No concerts, no problem.
After guiding the Music From The Home Front special onto screens across Australia and beyond, Michael Gudinski is immersed in a new project, which should connect folks with artists they already love or don’t yet know it.
Starting this Sunday (May 3), the six-part series The State Of Music will be livestreamed on YouTube, Facebook and Victoria Together, the just-launched platform of the Victoria Government, which is underwriting the project.
Eight weeks in the planning, the new initiative is aimed at bringing live music into homes amid the COVID-19 pandemic, with a lineup of established and emerging Australian acts.
“The great thing about The State of Music, it’s not about hits,” Gudinski tells Billboard. “It’s about artists playing what they want. And communicating with the audiences.”
With Australia in lockdown, like elsewhere, few artists outside of the a-list are able to generate sufficient royalties to stay afloat. The State of Music provides a payday for all its performers, and an opportunity to shine on global platforms while the world is desperate for fresh content and a break from the monotony of isolation.
“The show, in true Michael Gudinski and Mushroom Group tradition will be top quality,” with a format blending performances and interviews, with a new host each week, the indie powerhouse’s chairman explains.
Thanks to the success of Music From The Home Front, which saw upwards of 1.159 million Australians tuning into the primetime TV broadcast, “I’ve got artists just desperate to get exposure,” Gudinski adds. “We want to give them a chance.”
Through its partnership with Mushroom, the Victorian Government is funding the project, including artist performance fees. “We’re proudly the cultural capital of Australia and we’ll do everything we can to support our creative industries through this pandemic,” comments state premier Daniel Andrews in a statement, “so they’re in the best position to support the many thousands of jobs that rely on this sector.”
Gudinski expects the new show to gain momentum, build some careers and, just maybe, help turn some rising artists into border-crossing stars.
After six weeks, The State of Music will be reevaluated. Says Gudinski, “I’ll be surprised if, in one way or another, the show doesn’t continue.”