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

2020 saw the introduction of Global Music Match, a world-first collaboration created by founding partners Sounds Australia, Showcase Scotland Expo and East Coast Music Association (ECMA), along with export organisations and showcase events from around the world. 96 artists from 14 countries participated in the first edition.

Through social media and peer-to-peer collaboration, GMM 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.

Applications are now open for Australian artists interested in taking part in the next edition of Global Music Match. It’s a 16-week, artist driven program, designed to establish real life connections between export-ready artists. Artists’ work should be rooted in acoustic, folk, roots, traditional, or world music genres.

Through these introductions artists will enhance their social media skill sets, interact with new audiences, create new and engaging content and have the opportunity to work together to create musical collaborations on a global scale.

You have until Friday April 16 to apply for the 16-week intensive program which commences on Thursday May 13. For more information, and to apply, please head to the website below:


For over a decade, Sounds Australia has coordinated some of the most talked-about showcases at South By Southwest in Austin, Texas. From THE AUSSIE BBQ to Sound Gallery, 2 For The Showcase, Beat Pie and more, Sounds Australia’s suite of showcases has consistently provided a platform for Australian artists to perform in front of music industry from North America and abroad.

And that won’t change this year. As part of the inaugural SXSW Online 2021, Sounds Australia will present CLOSE UP. 18 Australian artists, across three one-hour showcases, will each perform two live songs. These performances have never been seen before and all were recorded in the artists’ “backyard” (however they chose to interpret that theme).

Each showcase will feature six artists, streaming at 9:00pm US CDT on March 17th, 18th and 19th, which means it’s a great time for Australian industry and music fans to log in and watch too: 1:00pm AEDT on March 18th, 19th and 20th.

Performing as part of CLOSE UP will be Alexander Biggs, Alice Skye, Baker Boy, Beans, Death By Denim, Didirri, Hachiku, Hauskey, Indigo Sparke, Jaguar Jonze, Kee’ahn, Ninajirachi & Kota Banks, No Money Enterprise, Shannen James, Sycco, The Chats, The Lazy Eyes and The Merindas.

In keeping with the backyard theme, CLOSE UP will be hosted by Sounds Australia’s Glenny G, Millie Millgate and Dom Alessio, right from Glenny’s own backyard.

The Australian participation doesn’t stop there. Luke Howard and Sophie Hutchings will perform as part of a series of showcases at SXSW Online 2021 hosted by Mercury KX. Sophie’s performance will screen on Thursday March 18th at 12:30pm CDT (Friday 19th, 4:30am AEDT), while Luke’s set will stream on Saturday March 20th at 12:30pm CDT (Sunday 21th, 4:30am AEDT).

The 20 Australian artists selected for SXSW, along with their management teams, will also be offered networking opportunities, facilitated by Sounds Australia, to meet virtually with representatives from the North American music industry. These closed-door networking sessions will happen before and after the digital event.

As part of SXSW’s 2021 offerings, the digital experience will feature conference keynotes and sessions, film screenings, music showcases, networking, and exhibitions from March 16 – 20, 2021. To access SXSW – including the CLOSE UP and Mercury KX showcases – you will need to register for the conference. Passes are currently US $325, although that price will rise closer to the event. You can register at SXSW’s website.

Wednesday March 17th, 9:00pm CDT
(7:00pm LA / 10:00pm NYC / 11:00pm Sao Paulo)
(Thursday 18th, 2:00am London / 10:00am Singapore / 1:00pm AEDT)

Alexander Biggs
Baker Boy
Shannen James
The Lazy Eyes

Thursday March 18th, 9:00pm CDT
(7:00pm LA / 10:00pm NYC / 11:00pm Sao Paulo)
(Friday 19th, 2:00am London / 10:00am Singapore / 1:00pm AEDT)

Alice Skye
Death By Denim
Ninajirachi & Kota Banks
The Chats

Friday March 19th, 9:00pm CDT
(7:00pm LA / 10:00pm NYC / 11:00pm Sao Paulo)
(Saturday 20th, 2:00am London / 10:00am Singapore / 1:00pm AEDT)

Jaguar Jonze
Indigo Sparke
No Money Enterprise
The Merindas

An incredible 65 Australian artists will be given a platform to be seen by members of the international music industry this month when they take part in Folk Unlocked, the inaugural virtual event from the team behind Folk Alliance International.

Established in 1989, Folk Alliance International (FAI) is the world’s largest gathering of the folk music industry and community. The event became renowned by fans and musicians alike for its unique set up: taking over a hotel in cities around North America, where each room was turned into a showcase room. Nights are spent traversing the hallways, following your ears to the best sounds, and discovering some incredible talent from around the world along the way.

In 2020, FAI was one of the last events to happen – in January in New Orleans – before Covid-19 shut down music conferences and festivals around the world. Shortly thereafter, they became one of the first to commit to a digital event for 2021, Folk Unlocked.

