The campaign was an extension of the highly successful YouTube Symphony Orchestra project of 2009, which invited musicians to audition for the world’s first-ever collaborative online orchestra. Thousands of amateur and professional musicians from 73 countries submitted audition videos to YouTube and the public voted for performers to be part of the orchestra. In April 2009, 96 musicians formed the first YouTube Symphony Orchestra and made their debut performance at Carnegie Hall in New York City.
The first YouTube Symphony Orchestra event attracted 25 million channel views, over 14 million video views and 52,000 subscribers to the orchestra’s YouTube channel. Sydney was announced as the host city for the 2nd YouTube Symphony Orchestra event because YouTube believed that Australia’s landscape, people and lifestyle combine to create a perfect environment to inspire innovation and creativity.
In February 2011, Making Tracks was created and Tourism Australia invited 4 members of the YouTube Symphony Orchestra to Australia for a unique musical experiment. Each member was partnered with a contemporary Australian musician and sent to two states of Australia. Together they were challenged to collaborate and create a piece of music inspired by Australia. Their journey was documented on film and produced into videos that were broadcast live at the event and through social media and Tourism Australia’s digital platforms.
Travelling in pairs, their journeys took them to the most stunning parts of the country across every state and territory. They discovered the remote beauty of Kangaroo Island, wandered through the enchanted Red Centre and Uluru, surfed and kayaked the gorgeous beaches of Bondi and Manly, fell in love with the art inspired laneways of Melbourne and relaxed amongst the enigmatic lakes of Fraser Island. These unique locations and magical landscapes provided an inspiring backdrop for the musicians to collaborate, compose and discover their musical journey. The collaborations resulted in four very different tracks, each one reflective of the diversity and beauty of Australia. The final output, known as Making Tracks, was the creation of four inspiring short films and one beautiful compilation film.
Each episode was broadcast through YouTube in the lead up to the final performance and received over 2.7 million views with a significant increase in subscription to the Australia YouTube channel.
Making Tracks received such positive response from viewers that a six minute compilation film of all four episodes was created and streamed live to a global audience in the masthead of YouTube.com. The YouTube Symphony Orchestra final concert to date has been viewed by 33 million globally:
- 11.1 million streams during the YouTube Symphony Orchestra Grand Finale concert, making it the most watched live music concert on YouTube data (beating U2 at 10 million)
- 2.8 million views of the mobile live stream making it the biggest ever YouTube mobile live stream
- 19.1 million streams took place as the concert was replayed on YouTube in the following 24 hours after the concert