Animal Ventura use pandemic as the stage to educate future musicians

This year will be one to forget for many artists and bands across Australia, with the coronavirus wreaking havoc across the industry.
Band performing at animal ventura. SAE logo on the stage.

Almost overnight festivals, gigs and tours were cancelled or postponed. I Lost My Gig estimates the Australian music industry, at the time of writing, has lost over $340 million in revenue since the pandemic began.

One band that has met the challenge head-on is coastal folk and soul-inspired outfit, Animal Ventura. As the brainchild of Fernando Aragones, Animal Ventura has maintained a foot in the market and a connection with fans online.

“Before the pandemic, we were really busy playing gigs and touring, but then everything got put on hold indefinitely or cancelled. To fill the void there were live-streaming sessions and a broader connection through social media to get our music out there for people to enjoy,” Fernando said.

The forced break also offered a moment to reflect. “When you get into the grind of gigs you don’t have the time or headspace to be creative. It was good to stop and try different things with our music, which we normally wouldn’t have had the opportunity to do.”

This included inviting audio students from SAE’s Byron Bay campus to get involved in recording the band’s latest single, All The Love We Knew.

“It’s been a win-win situation. Students got to practice what they’ve learnt and we got to give them feedback, while receiving some high-quality content at the same time.

“I’ve been really impressed by SAE. The campus feels more like a professional recording facility than a college,” Fernando added.

The Live On The Green project gave design, film and audio students the chance to collaborate and use the skills they’d learnt to create a Multicam live event. SAE audio student, Tristan Ridge enjoyed the chance to work with the group. “It’s been an awesome experience. The opportunity to work on something like this will stay with me and help in developing my career,” Tristan said.

“This last year has been one of significant challenge and uncertainty for the music industry; leaving musicians, managers, and other industry workers undervalued. So many of us have turned to the arts to help support our well-being this year. More than ever, it’s important to reflect on the central role that music plays in our culture and overall wellbeing” General Manager of SAE Australia, Dr Luke McMillan said.

“The music industry isn’t just home to many creatives across Australia, it’s a major growth generator for the economy, making $555 million in 2019 alone.”

With a new EP coming up in early 2021, it already looks like a bright year for Animal Ventura – just don’t bank on a tribute to COVID-19 being on the record. “I don’t want to give credit to a virus,” Fernando laughs.


students recording live music

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