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BIGSOUND Will Host a Scaled-Down Two-Day Festival in 2020

Expect live tunes, workshops, secret shows and parties — all across two days and nights in Fortitude Valley.
By Sarah Ward
July 14, 2020
By Sarah Ward
July 14, 2020

Usually, for one week each September, Brisbane becomes Australia's live music capital — even if a Melbourne survey generally claims otherwise. When BIGSOUND hits the city, it seems like every venue in Fortitude Valley is packed to the rafters with bands, industry folks and music-loving punters, all enjoying the latest and greatest tunes and talent the country has to offer.

There's nothing usual about 2020, though. And, yes, that applies to this beloved music-fuelled celebration. Thankfully, BIGSOUND is still forging ahead this year as a physical — but socially distanced and COVID-safe — event; however it'll look a little different.

Rather than a four-day lineup of conferences, workshops, facilitated conversations, live festival showcases, secret shows and official parties, music fans can look forward to all of the above across a condensed two-day (and two-night) program. And, instead of happening in September, it'll all take place on Wednesday, October 21 and Thursday, October 22.

While just who'll be strutting their stuff hasn't yet been revealed, this year's changes are likely to mean that there'll be a smaller list of artists gracing the event's stages — down from last year's tally of 147.

Venue-wise, too, BIGSOUND will be smaller, taking over ten Fortitude Valley spots compared to 2019's 18 sites. Again, just where the fest will be cranking up the tunes hasn't been revealed, but venues such as Black Bear Lodge, The Zoo and The Elephant Hotel have been involved in past years.

Bec Taylor

Overseeing the yet-to-be-unveiled program are Janne Scott, BIGSOUND's creative director (and Splendour In The Grass' senior creative manager); Alethea Beetson, the event's First Nations producer and programmer; and Dominic Miller and Ruby-Jean McCabe as festival co-programmers.

Past BIGSOUNDs have showcased everyone from Gang of Youths, Flume, Tash Sultana and Courtney Barnett to San Cisco, Violent Soho, Methyl Ethel and The Jungle Giants, so its program is usually a very reliable bellwether of current and up-and-coming talent.

BIGSOUND 2020 runs across Wednesday, October 21 and Thursday, October 22 at various venues around Fortitude Valley, Brisbane. For further details, or to pre-register for delegate pass from 9am on Wednesday, July 29, visit

To discover what to do, see, eat and drink while visiting Brissie for the annual event, check out our weekender's guide to Brisbane during BIGSOUND.

Published on July 14, 2020 by Sarah Ward
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