Virtual Gigfest launches to benefit Canberra musicians and performing artists

New online festival by local company Recruitment Hive offers up to $800 for an online artist video performance. CEO Ben Ashman today launched the inaugural Canberra 2020 COVIDEO Virtual Gigfest.

“This exciting new initiative will feature video performances by musicians and performing artists in the Canberra region who, through their work, enlighten our lives and enrich our culture,” he said.

In a recent survey by the Australia Institute, the vast majority of Australians (73%) agree that the arts have improved their mood and quality of life during the pandemic.

With 50,000 professional artists in Australia and 600,000 arts workers, the arts contribute a huge benefit to Australians. In fact, cultural and creative activity contributed over $111.7 billion to Australia’s economy in 2016-17. Yet many arts workers are struggling to survive in the current pandemic.

Ashman describes the Canberra 2020 COVIDEO Virtual Gigfest as a way to give tangible support to these people.

“During this COVID-19 pandemic, paid live performance opportunities have disappeared, so Recruitment Hive is promoting the Canberra 2020 COVIDEO Virtual Gigfest as an opportunity to raise the profiles of local artists. When life returns to normal, we hope Canberrans will seek out these artists, attend their performances, and help return their industry to normal as fast as possible.”

Ashman confirmed that all professional and semi-professional performing artists of the Canberra region are eligible to participate.

“From musicians to actors, singers, players, musicians, clowns, magicians, tumblers or jugglers – aspiring performers simply need to send in their video performance by the 14th of June, 2020,” he said. “We’ll then choose up to 15 of the best performances we’ve received.”

Video performances chosen for the Canberra 2020 COVIDEO Virtual Gigfest will be hosted and promoted on Recruitment Hive’s website at and on major social media sites.

According to Ashman, “We’ll make as much noise and generate as much buzz and viewing traffic as we can. This is our way of helping the Canberra region’s musicians and performers do what they do best.”

And why is Recruitment Hive doing this? To CEO Ben Ashman, it’s all about returning a favour.

“Recently, Recruitment Hive set out to create some performance art videos for our business. We didn’t want just another series of ‘ads’, we wanted to create something a bit more unique and interesting than that. So we relied heavily on local and regional artists, from the creation and mastery of movement of marionettes, to the amazing backing music, and the film and production crew – all local professionals demonstrating their Canberrability.

“Without the assistance of the performing arts industry, we wouldn’t have been able to produce our own performance videos that we can really be proud of.”

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