Artists reunite the nation at Australia Day Live 2022

An all-star line-up including William Barton, Casey Donovan, Shane Howard and Isaiah Firebrace will make their mark on iconic Australian hits at the 2022 Australia Day Live outdoor concert as they inspire and entertain the nation on January 26.

The concert on the Sydney Opera House Forecourt and around Circular Quay can be enjoyed in person in a COVID-safe way or watched live from home.

On the evening of Australia Day, Sydney Harbour is transformed into a stage like no other. The Australia Day Live outdoor concert combined with a spectacular land and water show spanning Circular Quay is the crowning jewel of the Sydney program. The musical and fireworks bonanza, with tribute projections on the sails of the Sydney Opera House, a lit vessel parade, dazzling acrobatics of jet-skiers and fly-boarders, will inspire the nation.

More incredible artists will unite in this uplifting show celebrating the Australian spirit, including acclaimed soul singer Emma Donovan, INXS founding member turned solo artist Andrew Farriss, rock musician Jon Stevens, country singers Amber Lawrence, Hayley Jensen, Kirsty Lee Akers and Aleyce Simmonds performing a stunning reimagined version of True Blue, tenor Mark Vincent, the multi talented opera artist Josh Piterman, the KARI singers, and Koomurri dancers, all backed up by music maestro John Foreman’s Aussie Pops Orchestra.

The hosts of Australia Day Live will be John Foreman, Casey Donovan and ABC’s Jeremy Fernandez.

Everyone around the country is invited to experience this unique and magical two-hour show which features up to 150 performers and 17 different acts - showcasing diversity, storytelling and First Nations culture. The show can be enjoyed in a COVID-safe way by ticketholders who will be seated at the Sydney Opera House Forecourt, from around the Circular Quay foreshore with plenty of space to spread out and by tuning into the live broadcast on ABC TV and ABC iview from home.

It is a priority to keep the community safe and as with any major event, there may be adjustments due to COVID-19. Event organisers will continue to monitor the situation and adapt the program if required – For event updates visit

This Australia Day, the community is encouraged to Reflect, Respect and Celebrate our nation and our people – especially our strong sense of community as we work towards reconnecting, even in times of hardship. Australia Day Live is the perfect finale to our national day, offering hope and optimism to everyone.

Australia Day Council of NSW Creative Director John Foreman OAM, says “We are bringing together some of our best and most successful artists, each with their own unique story and experience to share with the nation.

“I’m especially excited that William Barton, Australia’s leading didgeridoo player and a huge name in the classical music world, will be performing as part of the line-up again. William is also involved in the creative development of the Australia Day program and his guidance is invaluable,” said Mr Foreman.

“Our national day gives us an opportunity to come together and celebrate our rich culture, acknowledging the traditional owners of the land and the contribution of our multicultural communities – Australia Day Live achieves this in spades.

“It’s a thrill for performers and live audiences to be reunited in this unique outdoor event. I urge every Australian to tune into the live broadcast, or head to Circular Quay to experience this truly spectacular show whilst following the COVID-19 guidelines,” said Mr Foreman.

Australia Day Live will feature stories from each State and Territory across the country, including combining stunning performances from Uluru, Gove in the Northern Territory, and the Twelve Apostles. Several artists are collaborating on a mesmerising 2022 opening piece - Solid Rock, Sacred Ground - which ties together elements of performance and historical storytelling by digital expert Brett Leavy. Brett has been instrumental in deepening the meaning of the program over the last three years, through virtual reality technology.

For one of the masterminds behind the Australia Day Live opener, Shane Howard, 2022 marks 40 years since his Aussie rock band Goanna released its smash hit in 1982, with its powerful lyrics just as meaningful and significant today. This hit will be brought to life for today’s generation to connect with our past.

The NSW Government and Australia Day Council of NSW is committed to evolving the Australia Day in Sydney program in consultation with First Nations people and key advisor William Barton is integral in guiding the creative development.

“As an Australia Day Live creative consultant and part of the engine room, my vision for the day is about connectedness and togetherness - and I look at the Australia Day Live Sydney Opera House stage as a platform for healing. I think it’s going to be a very special occasion; a new dawn and a new day for Australians who will be tuning in from around the country and overseas. This journey is a time of truth and healing. It’s about opening up with honesty and this is the right time and chapter, as Australians, to pause and listen,” said Mr Barton.

Solid Rock was inspired by Shane Howard visiting our Sacred Rock, Uluru, and resonates as a modern-day canvas - painting a picture of what happened when European settlers first came to the country. I’ve known Shane since I was 11 years old, when he came to my country (Kalkadungu) at Mt Isa and requested my father, who has passed away now, do a Welcome to Country to the band Goanna. Shane asked me to get up and play Solid Rock as a young kid – meeting a rockstar was inspiring, as was those humble times being with my mother and father out on country, and listening to my elders. Shane’s been in my life for a long time.

“Through embracing our culture and our songlines we live with hope into the future,” added Mr Barton.

Another Australia Day Live favourite is multi-award-winning artist Casey Donovan, who says “the concert aims to achieve and celebrate an understanding of past, present and future through the arts. Music brings people together and I’m excited to be back on stage at Australia Day Live in 2022, joining with so many great artists and performing to a live audience under the stars.”

Limited free tickets to the COVID-safe Australia Day Live seated concert at the Sydney Opera House Forecourt will be available at from 18 January 2022 at 10am.

For those enjoying the Sydney waterfront festivities from Circular Quay there will be limited screens around the foreshore to view the onstage performances which connects to the on water and in the sky activities. There are plenty of restaurants, venues and hospitality vessels taking bookings – make a night of it. Spectators are encouraged to arrive early, physically distance and plan ahead, noting there will be entry check points around the Circular Quay foreshore precinct.

Australia Day Live takes place between 7.30pm and 9.30pm on Wednesday 26 January. Everyone is invited to watch live on ABC TV and ABC iview from 7.30pm.

Australia Day Live is produced by the NSW Government and Australia Day Council of NSW in partnership with Destination NSW and the National Australia Day Council.

The event will be run in accordance with the latest public health advice. For the latest information on COVID-19 visit the NSW Government website.

For more information and event updates, please visit


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Australia Day in NSW Partners