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Virtual music festival Love Busk wants to redefine online concert and fundraising model

Brett Hlywa hopes LoveBusk will be successful enough to attract brand support next year

Brett Hlywa: will seek brand support in festival’s second year

An Australian music producer is hoping to pull off a world first virtual music festival on March 20 featuring international and local bands, musicians and various speakers that audiences can support with online donations just like they would with a busker.

Love Busk is being run by Brett Hlywa, founder of Sound Advice, with the live streaming event boasting acts performing online from various locations around the world on March 20 – coinciding with the UN World Day of Happiness.

Hlywa told Mumbrella he had decided against having commercial partners in the first year of the event to make sure the concept is viable, but will be looking for partners for the second Love Busk festival using knowledge gained from next month’s event.

“Inspiration came in the middle of last year when I was watching a live streaming show by Ben Lee,” Hlywa said.

“He was at his home in LA, I was in a hotel room in Newcastle. I paid $10 and jumped online and streamed a show. I was kind of amazed at how personal and interactive the experience was.”

He said the idea was to take a concert from one streaming channel and add multiple streaming channels and create an online festival that dropped the elements people disliked about traditional festivals such as public toilets, queues and the need to travel to a venue.

Under the scheme, people tuning in will buy tokens which they will use to ‘tip’ their favourite acts. The artists will donate 50% of the profit to a charity of their choice, while the remaining 50% profit will be used to fund construction of a school for children in Uganda.

“We are aligned to purpose rather than profit,” said Hlywa.

“We had the ability to go out and talk to potential brand partners, but I thought, after talking to a number of people it would be better to actually get out there and prove that this can be done.

“I guess the framework is to try and keep it simple and keep it authentic.”

Hlywa admits he has no idea what the audience for the Love Busk festival might be.

“We are excited by the potential of who it can reach, we are trying to reach out and trying to engage with as many people as we can.”

Through his company, Sound Advice, Hlywa has worked with some of the biggest acts in Australia and the world including Delta Goodrem, Seal, Cold Chisel, Guy Sebastian, Ricky Martin and James Blunt.

The list of artists and speakers taking part in the festival is still to be revealed and the festival organisers are still working on technical elements such as making sure all the performers will have access to enough bandwidth to upload their streams.

Artists confirmed for Love Busk include Ben Lee, Ash Grunwald, DJ Samurai and Kevin Johansen, with more artists to be announced.

The festival will feature three ‘stages’: the main stage; dance house, and inspiring speakers stage.

Simon Canning

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