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Last month a panel of international judges awarded the latest round of the $30,000 Levi’s Music Prize to Melbourne’s explosive punk rock four-piece, Amyl and the Sniffers.

Now in its third year, the coveted prize provides $25,000 cash plus an additional $5,000 in travel from Stage & Screen to financially assist Australian and New Zealand acts – who have previously showcased at BIGSOUND – achieve their export goals.

Showcasing at BIGSOUND 2017, Amyl and The Sniffers’ hit the ground running during their breakout year with international appearances at The Great Escape (UK) and a North American tour supporting Australian label mates, King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard. Following multiple sold out shows in the UK and Europe in 2018, the band signed to Rough Trade Records for the rest of the world – the first Australian band to ink an album deal with Rough Trade since The Go-Betweens.

“It’s great to win the Levi’s® Music Prize. The cash is gonna come in really handy this year, it’s gonna get us on the road for SXSW and our upcoming tours and we’re super grateful. It’s sick that we were a part of BIGSOUND a couple years ago and we’ve come a long way since then, some dude who is on BBC radio saw us play there and we ended up on his show in London last year. It’s great that Levi’s® give this opportunity to bands and even sicker that one of the bands is us hehe. We’re excited to get back over to the States and play heaps of gigs before we put out our album in May. Filthy!!!!” – Amyl and the Sniffers

The decision was made by a panel of international music industry buyers including representatives from Domino Publishing, ATC Live and Eat Your Own Ears.

Previous winners include Stella Donnelly, Alex Lahey, Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever, Hatchie & Emerson Snowe. The prize provides funding towards recording, touring equipment, video production and promotion supporting artists that have built significant initial career momentum via their BIGSOUND experience, but who need a financial leg-up to keep moving forward on the international stage.

Australian and New Zealand acts who have performed at BIGSOUND within the last five years (2014-2018) are eligible to apply by heading to www.bigsound.org.au/levis

Applications are now open for Round 3, 2018/19 and will close March 10, 2019.

Showcase applications for BIGSOUND 2019 will open in April 2019 via the BIGSOUND website www.bigsound.org.au

Check out this latest clip of our most recent two winners – Amyl and The Sniffers and Emerson Snowe below:




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BIGSOUND: 2018 Levi’s® Showcase


As a music fan in Australia, I’ve always been aware of how lucky we are to have such a dynamic and rich music scene.

My younger years were spent bouncing from gig to gig, and cycling through a handful of annual festivals and events. I’ll admit – many of these festivals were made even more attractive given their Byron Bay location. Sunshine and music? Not a bad combination, and one that BIGSOUND have also totally nailed – with their own distinct, Brisbane flair.

BIGSOUND is an annual event that gives everyone from musicians, industry members, brands, media and music lovers the opportunity to connect with the future of Australian music (…the Brissy sun in September is just an added bonus).

I first attended BIGSOUND in 2017, my first year working for Levi’s® and the year we launched the Levi’s® Music Prize in partnership with Sounds Australia and QMusic. Needless to say, I’d been looking forward to BIGSOUND ’18 for some time, and it did not disappoint.

This year, the 2018 Levi’s® Showcase was a certain highlight – featuring a diverse mix of up-and-coming talent from around Australia: Sunscreen, Bugs, Kwame and G Flip.

Sunscreen took to the stage first with their chilled out, crisp sound proving the perfect introduction to the night. Their hit ‘Voices’ was a crowd-pleaser, and their fondness for playing live was evident throughout the entire set.

Next up, Bugs were on. Described by Triple J unearthed as ‘trio of boyish Brisbane blokes making infectiously happy noise’, Bugs delivered exactly that – infectiously happy noise to an equally happy crowd (you’ll know what I mean after watching the video above….). Dramatic stage jumps, passionate embraces and double denim – a standard set, right?

Our friend Kwame was next to take the stage. We worked with Kwame and his team on a special event earlier this year, and I was totally blown away. His performance at our 2018 Showcase was another level up again – engaging and dynamic with an endearingly modest and grateful undertone. This guy is exciting, and I can’t wait to see what’s next for him.

The final artist on the bill was the charming and affable G Flip. A Melbourne singer, producer and multi-instrumentalist – G Flip made her BIGSOUND debut this year after attending last year as a fan with her Paul-Kelly-lookalike-Dad in tow (see video here, worth a watch). Seeing G Flip perform her breakout single ‘About You’ live was a pretty perfect end to the evening. Admittedly, I found myself regularly distracted by her capacity to sing while playing the drums with such intensity. How do you keep your voice balanced while banging at a drum kit? Seriously!?

