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:

On Tuesday September 7 at 5:30pm CST, Sounds Australia will present CLOSE UP, a virtual showcase as part of the Music Ally China Digital Summit. Hosted by Mindy Meng Wang, the one-hour showcase will feature interviews and live performances from 13 Australian artists, specifically targeted to the Chinese music industry.

The artists showcasing as part of CLOSE UP are:

Baker Boy
Cub Sport

Kota Banks & Ninajirachi
Luke Howard & Nadje Noordhuis
Mindy Meng Wang & Tim Shiel
Shady Nasty
Stand Atlantic
The Merindas

The Music Ally China Digital Summit, in association with MQA and supported by Blokur & FUGA, is an event organised by Music Ally China which is a partnership between Music Ally and Kanjian Music. Music Ally China Digital Summit is a virtual music business event aimed at the Chinese music market. Sessions will cover topics such as music and gaming, podcasts in China, the value of short-form video, Chinese music streaming services, and more.

The virtual conference will run from September 7 – 9. Tickets are free, however registration is essential in order to gain access. You can register at the conference’s Eventbrite page.

Global Music Match – a world-first collaboration founded in 2020 by Sounds Australia, Showcase Scotland Expo and Canada’s East Coast Music Association (ECMA) – has been honoured with this year’s WOMEX Professional Excellence Award.

Created in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, through social media and peer-to-peer collaboration,Global Music Match has advanced opportunities and networks internationally, and encouraged cross border artist collaboration, by connecting musicians from around the world, creating new audiences in a range of international locations, providing a groundwork for future international touring development.

In its inaugural year, 96 artists from 14 countries participated, including 12 artists from Australia, culminating in the live extravaganza Global Music Marathon at this year’s virtual Folk Unlocked conference. In 2021, artists from even more countries joined in Global Music Match: 78 artists from 17 countries are currently collaborating – including 13 from Australia. Search #globalmusicmatch on social media to see all the amazing works being created.

In total, 25 Australian acts have participated in Global Music Match: Andrea Kirwin, Charm of Finches, Colin Lillie, Emma Swift, Ernest Aines, Fanny Lumsden, Francesca de Valence, Georgia State Line, Gretta Ziller, Hussy Hicks, Joel Havea, Kaurna Cronin, Little Quirks, Melanie Horsnell, Monique Clare, Musketeer, Rich Davies, Riley Pearce, Ruth Hazleton, Saije, Shelley Segal, STAV., The Heart Collectors, Tom West and William Crighton.

Here’s what WOMEX had to say about the award:

The past year-and-a-half has been one of the most drastic and challenging periods of change in the history of the international music industry. Almost at once, and with very little warning, a world’s worth of live music disappeared, and musicians and audiences alike scrambled to find new ways of reaching each other without leaving their homes.

But adversity leads to innovation, and that’s where Global Music Match comes in. The heart of the premise is simple: folk- and roots-based musicians uplifting and promoting each other, mobilising each other’s audiences and creating new professional networks.

Each cycle of GMM takes place over 12 weeks. Teams are formed of six artists, each from a different country or region, and each gets their own two-week spotlight across the whole team’s social media channels, as well as a dedicated mentoring ‘coach’. These spotlights are a flurry of activity including interviews, live sets, unreleased material and exclusive – entirely digital – collaborations. After two editions, 172 artists – and many thousands of fans – have participated and benefitted from this mutual support network and inspirational knowledge exchange with the help of music export offices from 17 countries and regions from around the world.

The exciting part of GMM is that it is not just a temporary quick-fix. It’s a new form of music export and cultural exchange, and one that is not necessarily anchored to the current situation. It is a real and effective way for artists to expand their audience in terms of numbers, as well as into new territories, opening up the possibility for new touring avenues post-pandemic, and showing a ‘good practice’ model for all.

For creating, at such short notice, a new and innovative platform that has already seen long-lasting and tangible benefits, for celebrating musical diversity, and for being a source of optimism and comfort to musicians in a time of great struggle, we are delighted that Global Music Match will receive the WOMEX 21 Professional Excellence.

