When Oscar Thorburn decided to seriously pursue his music career in 2020, little did he know at the onset that he'd face the most challenging year on record for live music, with COVID-19 preventing mass gatherings.
But the musician, who spent a number of years in Bathurst as a Charles Sturt University student, bartender and rugby league player, has locked in his debut gig as a solo artist at Bathurst's The Oxford Hotel this Saturday.
Thorburn's gig will serve as part of the widespread Great Southern Nights live music initiative, featuring 1000 COVID-safe gigs across Sydney and Regional NSW, throughout this month, with The Oxford Hotel receiving a grant to stage an event in Bathurst.
"It's been a rough few months with COVID, but this will be the first time I'll get to showcase my debut EP and the new band in a live setting," Thorburn said.
It's been a rough few months with COVID, but this will be the first time I'll get to showcase my debut EP and the new band in a live setting.Oscar Thorburn
"We've been right into our rehearsals, and it's sounding really good."
Thorburn released his debut EP, Lost My Mind, in March, weeks prior to the COVID-induced lockdown period.
One of the songs from the EP, '6422', was named as a top 10 finalist in an Instagram music competition started by Australian electropop star Tones and I to support artists doing it tough through COVID-19.
"I had about 300 messages on Instagram the night the finalists were announced, and the exposure has helped me gain some organic reach with fans I never would've been aware of otherwise," Thorburn said.
"The exposure also allowed a bunch of artists who have inspired me to hear my music, which is really rewarding."
Thorburn is the son of Bruce Thorburn, who is noteworthy as one of the founding members of former Australian children's music group The Hooley Dooleys.
He will be supported on the night by fellow musicians Lost Angelo and Miranda Rodgers, the latter of whom featured on Thorburn's latest single, 'Give Me a Sign.'
"There will be a limited capacity on the night due to The Oxford's COVID-safe plan, so I highly recommend people get in quickly to secure tickets," Thorburn said.
"A COVID-safe gig will be an interesting beast, but I recently saw a mate's band play in Sydney and it was a fantastic experience, so I'm looking forward to a similar atmosphere at this gig."
The event will get under way from 7pm. Tickets cost $11.64 and for more information, visit The Oxford Hotel's Facebook page.