Multi-award-winning Sydney performing arts venue, Phoenix Central Park, has announced a new digital series to support artist livelihoods and encourage creative expression throughout the extended Greater Sydney lockdown.
Sydney-based musicians, who have suffered from unemployment and financial uncertainty due to the latest restrictions, are invited to be part of the digital project, titled HALO – a nod to the internationally lauded architectural design of Phoenix Central Park, and the custom circular lighting bar that crowns the internal performance space.
Creative Director Beau Neilson says the series, with support from industry partners including ARIA, APRA AMCOS, MusicNSW, EMC the Night Time Industries Association and FBi Radio, will help sustain the livelihoods of artists through the lockdown and identify new talent.
We hope this series will offer an essential creative outlet for performers to share their music during this difficult time,” explains Neilson. “But, as is always our mission, we hope to also profile challenging new talent and genre-defying collaborators, and so we’re putting the call out to all of Sydney’s musicians, especially those who have not yet performed in the space.”
The series will include 10-20 minutes sets from 20 artists/groups to be released in an upcoming digital lineup. Filming is set to take place as soon as current health advice and restrictions can be met safely.
“While there’s optimism that, with an uptick in vaccinations, some restrictions will be relaxed soon, if comparable lockdowns in Melbourne are any indication, a return to live performances and paying gigs for musicians is still months away,” says Neilson.
“It will take time for musicians and venues to bounce back once restrictions allow live performance gatherings again. And in the meantime, it’s not a sustainable alternative for many artists to independently produce their own digital content. That is where we, as a philanthropic initiative, can take a leading role.”
Built as a hybrid live and digital performance space, Neilson says the multi-award-winning Phoenix Central Park in Sydney’s art district of Chippendale has been adapting to shifts in presenting performance since its opening in late 2020.
“Since the very beginning, Phoenix has only ever operated under some level of pandemic restrictions,” explains Neilson. “So we’ve cut our teeth producing both digital and live performance, and we’re now standing ready to get artists back in the space under whichever format is possible and as early as we can.”
Artist submissions for Phoenix Central Park’s new series HALO are now open. For more information and to apply, visit: halo.phoenixcentralpark.com.au for details.
Image: Gordi – photo by Jess Gleeson