will see sets from Baker Boy, Electric Fields, G Flip, Haiku Hands, Peking Duk and You Am I.

For more than ten years, Sounds Australia has provided an integral platform for introducing the international music industry to the best new Aussie music. THE AUSSIE BBQ SummerStage made its debut in 2019 and saw almost 5000 New Yorkers turn up to see A.B. Original, Hermitude, The Teskey Brothers, Tkay Maidza, San Cisco and WAAX perform. 

Of this year’s much-anticipated upcoming event, Erika Elliott, the Executive Artistic Director at SummerStage, says, “We are thrilled to have THE AUSSIE BBQ return to SummerStage this year. International artists are a key aspect of our festival, as we seek to offer the best music from around the world to New Yorkers each summer. Our partnership has allowed us to give platform to a crop of diverse and exciting talent from Australia that we expect people to be able to say they saw here first!”

Australian Consul-General in New York, Nick Greiner, says: “The Australian Consulate General in New York is proud to be supporting THE AUSSIE BBQ this year at SummerStage in Central Park. We are thrilled that the Australian community in New York is coming back together to see performances by this diverse selection of outstanding Australian artists.”

For more information, head to THE AUSSIE BBQ SummerStage 2022 page.

The second round of Sounds Australia’s Export Stimulus (SAES) package has been awarded to more of Australia’s local music industry made up of artists, producers, songwriters, composers, managers, publishers and crew. The funds will support wide-ranging international activity including touring, songwriting, producing, industry meetings and tour/technical support.

32 Applicants were awarded AU $434,878.35.

“After such a brutal 2+ years of rescheduled tours, show cancellations, lockdowns and border closures, it feels unbelievable that we are able to actually tour internationally. This funding gives us support in what is really a super fragile economic arrangement for us. We’re playing some of the biggest shows of our careers, nominated for Grammys, yet it could all fall over at any second with no Covid insurance policies out there! We depend on groups like Sounds Australia to have our backs and am grateful for the support they have granted us.” – Si Jay Gould, Wondercore Island (Manager, Hiatus Kiayote).

The SAES program has been explicitly designed to assist established artists and industry professionals in re-entering the international music market, playing a significant role in presenting Australia as a nation of sought-after talent, reigniting foreign trade networks and triggering much-needed income for these important Australian music businesses.

The targeted funding aims to specifically counter the increased costs associated with exporting in a time of COVID-19, including increased insurance premiums, COVID-19 compliance consumables and expediting visas.

“Once again, we have been overwhelmed with the amount of international activity scheduled for Australians in the coming months – a time when the competition for opportunities, performance dates and venues has never been fiercer. It’s imperative that after a 2-year absence our top talent is able to re-engage audiences by returning to international studios and stages.” – Millie Millgate, Executive Producer, Sounds Australia.

Round 2 of the Sounds Australia Export Stimulus Grant has been made possible with the support of the Australian Government, APRA AMCOS, ARIA, PPCA, the Australia Council for the Arts, and Creative Victoria. 

Minister for Communications, Urban Infrastructure, Cites and the Arts, the Hon Paul Fletcher MP, said the package, under the first two rounds, has supported 224 Australian music industry professionals to return to international touring and business, and maximise the opportunities this brings. 

“The Morrison Government is proud to be supporting the Sounds Australia Export Stimulus program to get our talented artists, crew and music professionals back on the global stage to reaffirm our position in the international music market, and to bolster foreign trade and income for broader Australian music businesses,” Minister Fletcher said.

The extremely high quality and increased quantity of submissions was again judged by an external panel of experienced assessors made up of Cameron Adams, Leanne de Souza, Paul Mason, Sam Cook and Sosefina Fuamoli.

Round 3 for the SAES Grants will open on Monday 13th June 2022 for activity taking place internationally from 1st August 2022.


Sounds Australia is excited to announce its first physical international showcase in more than two years, taking place at SXSW in Austin, Texas next week.

10 Australian acts will showcase to international music industry from 12pm on Wednesday March 16 at Australia House, 77 Rainey St Austin:

Alex the Astronaut
Eliza Hull
Grace Cummings
Jack Gray
Jo Schornikow
Little Quirks
Phebe Starr
Tom West

Like in both 2018 and 2019, Lucille Patio Lounge on Rainey St in downtown Austin will be rebranded as Australia House, an all-encompassing Australian experience presented by the American Australian Association and G’Day USA.

Australia House will feature technology showcases, music performances, keynote speakers and interactive displays by some of Australia’s leading experts in the film, music, thought and innovation sectors.

With restrictions beginning to ease, borders starting to open, and more Australians looking to tour internationally, what can we learn from those who have already started travelling abroad?

