August 10, 2021

National Live Music Awards pushed back to 2022

National Live Music Awards pushed back to 2022

The National Live Music Awards (NLMAs) will not proceed in 2021.

The event organisers noted that while last year’s ceremony went ahead virtually, there is actually “no national live music scene to celebrate right now” due to lockdowns, border closures and ongoing uncertainty.

Founder and director of the awards, Larry Heath, noted the numerous challenges facing the NLMAs at this time.

“Our 2020 event proceeded as more than half of the year of eligibility saw live music operating as normal in Australia,” he said.

“Sadly, while there are fantastic scenes still in operation, and many artists who have defied the odds and managed to tour through much of the last year in one form or another, the landscape of touring has been one of uncertainty and the raw fact of the matter is – with a year of lockdowns and closed borders, there is no national live music scene to celebrate right now. And more to the viability of the awards themselves – there is no clear way for our judges to assess this year’s potential nominees.”

Founding board member Katie Noonan said the organisation can’t wait to celebrate live musicians and their work again soon.

“This decision may reflect the state of the industry right now, but it should by no means reflect our fervent passion and belief in the transformative power of the Australian live music industry,” Noonan said.

“To all those who are keeping the live industry in Australia alive, we sincerely thank you for everything you do. Your advocacy and passion is what keeps us all going in these difficult times.”

The NLMAs said it would be finding other ways to draw attention to the bright spots of the past 12 months.

Organisers said they are also planning some exciting changes to the awards next year, which will be “bigger and better than ever”.

New members to the Awards’ advisory board will also be revealed later this year.

In recent weeks, the industry’s BIGSOUND conference has also been called off as has Sydney’s Vivid Festival.

The National Indigenous Music Awards (NIMAs) were also postponed due to COVID-19, and it’s unlikely Bluesfest will go ahead as planned in October.

A recent campaign by Australian live entertainers has revealed the mental health toll and sacrifices caused by the pandemic, and a new study drew attention to the devastation facing the live music sector.