Darren Smith hasn't played a gig since June, so when he performs at Future Tunes next Friday at Robertson Park, it will be a special moment for the Orange singer/songwriter.
"I've had a good dozen gigs cancelled over the past two years and a lot of false starts. It's been really frustrating.
"Future Tunes definitely gives us a platform to say: 'Hey - we're back. Don't forget live music.'"
Darren is one of ten artists on the bill for next Friday's event - the biggest line-up to ever perform on one night in the Orange City Council series.
Other artists are Stanford & Co, Redwing Kite, Fig Jam, James Sutherland, Nerida Cuddy, Three Eyed Monks, Hip Replacements, Leon Just, Felix Albert and the Gentlemanly Two.
Orange Mayor Reg Kidd says he's pleased the concert series is running again, as the first performances were such a success.
"It's wonderful we're able to showcase local musicians while offering residents a chance to relax and wind down on a Friday evening," Cr Kidd said.
"With more lockdowns this year, the entertainment and hospitality industries have been doing it tougher than ever, so I'm glad we can again show our support and help out as best we can."
Next Friday's concert will be the first of five, to be held on the last Friday of the month from October to March.
Future Tunes began in 2020 as part of the FutureCity plan to bring more people into the city centre to boost the CBD economy, as well as supporting local musicians and hospitality businesses hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The popular free event is designed to offer local performers a paid gig, while encouraging people to spend more time at the city's restaurants, pubs and bars.
Residents are invited to come together in a relaxed, casual setting, listen to great live music, purchase food and drinks from stallholders in the park and head out to the city's hospitality venues afterwards.
Gates to the COVID-safe event open from 4.30pm, with the first performance at 5pm. Music is expected to continue until 9pm. Guests are encouraged to bring a picnic blanket, rug or small foldable chair to sit on. No food or drinks can be brought to the event.
It is free to attend Future Tunes, however, due to COVID-19 restrictions, all guests must have a pre ordered ticket, which can be obtained through Ticketek at www.ticketek.com.au or at the Orange Civic Theatre box office.
Everyone aged over 16 who attends the event must be fully vaccinated and sign in using the QR code on entry.
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