With concerts currently on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic, Courtney Barnett is one of many artists forced to wait to perform live again until it’s safe to do so. Instead of letting that get her down, though, Barnett has just done the next best thing: start an online archive of her touring and performing history. Best of all, it’s completely free to view.
Inspired by the legendary digital archives of Neil Young and The Grateful Dead, Barnett decided to organize her past live performances as a way to give back to her fans during the pandemic and immortalize her progress as a live artist. Since playing her first-ever set at The Lark Distillery’s open mic night back in 2007, the Tell Me How You Really Feel singer has gone on to play nearly 800 shows, including solo concerts, gigs with a 7-piece backing band, and countless festival sets. All told, the website gathers over 14 years’ worth of touring history.
However, once Barnett started compiling videos for the website, she quickly realized it could become so much more. In addition to videos of past gigs, the archive includes never-before-heard desk mixes, live TV performances, and gorgeous show posters that were specially commissioned over the years. Fans are not only encouraged to explore all of this on the archive, but to participate in its growth by submitting their own pictures, videos, and audio recordings from shows they attended.
To celebrate the website’s rollout, Barnett has shared the footage of her only full-band concert in 2020: an hour-long show at the Corner Hotel during Australia’s worst bushfire season in history. It’s currently available to watch on the archive website.
Barnett may not be able to tour as planned just yet, but that hasn’t stopped her from performing stripped-down songs while in quarantine. The indie rocker played “Sunday Roast” remotely on Fallon, gave a stunning performance at the Music From The Home Front benefit concert, and teamed up with Phoebe Bridgers for a virtual version of “Everything Is Free”. She also recorded a joint cover of the ’60s folk song “Reason to Believe” with Vagabon.
Editor’s Note: Pick up our new Protect Live Music hoodie at Consequence Shop. Proceeds benefit independent musicians through the MusiCares’ COVID-19 Artist Relief Fund.