News October 23, 2020

Golden Guitars to proceed in 2021 ‘with a twist’ after record entries

Golden Guitars to proceed in 2021 ‘with a twist’ after record entries

With a record number of entries across some categories, the 2021 country music Golden Guitar awards will proceed as a live event – but with a twist, say organisers.

To comply with NSW health restrictions and social distancing measures, the Saturday, January 23 celebrations at the Tamworth Regional Entertainment and Conference Centre will be set in an intimate cabaret design and open only to music industry executives.

Organisers Tamworth Regional Council and the Country Music Association of Australia (CMAA) decided that the execs and artists will be seated at round tables rather than the traditional theatre-style arrangement.

The winners’ announce and live performances will be made from the sage, with crosses to those who can’t make it in person.

The hosts are Ashleigh Dallas and Blake O’Connor and the ABC will continue to be the awards’ official broadcast partner next yer.

“As we worked towards planning the 2021 awards, both operationally and fiscally, it became clear that a live presence here in Tamworth was precisely what the industry needed,” executive producer Peter Ross said.

“It is the perfect way for Tamworth to demonstrate its support for Australia’s country music artists in what has been an incredibly tumultuous year.

“By having artists and industry physically in the room, they can present, perform, accept awards, and support each other’s recording excellence over the last year.

“While audiences will not be able to witness the atmosphere at TRECC, they will be able to experience the sensational show via the online stream.”

The decision to proceed comes as the CMAA reveals a record number of entries in the Song of the Year, Single of the Year, Video of the Year, and New Talent of the Year categories.

The 111 entries for Song of the Year beat the previous record set in 2020 by seven, while Single of the Year had 119 entries, five more than in 2019 and a respectable 22 over 2020.

The Video category pulled 113 entries, eclipsing last year’s record number by 28.

CMAA chair Dan Biddle was particularly encouraged by the 87 nominations for New Talent.

“That is reflective of country music’s resurgence in recent years and it’s new state of omnipresence,” he said, adding that it was essential to celebrate excellence in country music.

“What is patently obvious is that music is vital in our pandemic-hit world, and country music will always rise to the top no matter the difficult circumstances the arts industry finds itself in.”

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