The Australian music industry is currently facing unprecedented challenges - COVID-19 has forced almost every gig and festival to be cancelled, resulting in a huge loss of revenue and livelihood for artists and industry workers.
The latest tally over at I Lost My Gig stands at $330 MILLION in lost revenue from all reported cancellations, which is an unfathomable blow to live music in the country.
To do their part in helping bolster the Aussie music sceme, UNIFY have announced that their 2021 lineup will consist only of Australian artists. This will mark the first all-Aussie UNIFY lineup since 2015, which has since featured one or more international headliners each year.
A lengthy, detailed statement from the organisers reads:
It’s no secret that the music industry is one of the hardest hit industries by the current situation, and our hearts go out to the artists, crew, agents and managers that have lost their entire touring plans with no certainty of when it is coming back. This festival launched in 2015 with entirely Australian artists, and we’ve had the pleasure of having pretty much every heavy artist in the country perform across our six events. Now we want to invite all of them back for a celebration of this community and everything it provides. We hope to get back as many artists as we can. We’ll be pushing dates back a week to make the January 21 – 24 weekend in 2021.
In all of this chaos, one message stands as true as ever: music saves lives. It’s the inspiration in our lives and it’s the basis of communities that can band together to survive through tough times. We wanted this announcement out now to declare our intentions, and give the people in our community something to look forward to.
While UNIFY prides itself on connecting with the global heavy music community, it was with the local community of artists, crew, agents and managers that we launched our festival in 2015. In that first year, it felt like most of the Australian heavy music community got together to create one of the most memorable weekends of our lives. At the time, Australian heavy music artists were mostly unable to play festivals in AUS. We launched UNIFY because we wanted to see what it would be like for The Amity Affliction, Northlane and In Hearts Wake to play 40 minute sets at night at a festival. Looking at that lineup, it included many of the bands that defined the next half decade of Australian music, and that poster has become an iconic moment in the history of this community.
We are also aware that Australian artists are right now doing their best to reschedule current dates and look for opportunities that can work once life resumes. As such, UNIFY will also have no restriction on artists wanting to do tour dates surrounding our dates. We also won’t worry about putting through artists that played last year or the year before. It’s not about exclusivity for us, it’s about community.
UNIFY went ahead as planned this year back in January amidst the bushfire crisis (what a year it's been, right?), with headliners The Ghost Inside (USA) and Architects (UK) leading the festivities.
Who would you like to see play next year?