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Stella Donnelly wins the inaugural $25,000 Levi’s® Music Prize at BIGSOUND


BIGSOUND has been likened to Texas’ ‘South by Southwest®’ (SXSW®) and like its North American compadre, BIGSOUND is dedicated to fostering creative and professional growth for all members of the musiccommunity and its many related and wonderfully diverse creative fields.

For four days every September, a vibrant collection of musicians, buyers and experts from across the globe assemble in Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley to build their professional networks, explore the challenges of the ever-evolving landscape, and experience the next wave of emerging music from Australia and beyond.

In 2017, the already outstanding BIGSOUND program was accompanied by a brand new initiative – and one that we at Levi Strauss & Co® are incredibly proud of.

This year, we launched the inaugural Levi’s® Music Prize.

The Levi’s® Music Prize is a $100,000 annual prize pool and is the largest music prize in Australian music history. It supports artists that have built significant initial career momentum via their BIGSOUND experience, but who need a financial leg-up to keep moving forward.

The Prize was two years in the making, and marks the beginning of a three year commitment from Levi’s® to BIGSOUND and the broader Australian music scene.

Naturally, we are beyond excited to announce the inaugural winner of the Levi’s® Music Prize as Stella Donnelly. Stella is a Perth singer-songwriter and was unanimously voted the winner of the $25,000 prize by a panel of ten judges who traveled from around both Australia and the world.

Among many other highlights from our week in Brisbane was the Inaugural Levi’s® Showcase at The Brightside. A sunny Wednesday afternoon in Brisbane with a cold beverage in hand was the perfect setting to enjoy performances from our friends Ruby Fields, Winston Surfshirt, Maddy Jane and Hockey Dad.

Hot tip – if you haven’t yet seen Ruby Fields’ incredibly original lyrics live, or  Maddy Jane’s powerful onstage presence, or Hockey Dad’s surf pop goodness, or Winston Surfshirt’s wildly kooky blend of soul and hip-hop… do so. ASAP. 

A few other stand-out acts from the 160 artists performing across eighteen venues and four nights at BIGSOUND 2017 included: Miss Blanks, Alex The Astronaut, Billy Davis and The Good Lords, Baker Boy and Mansionair.

We’ll wrap it up here – but stay tuned for some additional posts around our time at BIGSOUND in the coming weeks – brought to you by a few of our very own up and coming creatives who we flew up to BIGSOUND to experience the action for themselves.

In the meantime, bring on BIGSOUND 2018 – where we will have even more surprises up our sleeve to announce…

Photos: Monster Children – Lincoln Jubb & Jam Hassan