Current Issue #484

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Live music?
Tell ‘em they’re streaming

Nick McKinlay
Singer songwriter (and keen observer of social distancing) Timberwolf will perform live via YouTube this weekend

As COVID-19 restrictions wipe out months of scheduled gigs, a handful of Adelaide venues are launching livestreaming projects to continue to connect local acts with audiences.

“The project was born out of necessity for our vibrant music scene to keep entertaining,” Josh Trezise says. As a musician, audio technician and bartender at Adelaide well-loved local venue The Jade, Trezise has seen his share of upheaval in the past few weeks.

Not content to spend the coming days, weeks and months sitting idle, Trezise and a small team of local music lovers have launched a new initiative, dubbed Sunny Side Uploads, to bring high-quality live streams of Adelaide artists to housebound audiences.

The state government’s restrictions on mass gatherings have, understandably, left little wiggle room for performing arts in the city. Not content to simply shut the venues that typically host these performances, new directions under the Emergency Management Act spelled out on 25 March specifically ruled out all live shows, with the small exception of “live performances by a small group for the purpose of live streaming” – with performers observing social distancing rules at all times.

Julia Jacklin performs at WOMADelaide 2019
Sia Duff
Artists ranging from Julia Jacklin to Adelaide’s own Bad//Dreems have participated in the ongoing Isol-Aid livestreaming festival

Within such a very cosy margin we’ve already seen artists around the country get creative. This week the Australian Chamber Orchestra launched its ‘HomeCasts’ series, while Instagram-based ‘music festival’ Isol-Aid has seen a staggering range of acts perform into their phone cameras to raise money for Support Act. Today, Isol-Aid went international with acts like Julien Baker, Asgeir and Of Monsters And Men’s Nanna Bryndís Hilmarsdóttir chiming in.

Closer to home, projects like Sunny Side Uploads, Wundenberg Studios and the Knockoff Sessions, which has been capturing live sets from the likes of Alana Jagt, Katie Pomery and Nancy Bates from venues like The Wheatsheaf Hotel, are working to fill the hole left in performers and fans’ lives over the coming months.

Sunny Side Uploads will launch its first series of concerts this week, with performances by Timberwolf on 11 April and Aidan J Jones on 9 April streamed live from The Jade stage, with filming overseen by Adelaide production company Repeater. Sets by Naomi Keyte and Venice Queens are set to follow.

The crew from production company Repeater will capture the performances in high definition

“We’re recreating the live music experience as faithfully as possible”, explains Sunny Side co-founder Timothea Moylan explains. “We want to capture the raw energy of a gig, so our audience feels just like they’re standing right there.”

While livestreaming initiatives have, in most instances, stopped short of replacing that other important piece of live performance – getting artists paid – each Sunny Side stream will come with a prompt for viewers to chip in to support the artists they’re showcasing.

“Our industry is resilient,” Tresize says, “and we’re determined to find a way for our community to continue.”

Sunny Side Uploads concerts will be streamed via YouTube and Facebook Live

Walter Marsh

Walter Marsh

Digital Editor
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Walter is a writer, editor and broadcaster living on Kaurna Country. His work has appeared in Rip It Up, The Saturday Paper, Smith Journal, Royal Auto, Swampland Magazine, Broadsheet and The Thousands.

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