Virtual ARIAs draw 287k metro viewers as Tame Impala and Sampa The Great dominate
The music industry’s flagship event the 2020 ARIA Awards drew 287,000 overnight metros to Nine Network’s live-to-air broadcast.
It was the 20th highest rating show of the night where the entertainment ratings were ruled by ABC TV’s Gruen and Hard Quiz.
Streaming numbers from main presenter YouTube, through which many of the younger demos would have accessed the event, were not available straight away.
These figures will be revealed in an exclusive TMN post by ARIA chief executive Dan Rosen in the days ahead and provide a better picture of the Awards’ draw.
They were held in an empty room in Sydney’s Star Event Centre and forfeited the loudly enthusiastic public audience which traditionally create much of the event’s vibe.
But we did have Tim Minchin and Kate Ceberano gleefully dropping f-bombs on prime-time TV, and there was host Delta’s backless pant suit.
To win best group was an achievement considering they were up against formidable competition from 5 Seconds of Summer, DMA’S, Lime Cordiale and The Teskey Brothers.
Sampa, who’s been in Botswana during the pandemic, did a Black Lives Matter routine with dancers and singers on ‘Final Form’, during which chants of “Black power” was intertwined with a swipe at the Australian music industry for not doing more at the top to showcase cultural diversity (“Diversity, equity, in your ARIA boards”) and for relegating her ARIA win last year to “Oh, during the ads these trophies were given out” status.
She also gave a call-out to the growth of Australian hip-hop in the diversity of voice, especially female – “Now we get to see a side of Australia that was never shown.”
In a challenging year, the awards showed that it was still a year of growth for Lime Cordiale, Amy Shark, DMA’S and Fanny Lumsden.
It also brought a wider audience for First Nations R&B singer-songwriter Miiesha and dance act Dom Dolla, both first time winners.
The ARIAs’ virtual format also allowed Australian audiences to see Sia, Billie Eilish and Sam Smith perform their new singles from abroad, and presenters such as Kylie Minogue, Robbie Williams, Keith Urban and 5 Seconds Of Summer.
Music’s ability to impact audiences was shown during the poignant induction of Archie Roach into the Hall of Fame with help from Paul Kelly, Briggs, Linda Bull, Paul Grabowsky and family members, and clinched it with a tender performance of ‘Took The Children Away’.
In an emotional night for Roach, he recalled the impact on his life and music by life partner and muse Ruby Hunter.
But he still managed to quip that he’d “hate to fall on” the pointy end of the ARIA trophy and asked if someone “made a mistake” when he won Best Male Artist.
Former PM Julia Gillard recounted how hearing Helen Reddy’s ‘I Am Woman’ as a teenager changed her life, which was followed by 30 female singers performing the number as a tribute.
Album of the Year: Tame Impala, The Slow Rush
Best Male Artist: Archie Roach, Tell Me Why
Best Female Artist: Sampa The Great, The Return
Best Dance Release: Dom Dolla, San Frandisco
Best Group: Tame Impala, The Show Rush
Breakthrough Artist: Lime Cordiale, 14 Steps to a Better You
Best Pop Release: Amy Shark, ‘Everybody Rise’
Best Hip Hop Release: Sampa The Great. ‘The Return’
Best Soul/R&B Release: Miiesha
Best Independent Release: Sampa The Great
Best Rock Album: Tame Impala
Best Adult Contemporary Album: Archie Roach
Best Country Album: Fanny Lumsden
Best Hard Rock/Heavy Metal Album: King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard
Best Blues & Roots Album: The Teskey Brothers
Best Children’s Album: Teeny Tiny Stevies
Best Comedy Release: Anne Edmonds
Best Video: Guy Sebastian
Best Australian Live Act: Amy Shark
Song of the Year: 5 Seconds of Summer
Best International Artist: Harry Styles
ARIA Music Teacher Award: Sarah Donnelley, Wilcannia Central School, NSW
Best Cover Art: Adam Dal Pozzo, Megan Washington & Michelle Pitiris
Engineer Of The Year: Tame Impala
Producer Of The Year: Tame Impala
FINE ARTS AWARD
Best Classical Album: Richard Tognetti & Erin Helyard
Best Jazz Album: Paul Kelly & Paul Grabowsky
Best Original Soundtrack or Musical Theatre Cast Album: Chelsea Cullen – I Am Woman
Best World Music Album: Joseph Tawadros