World News – UA – Bernard Fanning and Ocean Alley set to conduct 6,000-seat concerts in Sydney


More than six months since the COVID pandemic forced concert halls to close and decimated Australia’s music scene, Qudos Bank Arena will host two concerts with a capacity of just over 6,000, the most major indoor music events to be held in Australia since March

The shows, which are part of the Great Southern Nights’ COVID Safe Concert Series that launched this week, will feature Ocean Alley, Jack River, Ruby Fields and Jack Botts on November 28, as well as Bernard Fanning, Matt Corby and Merci, Mercy on December 5th

The concerts were co-hosted by promoters TEG and Live Nation, with support from the NSW Destination NSW state government tourism and major events agency

Fanning, who calls 2020 the most difficult year of a music career spanning over 30 years, says government involvement is crucial

« It is imperative that the government support it, as the music industry has received no support, » he said, citing a lack of federal bailout funding and the fact that entrepreneurs, who represent a large portion of the music industry workforce, were not eligible for JobKeeper

« It is incumbent on all governments to support the arts because you cannot pitch the rhetoric that it’s all about the economy and then ignore the contribution of the arts community to the economy »

Fanning says the main motivation around concerts is to provide work for music industry workers whose lives have been turned upside down by COVID and to restore confidence by attending live mass concerts

« I think people are absolutely ready to go out and do things with other people, but you have to prove that it’s safe. That’s the idea with these shows, to give people confidence necessary to go out and know that it will be ok « 

As per current guidelines, concerts will be seated and socially distant, using only part of the venue’s usual capacity of 21,000 They will also use rapid contract tracking and host increased equipment

Jack River, real name Holly Rankin, says the chance to perform in front of 6,000 spectators for the first time since February outweighs any discomfort caused by the strict new performing environment

« We’re used to people clashing and sweating and it creates a certain energy to nourish yourself when you play But being able to play a seated gig now is so huge I don’t care how it’s done It will be amazing to be in the room with people again, ”she says

The Mollymook-based musician – who used the live shutdown period to earn a law degree (« It’s to educate my music so I can speak to my audience and help represent their opinions, » she said) – says she just wants to « feel connected again »

« We’ve been living in such a different world for six months; I don’t know what it will be like to be on a stage and [the fans] don’t know what it will be to be in an audience We are in a new territory « 

Fanning agrees « Given the circumstances in which we are in the world, there is a necessary spirit of cooperation that did not really exist in my lifetime, where people have to adhere to strict rules to that things like these can happen, « he said

« There are all these rock ‘n’ roll myths about giving up that are tempered by these circumstances, but that shouldn’t make a difference to the actual show »

In addition, 6000 fans are offering the opportunity to sing in an arena for the first time in months

“I don’t know if I have any stadium anthems,” says Fanning, the humble author of My Happiness, laughing “I mean, this will be stuff from my whole career that we’ll play so there always has a chance « 

Tickets for the concerts will go on sale on Monday and Tuesday at 10am respectively at ticketekcomau

Bernard Fanning, Sydney, Ocean Alley

World News – UA – Bernard Fanning and Ocean Alley to conduct 6,000-seat concerts in Sydney



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