The move provided organisers and the artists who will play the event ample time to prepare for the virtual conference, set to take place from the 22nd to the 26th of February.

For the inaugural digital event, Sounds Australia is proud to be presenting their virtual showcase CLOSE UP, partnering with Isol-Aid and participating in the Global Music Marathon – featuring many of the artists who took part in 2020’s groundbreaking Global Music Match.

CLOSE UP – Sound Australia’s flagship virtual showcase – will be held on the opening night of the event, Monday 22nd February from 4.30pm to 6.30pm CT (Tuesday 23rd 9:30am – 11:30am AEDT). Hosted by Sounds Australia’s Leah Flanagan, Glenny G and Dom Alessio, CLOSE UP will serve as the spotlight showcase for the Australian artists playing the event.

An exciting and eclectic mix of 12 acts will showcase as part of CLOSE UP, featuring, in alphabetical order: Benny Walker, David Spry, Deline Briscoe, Emily Wurramara, Emma Swift, Ernest Aines, Kee’ahn, Monique Clare, Nathan May, Ruth Hazleton & Daisywheel, Tenzin Choegyal and XANI.

Sounds Australia is thrilled to be partnering with Isol-Aid, the world’s longest running online music festival, to bring this unique festival experience to Folk Unlocked 2021. 49 Australian artists are set to perform live across the four days of Folk Unlocked, from the 22nd to the 25th of February. Isol-Aid Unlocked will start at 6.30pm CT (23rd – 26th 11:30am AEDT), with no less than 12 Australian artists taking audiences into their homes each night.

In addition to the performances during CLOSE UP and Isol-Aid Unlocked, Australian acts Charm Of Finches, Colin Lillie, Fanny Lumsden, Kaurna Cronin, Little Quirks, Saije, Shelley Segal, STAV and The Heart Collectors will be involved in the closing event of Folk Unlocked – Global Music Marathon – on Friday the 26th at 3:30pm CT (Saturday 27th at 8:30am AEDT).

Global Music Marathon will bring together many of the artists from around the world who took part in 2020’s groundbreaking digital project Global Music Match. The Marathon will see these artists reunited to present once-in-a-lifetime performances and collaborations in a very special presentation. More details on this event will be revealed closer to the date.

During Folk Unlocked 2021 Australian artists will also be presenting their own private showcases, along with presented showcases such as i hear Django and the New Melbourne Folk Club. To see the full list of Australian artists showcasing, head to

In order for Folk Unlocked to be an event accessible to all, there is a pay-what-you’re-able pricing structure. All registration prices provide the same level of access. Registration is valued at US $150, and there are three other registration tiers (in American dollars): $75, $25, and $0:


In place of an in-person conference this year, Folk Alliance International is hosting Folk Unlocked, a four-day virtual event for the entire international folk community to come together for panels, workshops, showcases, affinity and peer group meetings, exhibit spaces, networking, and mentorship.

FAI are unlocking the doors and windows of the house of folk to be as broad and inclusive as possible, inviting those who have been loyally attending Folk Alliance International conferences for years while aiming to reach folk musicians and professionals who have never benefited from or attended FAI before.

If you would like to apply for one of the limited Sounds Australia showcasing spots, please complete the following application. Applications are due by Friday 13 November:

Folk Unlocked will run from February 22 – 25, 2021. Registrations are now open if you’re interested in attending the virtual event. In order for Folk Unlocked to be an event accessible to all, FAI have built a pay-what-you’re-able pricing structure. All registration prices provide the same level of access. Registration is valued at $150, and there are three other registration tiers: $75, $25, and $0.


Folk Alliance International are also providing discounts to their 2022 conference for those who register to Folk Unlocked. The discount code must be used during the Early Bird registration period for the 2022 conference.

Early Bird: 100% of Folk Unlocked registration price applied to 2022 conference registration if you register for Folk Unlocked from October 22, 2020, to December 22, 2020.
Advanced: 50% of Folk Unlocked registration price applied to 2022 conference registration if you register for Folk Unlocked from December 23, 2020, to January 22, 2021.
Final: No discount on 2022 conference registration if you register for Folk Unlocked after January 22, 2021.

To register, visit


Sounds Australia would like to offer Australian delegates the opportunity to attend Amsterdam Dance Event at a discounted rate. Taking place from October 21 – 25, ADE will host a select number of in-person showcases, along with the online-first ADE Pro virtual conference, combining industry panels, in-depth masterclasses and Q&As.

For those that are regulars or others in the Australian electronic and dance music community who would like to experience ADE (albeit virtually) for the first time, the offer means you can secure your ADE pass for only €35 (normally €75). By purchasing this special offer you will also be eligible for a €50 discount on ADE Pro Passes for ADE 2021!

This offer has been made possible with the support from Electronic Music Conference and to save €40 on your ADE 20 Pro Digital Pass simply fill out this form:

This offer is exclusive to Australian delegates only. Be quick to redeem this amazing offer as it expires October 9 or when the super limited allocation is exhausted.