With Big Sound over for another year, it is again time to be thankful that Brisbane is host to such an incredibly eclectic gathering of local, national and international musical performers and industry figures. Now staged across four days/nights, Big Sound not only shines a light on the Australian music industry, but also serves as a terrific advertisement for Brisbane and, more specifically Fortitude Valley, as an entertainment precinct that should be the envy of every other Australian city. The fact that Big Sound organisers are able to secure 19 host venues for the more than 270 live performances within such geographical proximity is testimony to the vitality and value of this precinct as the undisputed home of live music in Queensland.


 The Big Sound Conference brings industry experts from around the world together for a series of key note addresses and seminar sessions covering all aspects of the music industry (production, management, publicity/marketing, health/welfare, legal, technology etc) to provide musicians and artists with access to information and ideas that will serve them in their bid to navigate their way through an ever-evolving industry that has undergone overwhelming changes in recent years. Of course, in addition to the invaluable networking opportunities that the conference delivers, the live performance showcases enable musicians and performers to impress conference delicates and music fans alike and the list of artists who have used Big Sound as a springboard to industry success is extensive.


Anybody who loves music should love Big Sound as the live music showcases embrace all musical styles and genres. In addition to Australian artists from all corners of the country, Big Sound also features international artists looking to raise their profile as well as established artists returning to the stage, unveiling new music or launching a new phase of their career. The fact that all this music is dished up in the inner-city enables easy access for punters, especially those for whom festivals in far-flung locales are beyond reach. It really is a truly unique event that creates a wonderful atmosphere of anticipation throughout The Valley as fans, artists and industry players all find themselves jostling for a prime position amongst the audience at the various venues.


Like any festival of such magnitude, performance clashes are inevitable and it is never possible to catch every artist that you might like to see, however that simply ensures that new discoveries are made which is, after all, the point of the whole exercise. This year I was able to re-visit several personal favourites whilst experiencing numerous bands/artists live for the first time over four nights of exhausting, exhilarating live music. As always, there were surprises (mostly pleasant) as lesser-known performers served to remind us that success relies on much more than talent alone, which is why the conference program is such an important initiative.


During my 2018 Big Sound adventure I visited 13 venues to see more than 30 different artists and I strongly recommend that, if you are yet to undertake the Big Sound live music experience, slot it into your 2019 social calendar. In the meantime though, you can check out a collection of images from this year’s event here.