The 17th annual Music Victoria Awards honoured the best acts, albums, songs and musicians from across the state. The event was staged at the Melbourne Recital Centre with music lovers merging during Melbourne Music Week for a befitting celebration. The affable Myf Warhurst was the MC for the night along with notable presenters from RRR 102.7FM and PBS 106.7FM, such as Mikey Cahill(Hit Different Podcast), Milo Eastwood (PBS), Sosefina Fuamoli (RRR), Triana Butler (JOY 94.9) and Chris Holland (Triple M) among others.
The brilliant Emma Donovan & The Putbacks were awarded three gongs for Best Soul, Funk, R’n’B or Gospel Act, Best Group, and Best Album for their impressive Crossover LP. The audience were rewarded with a song from Emma and the band along with public favourite Maple Glider who was voted the year’s Best Breakthrough Act. Kerryn Fields and Mindy Meng Wang x Tim Shiel, also performed with Mindy taking out this year’s public-voted award for Best Musician.
The list of winning acts highlight the distinct and varied talent that can be found in our state and included: Female Wizard (Best Electronic Act), The Weeping Willows (Best Country Act), Candlesnuffer (Best Experimental or Avant-Garde Act), Dr. Colossus (Best Heavy Act), JahWise Productions (Best Reggae and Dancehall Act), CIVIC (Best Punk/Rock Act), Ajak Kwai (Best Intercultural Act) and Eliza Hull who took home the inaugural (and very emotional) Arts Access Victoria Amplify Award (for Deaf and Disabled Acts).
There were a cache of first time winners who added some moolah to their awards including: DRMNGNOW who was crowned the year’s Best Hip Hop Act, Best Blues Act winners Dan Dinnen & Shorty, Best Folk Act winners Charm of Finches and the inaugural Best Pop Act winner Alice Skye. Solo artist Allara was awarded the Archie Roach Foundation Award for Emerging Talent, while 2019 winner Andrea Keller was awarded Best Jazz Act. Popular choice Baker Boy received the Best Regional/Outer Suburban Act win, and in a slight change of tone for the night Victorian Minister for Creative Industries, Danny Pearson generously announced a total of $6,500 of support for the 13 genre awards winners.
In the category covering the public voted acts, Hiatus Kaiyote received the year’s Best Song for their 2021 single ‘Red Room’, Sampa The Great were voted the Best Solo Artist and Amyl and The Sniffers received the Best Live Act win.
Cameron Adams proudly inducted Kylie Minogue into the 2021 Music Victoria Hall of Fame with the pop princess providing us with a gracious video message. The much appreciated Pierre Baroni was presented his posthumous Hall of Fame induction by Ginger Light, Vince Peach and Australian Music Vault’s Olivia Jackson. Jimmy Barnes and Archie Roach fittingly provided an emotive video message recognising the many talents of the much missed musician, broadcaster and artist.
The Music Victoria Awards highlight the talent that abounds in our state and recognises those in an industry that have borne the brunt of 20 months of forced hiatus. The night highlighted the need for rebirth and renewal and a recognition of an industry that will never again be taken for granted.