On Wednesday December 8 at 9am AEDT, Sounds Australia in partnership with the Association of Artist Managers will present Touring the UK & Europe In A Pandemic. Moderated by Sounds Australia’s Dom Alessio, this virtual panel will feature speakers who’ve worked on 2021 UK & Europe tours for Amyl & The Sniffers, The Chemical Brothers and Passenger, as well as events such as Americanafest UK.

You’ll hear what it takes to put on a COVID safe and compliant tour, what it’s like being in the UK and Europe right now, and what you need to consider to start preparing for your own activity.

The panel will feature:
Ben Madden (Stage Manager, The Chemical Brothers)
Dan Medland (Artist Manager, Passenger)
Renae Brown (Festivals & Event Manager, Arby Projects)
Simone Ubaldi (Artist Manager, Amyl & The Sniffers)

It’s free to attend but registration is essential. You can do that via Eventbrite:

This session is also part of the AAM’s Right Here Right Now virtual management week program (December 6 – 10).

Each month Sounds Australia invites an Australian, or group of Australians, to curate a playlist for our I Picked This series. In November, we’re thrilled to have ARCA (the Australian Road Crew Association) create a playlist of live songs selected from their Desk Tape Series.

The ARCA Desk Tape Series, distributed through Black Box Records, is an initiative dedicated to the welfare of live production roadies and crew in Australia. Roadies have amassed a treasure trove of live recordings spanning more than 40 years and made ARCA their custodian. From international stars to iconic cult heroes, these tapes document the cultural significance of the Australian live music scene and serve as important historical records, requiring a release to ensure they may never be lost. 

The series was created to raise much needed funds for roadies and crew in crisis, with money from the sales and streams of these recordings providing financial, health and mental health services, as well as counselling to those who are the backbone of Australia’s live music sector.

20 live albums have so far been released via the ARCA Desk Tape Series. You can purchase the albums from the ARCA website.

You can listen loudly to ARCA’s I Picked This playlist on Apple Music, Deezer , Spotify and YouTube – and hear all the albums at the ARCA website via Black Box Records.


The Models (Live at the Overlander Hotel 1980):
Whisper Through The Wall
The Other People Incident

Australian Crawl (Live at Billboard 1981):
Things Don’t Seem
Boys Light Up

Men At Work (Live in Christchurch 1982):
Down Under
It’s a Mistake

Crowded House (Live 92-94, Pt. 1):
Distant Sun
Don’t Dream It’s Over

Crowded House (Live 92-94, Pt. 2):
World Where You Live
When You Come

Doug Parkinson and the Southern Star Band (Live at Gobbles, Perth, 1979):
I’ll Be Around
Same Feeling Different Song

Wendy Matthews (Live at Bunnamah Estate ’94):
I Don’t Wanna Be With Nobody But You
Token Angels

Goanna (Live at The Canberra Workers Club, 1985):
Razor’s Edge
Solid Rock, Sacred Ground

Neil Finn (Solo at the Seymour Centre, 2010):
Message To My Girl
Something So Strong

Albert Lee & Vince Gill (Live at the Prince of Wales Hotel 1988):
Colder Than Winter
Tiger Rag

Dutch Tilders (Live at The Commune 1973):
That’s Alright Momma
Two Bob Head Blues

Redgum (Live in Melkweg, Amsterdam 1985):
I Was Only 19
I’ve Been To Bali Too

Jo Jo Zep and the Falcons (Live at San Remo NYE 1976):
Dancin’ Shoes
The Honeydripper

Russell Morris and the Rubes (Live at the Palladium 1982):
Wings Of An Eagle

TISM (Live at the Corner Hotel 30 May 1988):
Mistah Eliot – He Wanker
Get Thee in my Behind, Satan

Captain Matchbox Whoopee Band (Live at Ormond Hall 2011):
My Canary Has Circles Under its Eyes
Your Feet’s Too Big

Jimmy and the Boys (Live at the Astra Hotel 1982):
In Hell With Your Mother
Chattanooga Choo Choo

Dave Tice and the Headhunters (Live at Yella Rock 1991):
Baby Please Don’t Go
Don’t Worry Baby, It’s Gonna Be Alright

The Party Boys (Live at the Tivoli Sydney 1987):
Hold Your Head Up
Roadhouse Blues

Ted Mulry Gang (Live at the Fairfield Hotel 1982):
Jump In My Car
Honky Tonk Women

