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Amy Shark, Jessica Mauboy and More Confirmed for Australian COVID-Safe Concert Series

Amy Shark
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Amy Shark

Amy Shark, Jessica Mauboy and Peking Duk lead a starry lineup for round two of Great Southern Nights, a much-needed live music booster for the Australian state of New South Wales.

Also confirmed for the series, set to take place in March and April 2022, is Jimmy Barnes, Missy Higgins and Baker Boy, with many more to be announced in due course.

Great Southern Nights exists to "kick-start live music" during the recovery phase of COVID-19 by creating work for artists, venues and crew in Sydney and across regional NSW, a state that is currently crippled by the pandemic.

"I’m super excited to be playing as part of Great Southern Nights,” comments Gold Cost-based Shark, winner of the ARIA Award for Best Australian Live Act in 2020. “Needless to say every artist, every band, every DJ, just everyone is looking forward to playing shows to real life people, so make sure you get behind it.”

According to organizers, last year’s inaugural event shifted more than 75,000 tickets, across 1,100-plus gigs at over 300 venues.

Great Southern Nights will take place March 18 to April 10, 2022, and will be delivered by the NSW government through Destination NSW in partnership with the Australian Recording Industry Assn (ARIA).

The initiative, says ARIA CEO Annabelle Herd, is “about artists and crew doing what they love, and what they do best – putting on a show for an audience that wants to get back to the thrill and emotion of hearing live music.”

The announcement on Wednesday should whet the appetite of music fans across a state that has been dry of live music for much too long. Blame the pandemic.

Sydney, Australia’s most populous city, is currently in a weeks-long lockdown, as COVID-19 infections spike. More than 1,480 positive cases were reported on Wednesday (Sept. 8), a figure that health officials have described as “concerning.”

The news isn’t all bad. State premier Gladys Berejiklian announced 75 per cent of the state had now had a first dose of COVID-19 vaccine, and 42 per cent of residents were fully-vaccinated, figures that lead the nation.

"I'm extremely optimistic that at 70 per cent double dose everybody who is vaccinated will enjoy life much more freely than what we do today and that's a commitment we've made from day one," Berejiklian says.

Great Southern Nights 2022 is unveiled just days after the music industry joined forces for #VaxTheNation, a campaign that encourages music fans across the country to get the jab, and bring back concerts.