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BIGSOUND 2021 Has Been Cancelled Due to Lockdowns and Border Restrictions

Brisbane's big music industry conference and festival will next take place in September 2022.
By Sarah Ward
July 19, 2021
By Sarah Ward
July 19, 2021

When some of Australia's biggest events were forced to change their 2020 plans due to the pandemic, it was hoped that'd be a one-time deal. But more than halfway into 2021, COVID-19 and Australia's response to it keeps causing havoc with the music and events industries. The latest casualty, following Bluesfest and Vivid Sydney: this year's BIGSOUND.

If your spring routine usually involves bar-hopping around Brisbane — and around Fortitude Valley in particular — while listening to up-and-coming musicians, then you're in for bad news. The music-fuelled celebration normally takes over the Queensland capital every September or October, and did so virtually in 2020. Plans had already been announced for the event's physical return this year; however, given the current lockdowns in both Sydney and Melbourne, organisers have now scrapped the 2021 conference and festival altogether.

"Without our music mates in New South Wales and Victoria and no certain timeline as to when domestic borders will remain open, BIGSOUND 2021 wouldn't be able to deliver on its promise to reunite the music community for three extraordinary days of connection, conversation, and music discovery," said QMusic CEO Kris Stewart in a statement announcing the cancellation.

BIGSOUND's 2021 event was due to run from Tuesday, September 7–Thursday, September 9, with the three-day program slated to feature conferences, live festival showcases, secret shows and official parties. Around 150 musicians were expected to take to the stage, with past events showcasing everyone from Gang of Youths, Flume, Tash Sultana and Courtney Barnett to San Cisco, Violent Soho, Methyl Ethel and The Jungle Giants.

Instead of trying to move around this year's fest or adjust to lockdowns and restrictions, the BIGSOUND team will now work towards staging the next event in September 2022.

That said, 100-percent First Nations youth-led music conference Little BLAKSOUND will still go ahead this September, as presented by Digi Youth Arts. And, with 2021 marking BIGSOUND's 20th anniversary, work is underway to find a way to celebrate that milestone in some shape or form this year, too.

BIGSOUND 2021 will no longer place between Tuesday, September 7–Thursday, September 9 in Fortitude Valley, Brisbane. Current ticket holders will receive refunds, as will artists who've paid application fees.  For further details, visit

Top image: Kymie at BIGSOUND 2019 by Lachlan Douglas.

Published on July 19, 2021 by Sarah Ward
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