The Brag Media
News September 21, 2020

Mike Harris on postponing WAM awards, conference & festival

Mike Harris on postponing WAM awards, conference & festival

Citing COVID restrictions, West Australian Music (WAM) pushed back WAMFest, conference WAMCon and WAMAwards from November 12—14, 2020 to the first quarter of 2021.

“[They] are major milestone moments in the local music calendar,” WAM chief executive Mike Harris said.

“It’s important we ensure delivery of the best events with the biggest impact, and we feel we would be somewhat compromised in November. 

“By moving our major events to early 2021, we believe we can deliver the best events as possible for all Western Australians.”

Although the WAMAwards ceremony is delayed, nominations and voting will continue in 2020.

WAMFest draws over 60 international, national and local industry delegates, and showcases over 200 home-grown original artists each year.

In 2017 its attendance hit a new high, growing to 39,638 attendees, an increase of 173%. 

Harris revealed how the company would navigate its way through this  “very, very strange and impactful year”. 

In addition to the WAMFest events, the WA government via the Department of Premier and Cabinet (DPC) has designated $350,000 of funding for WAM to deliver directly to the live music sector over summer.

According to Harris, “Since April, WAM has secured over $600,000 – including the funds yet to be used from DPC – that have been or will be distributed to the local music community. 

“We have worked with Celebrate WA to re-instate a streamed SOTA Festival, with Minderoo Foundation to deliver 61 micro-gigs across the state, and will push the DPC funds into a range of live events in established venues in the new year. 

“Through this we have supported around 70 acts across all genres from emerging to established production companies, live music venues, media outlets and freelance producers/managers to undertake project work.

“I am aware there are some out there who are critical of WAM receiving funds, but I will respond to say that the vast majority is spread widely across our industry and benefit as many as possible.

“The funds will provide much-needed support to venues, industry workers and artists through additional events and employment opportunities, with details to be released shortly.”

WAM will continue to work on regional and audience development projects. These include the Girls Rock! WA mini-camp and the recording, release and launch stages for two regional recording compilations.


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