MUSIC: Now and Forever

Held in Shepparton on October 6, 2023, Now and Forever was the brainchild of rapper and activist Adam Briggs, better known simply as ‘Briggs’, or ‘Senator Briggs’. Briggs, who is one half of hip-hop duo A.B. Original, was struck with the idea for Now & Forever when he realised prominent Aboriginal artists hadn’t been afforded a platform to speak on their support for a First Nations‘ Voice to parliament, without fear of receiving vitriolic backlash in return.

The concert, which was held at Shepparton Showgrounds, boasted a stacked line-up, including Baker Boy, Hilltop Hoods, Paul Kelly, and Jimmy Barnes, among other Australian music icons. Comedian Sam Pang was on MC duties as a co-host.

The promotional poster for Now and Forever

The artists were not being paid for their contributions to the concert. Tickets were $21.50, and all proceeds went to a range of select charities and non-profit organisations.

Briggs had emphasised that the concert, which was for all ages and had an alcohol-free policy, was an inclusive event. “I wanted undecided people to come and see what we think, how it can be,” he said. “We have a once in a generation opportunity to write our future together, and the artists on the bill have signed up for that,” he began. “This is about celebration, inclusivity, solidarity, positivity and listening, as much as it is about a voice. In that spirit, everyone is welcome to the show—even the undecided voters.

Jimmy Barnes on the bagpipes!

One of the highlights for me from this entire day was watching Jimmy Barnes. In addition to putting on an amazing show (as always), he played a version of John Farnham’s “The Voice”, and then PLAYED THE BAGPIPE SOLO!

Jimmy Barnes and band with Jimmy on the bagpipes

And of course we can’t have Jimmy Barnes without a little Working Class man (with Ian)

Jimmy Barnes performs Working Class Man at ‘Now and Forever’ while Ian Graves looks on

Meeting Ian Graves

One of the other highlights for me on the day was meeting Ian Graves, aka @xskinn from Twitter. I had followed Ian for some time on Twitter, and knowing that he’d be there, we arranged to catch up on the day. It was his birthday, which made the whole thing even more special.

He’s such a popular guy he was trending on Twitter that day.

Hilltop Hoods


Baker Boy


Paul Kelly