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Missy Higgins performs live at the Sydney Opera House
Photograph: Prudence UptonMissy Higgins performs live at the Sydney Opera House

A 1,000-strong program of live gigs kicks off around Sydney and NSW today

Starting next month, more than 1,000 shows will kick-start the live music industry

Alannah Maher

The local live music industry has just been injected with much needed boost, with the NSW Government’s Great Southern Nights initiative kicking into gear. Starting from November 5, it brings more than 1,000 gigs to 300-plus venues around Sydney and 130 towns around the state.

More than 200 physically-distanced gigs are scheduled for the opening weekend alone. Legendary Aussie rockers and 'What's My Scene' singers the Hoodoo Gurus are the first cabs off the rank, with a gig at Max Watts in the Entertainment Corner. Other acts kicking off the program are blues man Ash Grunwald (Hurstville Entertainment Centre, Nov 6), former Leonardo's Bride frontwoman Abby Dobson playing with Rebecca Mann in Katoomba (Pigeon Lane, Nov 6), and Grinspoon founding member Phil Jamieson (Crow Bar, Nov 7).

Great Southern Nights is teaming up with live festivals including the Sydney International Women's Jazz Festival (running until Nov 9) and Darlinghurst Theatre's queer cabaret infused Bloom Festival to help bring Sydney back to life. The line-up – curated by ARIA (the Australian Recording Industry Association) and an industry advisory committee from venues around NSW – features both established and emerging local artists. You can make plans to spend a night with one of your favourite musos in Sydney or make a weekend of it by heading to a regional gig. 

Catch real life performances from the likes of Oz rock founding father Jimmy Barnes at the Sydney Coliseum in Western Sydney (Nov 12), and indie crooner Matt Corby getting amongst the coastal vibes in Brunswick Heads (Nov 20). Elsewhere you can see ethereal one-person-band Tash Sultana, ‘Adore’-able indie pop star Amy Shark, rock poet Paul Kelly, and feel a little less ‘Untouched’ with pop twins the Veronicas. You can also look out for ‘Homecoming Queen’ Thelma Plum, light up your ‘Lanterns’ for Birds of Tokyo, and get down with the Presets, the Jungle Giants, and blues rockers the Teskey Brothers. Tones and I will make you a 'Dance Monkey', and Missy Higgins should sound familiar, though she may leave you with a ‘Scar’.

You can check out the gig guide and get booking here.

Here’s where you can see live music in Sydney right now.

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