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Tom Morello, to talk music, activism, and “how the guitar can be a divining rod for truth and justice.”

Tom Morello leads the first announcement for Australia’s Bigsound 2020 music festival with a presentation exploring his life as a musician and activist.

Bigsound 2020, the Southern Hemisphere’s biggest new live music festival and music conference, has dropped the mic on its first (and hopefully last) ever 100% virtual program. On October 21 and 22, it is bringing together keynote presenters to lead a program to ‘re-future a challenged industry with positivity, connection and reality.’

Just weeks after BIGSOUND broke the news that due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic the traditional live music festival and conference would be moving online, Tom Morello (Rage Against The Machine, Audioslave, Prophets Of Rage, the Nightwatchman) leads the first announcement of this year’s keynote speakers with a presentation exploring his life as a musician and activist.

“Very few artists radiate and live their purpose the way that Tom Morello does, his power, conviction and guitar shredding sound is like no other,” explained BIGSOUND Creative Director Janne Scott. “This keynote is a personal dream of mine and an absolute privilege for BIGSOUND to present, delivered at a time when we could all use a little Morello magic.”

BIGSOUND will also host a line up of special in-conversation sessions with Kev Carmody and ARIA-award winner Amy Shark, as well as a keynote presentation from global superstar Tones And I. Rhoda Roberts and Ziggy Ramo will discuss the Indigenous future of the music industry while American Grammy-nominee Mumu Fresh will discuss career, community and survival in 2020. 

“Join me at BIGSOUND to talk music, activism, and how the guitar can be a divining rod for truth and justice. The world is at a dangerous crossroads and it’s time to feed the poor, fight the power, and rock the fuck out.” 

Tom Morello

With COVID-19 restricting travel, BIGSOUND 2020 will be the first event in its 19 -year history to go completely virtual, in recognition of the difficult times the industry is currently facing and the need more than ever to have a place to come together regardless of location or means. With over 2,000 already registered, the virtual space will enable BIGSOUND’s panel discussions, keynotes and seminars to reach and connect with more people than ever before. 

‘BIGSOUND 2020 is the perfect opportunity for the music community to come together and take stock of where we find ourselves both nationally and globally after the last six tumultuous months.” said Conference Programmer Tom Larkin. “Featuring some of the most prolific Keynotes we have ever programmed, the conference itself will lead conversations around future-facing concepts that are brave, nuanced and shine a light towards recovering a more sustainable industry.”

This year’s edition of BIGSOUND will be entirely free, with more details about the event available via the official website. A full program lineup will be announced later in September, including further keynote speakers.


More About Bigsound

Bigsound is where the world discovers Australian music. For four nights every year, a vibrant collection of musicians, music industry professionals and music lovers from across the globe assemble in Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley to witness the best new Australian music. FREE registration for BIGSOUND 2020 is now open at www.bigsound.org.au


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