Australian DJ Brett Hlywa, founder of Sound Advice, conceptualized Love Busk, a wholly online music festival for a 100% charitable cause.

In an ambitious bid, Brett Hlywa has put together an online streaming music festival, dubbed Love Busk, boasting of acts from around the world. Set to go live on March 20, coinciding with the UN World Day of Happiness, the festival aims to spread some love by donating all proceeds to various charities. Though entry to the festival is free, you must purchase Love Busk tokens which you can use to “tip” your favourite artists or speakers just like you would a street busker. Half of the tips go straight to the artists’ charity of choice while the rest goes towards Love Busk’s school building project in Uganda.

The festival will feature three virtual stages; the main stage, dance house, and the inspiring speakers stage. Artists confirmed as of now include Ben Lee, Ash Grunwald, DJ Samurai and Kevin Johansen, with more to be announced as organizers also work on technical aspects of the festival.

Organizers have decided against commercial partners in the first edition to make sure the Love Busk concept is viable but plan to approach sponsors for the second edition using knowledge gained this year. The festival claims to be aligned to “purpose” rather than profit which is rare given that the music festival industry is bigger than ever (though Australia is currently facing a festival jinx).

This is not the first time a live performance has been streamed online obviously, but it is the first time several artists will be streaming simultaneously with multiple virtual stages. What sets this festival apart is the fact that it has low overhead costs and eliminates what several people dislike about festivals i.e. long queues, expensive tickets, public toilets and the need to travel. Though some might argue those elements are part and parcel of a true festival experience, this is definitely an interesting concept to watch if it catches on.

Do you think virtual festivals are the future? Should it even be called a festival? Let us know what you think!