I’ve got to say, It’s pretty special seeing young groups totally owning a stage as all of the artists at BIGSOUND did. Beyond the four artists featured at the 2018 Levi’s® Showcase, there were plenty more highlights over the four day festival. Personal standouts were Kaiit, Adrian Eagle, No Mono and Pink Matter.

BIGSOUND is a warm, dynamic and community-driven event that is getting better and better each year. There really is nothing like it.

Bring on 2019.

Bridget Hanson
Marketing, Levi’s® ANZ


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Levi’s® & Support Act Present ‘Tune Ups: Mindfulness Tips for Musos and More’


In-the-midst of World Mental Health Month, Levi’s® and Support Act are proud to present Tune Ups: Mindfulness tips for musos and more; a look into how people in the Australian music industry – singer songwriters, stage managers and agency heads practice ways to look after their mental health and wellbeing.

From the crowd, working in the music industry can look like a pure dream. But the more we talk about mental health and wellbeing the more we learn that artists, managers, roadies and the people in their lives often find themselves facing just as much struggle as they find and face success.

The long and irregular hours, late nights, high expectations and stakes, high public scrutiny, social media bullying, low pay and typically an unhealthy culture surrounded by alcohol and drugs – combined-together make for a pretty tumultuous career path.

Studies have shown that musicians are five times more likely to suffer from depression and 10 times more likely to show symptoms of anxiety.

Sadly the increased incidence of suicide amongst creative’s is alarming.

Late last year, Levi’s® decided to try and do something about these troubling statistics.

Levi’s® loves music and so we feel that it is our social responsibility to try and help the music community in any way that we can.

Earlier this year, we helped to launch Australia’s first mental health and well-being helpline with SUPPORT ACT.

This is a critical first step in the prevention of suicide and other mental health issues as well as certainly opening-up the conversation and help available for anyone in the music industry to speak with a health professional about any issues that they may have going on in their life at that time that may be of concern. Some of these issues could include stress management, anxiety, depression, financial or career concerns, relationships, trauma or other.

More recently we have launched a content series to help break down the stigma and raise awareness around mental health.

We teamed up with VICE and NOISEY to release this six-part series with interview from Briggs (artist), Joel Birch – the vocalist from The Amity Affliction, Alex The Astronaut (musician), Stephen Wade (Founder/Director) of Select Music, Cam Batten (Tour/Stage Manager) and Maggie Collins (Programmer of BIGSOUND and manager of DZ Deathrays)

You can watch the full clip here:

To view all of the clips as part of the Tune Ups campaign head here.

The SUPPORT ACT Wellbeing Helpline for artists and music industry workers is accessible 24 hours a day/365 days a year by calling 1800 959 500 within Australia.

#worldmentalhealthmonth #mentalhealth #supportact #supportmusic



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In September 2017, Levi’s® Launched the Levi’s® Music Prize at BIGSOUND in Brisbane – the biggest music prize in Australian music history.

Since our inaugural winner, Stella Donnelly – we have announced an additional three winners in Alex Lahey, Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever and Hatchie. To kick-off the second year of the Levi’s® Music Prize, we are thrilled to have announced our buzz-band of the week for BIGSOUND 2018: Emerson Snowe.

The stage moniker of Brisbane songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Jarrod Mahon, Emerson Snowe has had an incredible 2018 playing debut shows in London whilst dropping tracks ‘Could You Love Me’ and ‘Sunlight’ off his forthcoming EP. His charming yet unconventional approach to music has already attracted the attention of many of his idols, being tapped for support slots by acts like Ariel Pink and King Krule. In addition to presenting the Levi’s® Music Prize, we are proud to have broadened our support of the music industry by also presenting a panel and workshop at BIGSOUND this year.

Through our work with Support Act, and with the input of Access EAP – the workshop Levi’s® presented was an exclusive opportunity for delegates to learn how they can identify mental health issues, manage them and create strategies to help others. A practical session run by trained clinicians, the session was a first for the industry and is another step towards breaking down the stigma of mental illness in the music community, following on from the recent launch of Support Act’s Wellbeing Helpline.

Furthermore, the panel we presented also focused on the topic of mental health in the music industry – with a slightly less than expected approach. Acknowledging that while the music industry and sport may seem gulfs apart, there are huge similarities between the careers of athletes and artists. To talk about this further, we invited the AFL Players Association to explore what initiatives they have in place to support the mental health and well-being of their 900+ members; and explore what the music industry could perhaps learn about managing mental health in a similarly high-stress environment.

All in all, we are tremendously proud to be supporting the music community at events such as BIGSOUND and congratulate those involved in pulling together such an excellent program of events.

Stay tuned for our wrap video of the Levi’s® Showcase artists – featuring Sunscreen, Bugs, Kwame and G-Flip.