Presented by Parliament of Victoria, Arts Centre Melbourne, Australian Music Vault and The Push

What does the future of socially distanced, sustainable and diverse music festivals look like? This is the question we asked of our New Slang committee, a group of 14-17 year old live music fans. Steri-LIVE, is the result.

The impact of COVID-19 on the live music scene has been significant, and will likely change how we engage with the arts well into the future. The ways audiences and artists interact with each other, how venues will bring people together while keeping them apart, and how that “live show” feeling will be re-interpreted, are at front of mind for everyone involved in the industry – from artists to punters.

With the support of Parliament of Victoria, the successful applicants of the New Slang 2020 program by The Push and Arts Centre Melbourne explored this challenge.


The New Slang committee have produced an imagined music festival that has no bounds – it is wild, experimental, exciting, and looks far into the future. It explores how live music and the “new normal” intersect.

Steri-LIVE: The Best Music Festival To Never Happen

Priorities quickly emerged for the committee. The festival focusses on sanitisation, sustainability and a lineup that celebrates diversity, themes that are woven into each of the creative outcomes in interesting and new ways. Trees become sources of face-masks and hand-sanitiser dotted around the festival. Bubbles and rivers separate people from each other. A confetti cannon shoots seedlings and flowers, regenerating the site.

Steri-LIVE maintains the feeling of being at a festival – that mix of pure excitement and deep connection with people you may not have met, but share so much with. It is a vision of hope, and a dedication to the future of live music.


Selected for their passion for live music, the 2020 New Slang committee had not met in person before embarking on the project. Working remotely from their homes across Victoria, they have collaborated on creative outcomes that encapsulate aspects of an imagined new live music experience.

Working in such uncharted territory fostered our imagination and creativity greatly. Steri-LIVE was very different to what anybody had worked on before, we were given a brief with very little restraint or guidelines. This allowed for us to explore and develop the concept however we wanted to, which felt very cool and inspiring.

Chloe, Participant

Led by a team of music industry creatives, Giulia McGauran, Beatrice Lewis and Nick Campbell, the committee worked across three streams to produce creative outcomes – an image, a short film, and an immersive audio piece – that depict their vision.

Short Film

The Film stream, led by Nick Campbell, developed skills in filming and editing, shooting footage within walking distance of their homes, to create a short video that brings the imagined festival to life.

Steri-LIVE: Short Film

Film stream participants: Ada Duffy, Raphael Roache, Julianne Huynh, Isabella Marshall.

Immersive audio

The Audio stream, led by Beatrice Lewis, learned how to use music production software to create an immersive piece that takes you on a journey through the festival, using recordings of their own voices and composing new music.



Audio stream participants: Claire Qian, Jude Harris, Edward Fogaty, Raine Lago-Meckes, Tia Born-Jauffret, Lily Rizzetti.

Festival imagery

The Photography stream, led by Creative Director Giulia McGauran, created a composite artwork that layers photographs taken in participants’ homes, manipulated into an other-worldly festival site.

Steri-LIVE: Photography stream

Photography stream participants: Chloe Hall, Harriett Minty, Lily Bell-Tanner, Martha Sarumpaet, Sienna McKie.


So, how did Steri-LIVE come about?

When the closure of the Parliament building put an end to scheduled live Youth Week events, Parliament’s youth engagement team approached Arts Centre Melbourne and the Australian Music Vault to help create an online event for young Victorians.

With the awareness that many young Victorians were feeling isolated and disempowered, the project aimed to give voice to their challenges and concerns while providing a space for them to connect and work together creatively.

The New Slang initiative proved an ideal opportunity for such a collaboration. Established by The Push and The Channel at Arts Centre Melbourne in 2015, New Slang is a yearly project that sees young people programming all-ages live music events that showcase Australian talent, and support a healthy and diverse live music scene.

Australian Music Vault, Arts Centre Melbourne and The Push thanks the Parliament of Victoria for its support of the Steri-LIVE project and its commitment to ensuring the voices of young people continue to be heard.

Story tags:


Subscribe to our newsletter and we'll keep you in the loop on all the latest happenings at the Australian Music Vault, plus music events at Arts Centre Melbourne that may spark your interest.