Since May, Sounds Australia has been working with Australian artists and industry to secure travel exemptions so they can restart their export careers.⁣
With lockdowns beginning to ease, borders starting to open, and more Australians looking to tour internationally, what can we learn from those who have already started?⁣
Our next Sounds Sessions panel, Touring America In A Pandemic, will take place virtually at 9am AEDT on Tuesday October 26. Moderated by Sounds Australia’s Dom Alessio, it will feature speakers who’ve worked on 2021 US tours for Tame Impala, Middle Kids, Courtney Barnett and Cloud Nothings.
You’ll hear what it takes to put on a COVID safe and compliant tour, what it’s like being in America right now, and what you need to consider to start preparing for your own US activity.⁣
The panel will feature:⁣
Alice Fraser (Production Coordinator, Tame Impala) ⁣
Jacob Snell (Manager, Monster Artist Management)⁣
Katie Besgrove (Manager, Look Out Kid)⁣
Pati Villegas (Covid Compliance Officer)
It’s free, but registration is essential:

Sounds Australia is excited to partner with the CMAA (Country Music Association of Australia) and the CCMA (Canadian Country Music Association) for the first ever Country Connects online conference.

Taking place over 2 x two hour sessions from 9am-11am AEDT on Tuesday 19th and Wednesday 20th October, the online program will feature experts from both countries sharing their insights into each market’s country music community.

Registration is $35 – or free if you’re a CMAA member.

Check out the full schedule for Country Connects and register at this link:

Program (Subject to change):

Tuesday 19th October:

9:00am – 10:00am AEDT – In Conversation:

Michael Chugg AM (Chugg Entertainment/Chugg Music, AUS) with Jim Cressman (Invictus Entertainment Group, CDA)

10:00am – 11:00am AEDT – Radio Panel featuring:

Amanda Kingsland (Rogers Radio, CDA)
Brianne Deslippe (Big Loud Records, CDA)
Frank Varrasso (Varrasso PR, AUS)
Justin Thomson (KIX Country Australia, AUS)
Tiffany Astle (penelopePR, CDA)

Wednesday 20th October:

9:00am – 10:00am AEDT – Touring Panel featuring:

Joel Baskin (The Feldman Agency, CDA)
Karen-Lee Herrmann-Smith (Entertainment Consulting, AUS)
Mark Duckworth (Groundwater Country Music Festival, AUS)
Ron Kitchener (RGK Entertainment/Open Road Recordings, CDA)
Steve White (Stephen White Management, AUS)

10:00am – 11:00am AEDT – In Conversation: 

Lindsay Ell (Recording Artist, CDA) with Jeremy Dylan (Potts Entertainment, AUS)


The first round of Sounds Australia’s Export Stimulus (SAES) package has been awarded to a diverse cross section of local music industry made up of artists, producers, songwriters, composers, managers and crew. The funds will support a broad range of international activity encompassing touring, song writing, producing, sound design and tour/technical support.

31 Applicants were awarded a collective total of AU $408,936.28

“With the support from this fund I will be able to continue my international travel over the next 12 months, allowing me to practice my craft as a professional mix-engineer. This funding is vital in assisting me to offset the high flight costs, quarantine requirements, and higher travel insurance premiums that have been a reality due to the on-going effects of COVID-19 Pandemic. The ability to continue my international touring work, with the support of the SAES program will mean my live sound engineering business has the first real opportunity to return to some form of regular work for nearly 18 months.” – Jared Daley

First announced in June at AIR Indie Con, with the support of Sounds Australia’s lead funding partners – APRA AMCOS, ARIA, PPCA, the Australia Council for the Arts and the Office for the Arts – the program has been designed to bolster Australia’s music export activity and assist the industry as they return to global stages and studios for the first time after an 18-month long absence.

Judged by an external panel of highly experienced assessors – Cameron Adams, Leanne de Souza, Paul Mason, Sam Cook and Sosefina Fuamoli – priority was always to be given for activity undertaken by established talent re-entering the international music market. These successful applicants will play a significant role in presenting Australia as an incomparable nation of sought after artists and skilled music industry professionals, and reignite foreign trade and income for broader Australian music businesses.

“We have been so heartened to discover the incredible amount of international activity slated for Australians as the world reopens. It’s very clear that Australian artists and crew are still in high demand and we are pleased to be able to assist in just a small way with the SAES Program. The calibre and quantity of submissions forces me to defer to the cliche of unfunded excellence, however there is no question that is the situation our judges faced.” – Millie Millgate, Executive Producer, Sounds Australia

The next round of funding will open on the 10th January 2022 for activity taking place from 1st March. Guidelines, criteria and further details can be found on Sounds Australia’s website.




Sounds Australia is excited to be facilitating Canada-Australia Country Connects which will bring together artists, managers and industry workers from Canada and Australia’s country music communities.

Presented by the Country Music Association of Australia (CMAA) and the Canadian Country Music Association (CCMA), the event will take place from October 19 – 21 and include keynotes, workshops and speed meetings.

Applications are now open for Australian artists, managers and other industry workers who are keen to learn about and build relationships with the Canadian country music industry for future opportunities.

The deadline for applying is 5pm AEST on Friday September 24. You can apply here: