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News July 15, 2020

BIGSOUND to host 2020 NLMAs with live streams to be recognised

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BIGSOUND to host 2020 NLMAs with live streams to be recognised
NLMAs / by Lachlan Douglas

The 5th annual National Live Music Awards will take in tandem with BIGSOUND 2020, with organisers also announcing two new award categories for this year.

The 2020 NLMAs will take place as a sole ceremony, as opposed to the usual eight separate events, taking advantage as the industry gathers in Brisbane for BIGSOUND this October to celebrate the resilience of the sector during the coronavirus pandemic.

NLMAs founder and director Larry Heath revealed there were originally plans to scupper this year’s ceremony, but that witnessing musicians fight back with live streams and other ways to connect with audiences forced a rethink.

“While the initial instinct was to take the year off, as the pandemic developed, and the ingenuity and perseverance of the music industry sat at centre stage, it became clear there was a lot to celebrate this year,” he said.

“We are a resilient industry, and as we faced our darkest hours, we collaborated, we created, and we pushed on. This year’s award show will reflect that, and also look ahead to a better and brighter future for this vibrant, wonderful industry.”


NLMAs / by Lachlan Douglas

Over 40 awards won’t be handed out this year, as a result of most musicians being unable to tour for around half the eligibility period.

However, in light of the rise of streaming during the pandemic, live streaming performances will be considered for NLMAs in 2020 for the first time ever.

There are also two brand new and permanent awards being added this year, with a Live Music Journalist award to recognise journos who’ve created exceptional work in a live setting. This award accompanies the photographer award introduced two years ago, and interested parties can nominate themselves (along with three pieces of work) here.

Aussie promoters are also set to be recognised for the first time, with Best International Tour to be awarded to a promoter for their work on an Aussie leg of an international guest, deemed the most impressive in terms of scope, production and talent by 100 national judges.

“It was always our intention to bring in more industry-focused awards to the event over time,” added Heath. “With so many of our usual awards being put aside for this year’s event, it made sense to bring these two new awards into the fold, which we are excited to name as permanent additions to the awards.”

MoJu 2019 NLMAs / by Riley Goodwin

The period of eligibility for the awards is September 1 2019 and August 31 2020, and nominations for all awards and special achievement accolades, are now open at

The Special Achievement Awards will recognise individuals, organisations or initiatives that went above and beyond to buoy the industry through the pandemic, as well as the bushfire season that preceded it.

The general public will vote for Best Live Act in each state or territory, plus a third Live Legend will be inducted on the night.

“The NLMAs is back to honour not only the fantastic artists and acts that have performed in Australia this year but to shine a light on excellent the work done within the industry as response to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said founding board member Damian Cunningham.

“This year has highlighted difficulties and hurdles never seen before within our industry which has had devastating effects, but as always we have risen high and responded across the board, be it within TV or internet-based concerts to drive-in style gigs. This industry is one that responds to any situation.”

In announcing the 2020 NLMAs, organisers revealed that the event will go ahead whether an audience is permitted or not. That decision will be made closer to the date, depending on what social distancing regulations are in place at that tune.

If permitted, tickets to the event at The Triffid will be made available in September, by invite only.

“We are all desperately missing the visceral experience of sharing sounds with and for other humans. Aussie’s make the best live music in the world and we are super proud to be continuing to celebrate this through the 5th annual NLMA awards in 2020,” said NLMAs board member Katie Noonan.

More info and full awards categories at the official NLMAs website.


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