Some of the biggest names in Australian music will soon be playing at gigs across NSW, in a government-funded bid to boost regional tourism and support the coronavirus-hit events industry.

The Great Southern Nights initiative will result in 1000 COVID-safe gigs being hosted across the state, with 50 per cent in regional areas.

Jimmy Barnes, The Veronicas, Missy Higgins, Thelma Plum, Amy Shark, and Tones and I are among the headlines acts already secured to play at the events in November.

The initiative is being run in partnership with ARIA – the Australian Recording Industry Association.

Venues wanting to take part can submit up to four gig proposals for consideration.

Successful applications will receive a grant to help them secure talent and deliver the event.


Jobs and Tourism Minister Stuart Ayres says it will be a game changer for businesses which have been crippled by tough social distancing measures.

“This is what Great Southern Nights is all about – bringing people together in a safe way to enjoy our signature hospitality, awesome talent and the unique communities across Sydney and regional NSW,” he said in statement on Monday.

“There’s no more authentic experience than celebrating Australian music in a country pub, local bar or beachfront club.”

More than 700 venues have already registered an interest to be involved, but formal applications open on Monday and close on August 14.

Venues must have a COVID-safe plan and a proven record of hosting live music events to apply.