27 weeks and counting, Isol-Aid is reviving music festivals online through Instragram live

27 weeks and counting, Isol-Aid is reviving music festivals online through Instragram live

Words by Jessica Magtalas.

Live music from the comfort of your own home.

Energetic crowds, blinding stages lights, the vibrations of the mosh floor and booming speakers flooding the space. All elements of the live atmosphere we’re collectively missing.

Since COVID-19 made its way to Australia, many industries have been hit hard. Businesses were forced to close down; events and tours were cancelled, and large gatherings were restricted. An absolute nightmare for avid festivalgoers and performers in the music industry.

Lucky for us, Isol-Aid came to the rescue.

Restoring the music scene and helping musicians, who otherwise would’ve had gigs, launches, tours, and other appearances planned for this period.

“Isol-Aid aims to give profile to smaller artists, larger artists and also the greater music community as a whole. Each week our artwork always says, ‘presented by the Australian Music Community’, and we really try and highlight different parts of the industry, which is why we bring on different curators. Whether they be record labels or management companies or booking agents or even just single or album launches,” says Emily Ulman, managing director at Isol-Aid.

Created just days after the COVID-19 pandemic reached Australia, this award-winning online music festival has racked up almost forty-three thousand followers on Instagram and has helped connect devoted and potential fans to musicians online.

“It was kind of born out of a situation of sadness or despair. Just the feeling that everything was closing down and artists didn’t have the opportunity to tour or perform. It was this feeling that surely the show can go on, that surely there’s a way that an artist can still perform. So, I guess it sort of was born out of this feeling of desperation, but in the sense that it’s created this incredible community and positivity,” said Emily.

Like the name suggests, this online music festival encourages people to stay at home and physically isolate during a time of restrictions and safety, while providing the community music discovery and reassurance.

While physical concerts are hard to replace, Isol-Aid is putting musicians first and at the heart of everything they do, while taking the online space to another level.

“There really isn’t going to be an expectation that it’s going to be the same as in real life. Though, there are some lovely similarities and some beautiful conversations between the artists and viewers. There’re people making jokes in the comments like ‘is anyone going to the bar?’ – which they’ve really found a light-hearted way to show support and bring the festival or gig spirit to the online space,” explains Emily.

“But for us it’s not about having to be one thing or the other, more so that we can find a beauty in whatever we have now. It’s great that people can access or perform from anywhere in the world. We love the sense of community and access,” she continues.

There’s no doubt that the music industry had took quite of a hard hit – maybe a boulder of an impact to the industry. It became apparent that musicians and their teams would be heavily impacted due to unexpected cancellations; the music community now more dispersed than ever. No events, festivals and concerts meant no fans, merchandise, and expensive-but-worthwhile drinks from the bar.

That’s why Isol-Aid is continuing to make efforts to support acts and behind the scene teams through their work, with festival #28 this weekend.


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Repeat after us, ROUND 28 ARRIVES THIS SUNDAY 🥳 We’re talkin’ another world-class lineup streaming direct to your screens this Sunday from 1:55pm AEST✅ Shout-out to this weekend’s amazing curators, City of Warrnambool & @milkrecords 🙌 Thanks for helping us put together the A-Z of 🔥🔥🔥 for our beloved Iso-fam! Featuring (in alphabetical order): @cooperlowermusic, @evelynidamorris, @flynngurry, @gabby.steel.music, @hachikumusic, @darkwater__, @jessi3warren, @kee.ahn, @kinnon.emmeline, @leesonnyboy, @tomrichardsonmusic & @vagabonvagabon (USA) See you all this Sunday 27th Sept 💕 Every cent you donate to isolaidfestival.com go to the artists. Artwork by our silver-tongued sage ✍️ @sebi.white Love Team Isol-Aid x #isolaidfestival

A post shared by Isol-Aid Festival (@isolaidfestival) on

This Sunday Isol-Aid will be partnering with local musicians in the City of Warnambool. Tune in to listen to Tom Richardson, Lee Morgan, Kinnon, Flynn Gurry, Gabby Steel and Cooper Lower – the cities thriving artists all coming together to share the same passion for music.

But how does it work you ask?

Every weekend various artist plays twenty-minute sets via their personal Instagram accounts. After each set, each musician tag-teams the next artist to perform, sending listeners down an adventure of discovery, good music and an overall vibe of tunes.

“For many reasons the online festival is giving the opportunity to highlight different regions of the country and I guess if international borders were to be closed for more time – it’s a lovely way to showcase our regional or local music hubs. This ideally encouraging people to go there and experience the place themselves. It kind of gives these musicians a profile, as well as the region itself,” says Emily.

With the wider community in mind, Isol-Aid is living in the moment, creating better moments with what we have now.

“The feedback and messages I’ve received have really been like once restrictions ease ‘please don’t forget about the people who live remotely or who just need that company or who can’t go to physical concerts’. This time has really connected so many people, who otherwise would have been able to access live music. So, the best part is the sense of community and creating this incredible online experience for the musicians and their teams, which I think is so beautiful.”

Check out Isol-Aid on the Instagram page for the full line-up and updates into the following weeks, showcasing Ballarat locals and a whole new world of discovery.