For more details head here:

Today, Sounds Australia announces the creation of the Sounds Australia Export Stimulus Program (SAES).

The Sounds Australia Export Stimulus Program has been designed to bolster Australia’s music export activity and support the industry as they return to global stages. The targeted support will assist Australian artists, crew and music professionals to realise significant career milestone opportunities, earn much needed income after 18 months of cancelled work, and support Australia’s quest to become a net exporting music nation.

Executive Producer, Millie Millgate says, “We knew two months into the pandemic that we needed to plan and be able to provide assistance in ways we never had before. Whilst we embraced and continue to present virtual showcasing and online networking opportunities, real tangible and practical export support is essential. We thank the Australian Government and our industry partners for the innate understanding and action they have taken with respect to both the belief in, and creation of, this export stimulus program.”

In order to support a return to critical international activity, Sounds Australia’s lead funding partners – APRA AMCOS, ARIA, PPCA, the Australia Council for the Arts and the Office for the Arts – have agreed to redirect Sounds Australia’s 2020 and forecast 2021 retained surplus toward the SAES Program. Furthermore, the Minister for the Arts, The Hon. Paul Fletcher has committed additional new funding that brings the combined total of the Export Stimulus package to $1.2 million, to be distributed over the next 18 months.

The competitive grants will be assessed by an external expert panel and awarded to support increased expenses across six distinct areas. These include:

  • Visas (petition application and associated legal fees)
  • International Flights, Freight and Carnets
  • Pre-Tour Rehearsals (venue, wages, backline)
  • Artist Managers to travel with their acts overseas
  • Hotel Quarantine
  • Insurance and other COVID increased premiums

“APRA AMCOS is proud to have helped foster this partnership between the Australian Government and the Australian music industry. It puts the export of Australian music front and centre of our country’s post-pandemic strategy. Year upon year Australian artists are making a name for themselves across the four corners of the globe. This investment will be key to Australia’s goal to become one of the few net exporters of music, delivering a significant economic and cultural dividend for the nation,” said APRA AMCOS CEO Dean Ormston
This dedicated export funding assistance not only guarantees Australian artists much needed income, it will kickstart international revenue streams for the wider industry ecology, ensuring Australian managers, labels, publishers, crew and merchandisers start to see an uplift.

“Australia is home to so many globally recognised, loved and influential musicians whose unique ability to generate cultural and economic capital should be wholeheartedly supported at the national level. On behalf of ARIA and PPCA, I want to commend the government for recognising the value of our industry, and for supporting the work and passion of the countless crew members, managers, agents, artists and workers who have dedicated so much of their lives to putting Australia centre stage around the world. ARIA and PPCA are immensely proud to contribute to Sounds Australia and are committed to continuing to underscore the true value of the Australian music industry both on and off our shores.” said Annabelle Herd, CEO ARIA & PPCA

The SAES Program funding is available to Australian citizens or permanent residents that are currently practising music professionals. This includes solo artists, bands, DJs, producers, songwriters, technical crew, management companies, and labels and publishers that are working to export Australian music. The SAES grant will support export activity which includes, but is not limited to, touring/live shows, co-writing, media appearances, tour managing, stage production and business meetings.

Applications for Round 1 open on Monday August 9th 2021 and will close on Friday September 3rd 2021 for activity taking place from October 1st 2021 onwards. Successful applicants will be notified by the end of September 2021.

Australia Council CEO Adrian Collette AM said, “The Australia Council is delighted to be able to support this vital initiative to help the Australian music industry return to the international touring market and renew their connections with audiences around the world. Our musicians and industry have always been such tremendous ambassadors for Australian talent and creativity, and I am sure audiences will be thrilled to have the opportunity to see them tour again to international venues and festivals.”

Round 2 will open on January 10th 2022 and Round 3 on June 13th 2022 for those with confirmed international activity that has not yet occurred.

For more information and to apply for funding, applicants can complete and submit their application at