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

Sounds Australia is excited to announce the launch of SOUNDS SESSIONS, a curated series of global conversations, which will be held on our new online industry portal, Inside Sounds.

For the inaugural series we’ve partnered with A2IM to present encore screenings of panels that were initially streamed as part of this year’s A2IM Indie Week. After each session, participants will have the opportunity to join some of the speakers in a special Q&A held on Zoom.

It kicks off next Tuesday August 3 at 9am AEST with the panel “What Does The Future Of Live Music Look Like?”

Registration is essential as spots are limited, so those Australian industry professionals interested in attending one or all of the sessions need to email to secure their place.

Week 1 – Aug 3

Rev. Moose (NYC) Katherine Friedland (NYC) Tobi Parks (Des Moines)

Week 2 – Aug 10

Melanie McClain (NYC) David Krinsky (San Fran) Janett Berrios (Florida) Shane Gill (Vancouver) Andre Benjamin (NYC)


Week 3 – Aug 17

Anna Siegel (NYC) Hiba Fatima Irshad (NYC) Arun Sajjan (Dubai)


Week 4 – Aug 24

Heather Johnson (Seattle) Nate Beck (Washington) Sam Seum (LA)


Week 5 – Aug 31

Elliot Resnik (NYC) Tony Alexander (Memphis) Susan Busch (NYC)


Week 6 – Sept 7

Katie Alberts (Atlanta) Zac Zarrilo (Philly) Whitney Dublin (NYC) Dan Nevin (London)

Following the colossal success of the debut Global Music Match in 2020, the worldwide matchmaking program returns from June 7, featuring 78 artists from 17 countries – including 13 from Australia.

Artists from Australia, Brittany in France, Canada, Catalonia, Chile, Denmark, England, Finland, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Norway, Sweden, Scotland, Taiwan, USA and Wales are set to collaborate over the coming three months, in what is thought to be the world’s largest online musical matchmaking program.

This year’s iteration follows 2020’s world-first collaboration, which was created by founding partners Sounds AustraliaShowcase Scotland Expo and Canada’s East Coast Music Association (ECMA) in a bid to continue developing profiles for folk-based artists in international music markets within the challenging and unprecedented parameters of COVID-19.

Artists from around the world have been grouped into international teams of six, from different countries, and over the coming 12 weeks will collaborate with each other across social media. Each act has an assigned two-week Featured Artist period, during which time their five teammates will introduce them to five new audiences around the globe – rotated amongst all artists, up to the end of August.

Fanny Lumsden, one of the Australians who participated in the first Global Music Match, said of the program: “Global Music Match completely turned on its head my approach and access to the international market as an independent singer songwriter and it did that through people: friendships, connection, creation and collaboration. It was such a incredible way to connect across the oceans and I feel confident now to head out and physically tour in a range of new markets, once it’s all opened up again. It was a career highlight experience without a doubt.”

The 13 Australian artists participating in this year’s Global Music Match are:

Andrea Kirwin
Emma Swift
Ernest Aines
Francesca de Valence
Georgia State Line
Gretta Ziller
Joel Havea
Melanie Horsnell
Monique Clare
Rich Davies
Ruth Hazleton
Tom West 

With 78 artists, 13 teams of six will operate simultaneously, across borders, countries and timezones, introducing audiences to three months of new music, whilst artists largely remain unable to tour internationally.

Each team is also led by an international coach – all of whom are also leading festival directors from around the world, within the folk/roots genres. Artists will be coached throughout the project by influential figureheads from such revered events as the Woodford Folk Festival, Port Fairy Folk Festival (both Australia), Philadelphia Folk Festival, New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival (both USA), Vancouver Island Folk Festival (Canada), Knockengorroch World Ceilidh (Scotland), Manchester Folk Festival and Americana UK (both England), amongst many more.

Another Australian involved in last year’s Global Music Match, Kaurna Cronin, said: “It was such a treat to work alongside everyone, and have such a profound sense of community during this time. For such a short project period, I was overwhelmed with the skills I not only developed, but ideas and thought streams I was inspired to pursue. The knowledge I gained and the forging of meaningful worldwide connections was invaluable, especially during a time where such tasks seemed so difficult to achieve.”

Borne out of the COVID-19 pandemic, and created as a unique and direct response to the sudden limitations imposed on the worldwide music industry – and in particular, international showcasing – Global Music Match seeks to enhance and develop artists’ international fanbases, presence and peer connections in global markets.

Discover all 78 artists involved in this year’s Global Music Match, and find out which teams they’re in, by heading to




This week, the Amazon Music UK Twitch channel will premiere a special Rock Scene presents… episode, in collaboration with Sounds Australia, spotlighting five Australian artists making waves in the rock, metal and punk scenes. Stand Atlantic, DZ DEATHRAYS, The Dead Love, Yours Truly and Waxflower have each recorded exclusive live sets in a number of iconic locations in Australia.

Stand Atlantic performed at Max Watts, a music venue in Sydney’s Entertainment Quarter; DZ DEATHRAYS take over The Triffid, a former WW2 hanger turned vibrant garden space and music venue in Brisbane; 3sixty skate park in Wollongong on the New South Wales South Coast is the location for The Dead Love’s set; the stunning Hayden Orpheum cinema in Sydney hosts Yours Truly; and Waxflower perform at The Zoo, one of Brisbane’s most beloved live music venues.

Hosted by Sounds Australia’s Glenny G and Dom Alessio, the live Twitch stream will initially take place on Thursday 27th May at 6pm BST (10am PDT / 1pm EDT / 7pm CEST) and will be repeated on Friday 28th May at 6pm AEST (4pm SGT / 8pm NZST).

Watch live and join in the chat on