ARIA Awards to go ahead in 2020 without live audience
The ARIA Awards will still proceed this year, but they’ll look a little different.
The 2020 event will take place at Sydney’s The Star on November 25 without an audience, as the organisers look to celebrate Australian music in a COVID-Safe environment.
Speaking to The Music Network, ARIA chief executive Dan Rosen said the group was determined to find a way not to cancel the celebrations this year.
“We were always working really hard to be able to put on an event,” he said. “We felt that it’s been an incredibly challenging year for so many people in our industry – for our artists, for our labels, for our managers, agents, everyone – but through it all, people were still putting out great music, and Aussie music fans were still listening and buying great Australian music.
“And so we thought it’s very incumbent on us to be able to celebrate the year, and not just the year in music, but the year in resilience of our music community, to get through it.”
He did concede, however, that there will be a number of logistical hurdles – perhaps nightmares – to overcome in order to pull the event off successfully.
The 2020 ARIA Awards will largely be staged at The Star in Sydney, however local artists who can’t get to the New South Wales capital will still feature in the event. In those cases, the ARIAs will go to the artists.
“This year is all about dealing with logistical hurdles,” Rosen said. “And every time you think you’ve solved an issue, there will be another hurdle in front of you. But we believe that we can put on a great event.”
Despite lacking a packed red carpet and crowded auditorium, this year’s event will still go to air for Aussie music fans on Channel 9.
It will, Rosen said, still be an exciting show for viewers. ARIA has learned from the likes of Music From The Homefront and the VMAs about how to put on a “truly creative, engaging TV show in the age of COVID”, he said.
The Nine Network isn’t the only returning partner. Despite how different this year’s event will look, YouTube Music is back as the key partner. The event is also supported by the NSW Government’s tourism and major events agency, Destination NSW.
This ongoing support, Rosen said, is nothing short of sensational.
“From Channel 9 to Destination NSW, YouTube Music, Telstra, Swarovski, PPCA – all our partners from last year backed us in. That’s a really strong endorsement of them as organisations, and also of their belief in ARIA and the Australian music industry, and that has been very humbling for me personally, and also for ARIA to see that support that we’ve got from our partners,” he said.
The event’s success, as always, Rosen said, is contingent on the artists feeling seen, respected and celebrated.
Rosen on stage at last year’s event
“Number one for me is always that the artists feel like we’ve celebrated them with integrity and that we can continue to grow the audience for Australian music, both here in Australia and increasingly around the world. And that to me, [if] we can have more Australian artists having successful careers, that’s success for us.”
ARIA chairman, and chairman and CEO of Sony Music Entertainment Australia and New Zealand, Denis Handlin, predicted it would be an unforgettable night.
“On behalf of the ARIA Board, I am excited to announce the return of the ARIA Awards and to bring a moment of celebration and togetherness in this challenging year,” he said in a statement.
“This year’s Awards will be different from those we have held in the past, but it provides us with a creative opportunity to showcase our fantastic Australian talent in a unique way to music fans here and around the world.”
Handlin (pictured) also thanked returning sponsors and partners
The 2020 ARIA Awards Season Launch will be presented online in October with nominees revealed at the event. It will be hosted as a YouTube Premiere event on the ARIA YouTube channel and be presented by Channel 9 personality Brooke Boney.
The Fine Arts and Artisan ARIA Awards will be on the same day as the main event.