The biggest night in the entire calendar for the Victorian music industry has come and gone, with the 2021 edition of the Music Victoria Awards taking place this evening.
Taking place at the Melbourne Recital Centre as part of Melbourne Music Week, the 17th edition of the awards was an undeniable success, with some of the state’s best and brightest names winning top honours at the ceremony.
However, while a litany of up-and-coming artists found themselves in the running for nods, it was the venerable Emma Donovan & The Putbacks that came out on top, with three awards – Best Soul, Funk, R’n’B or Gospel Act, Best Group, and Best Album – coming their way in the wake of their critically acclaimed record, Crossover.
On ground for their three wins, Donovan & The Putbacks also served as performers at the event, appearing alongside Maple Glider (who won the public voted award for Best Breakthrough Act), Kerryn Fields, and Mindy Meng Wang x Tim Shiel, with Mindy taking out this year’s public-voted award for Best Musician.
Meanwhile, a litany of winners in the industry-voted category were also first-time nominees, including the likes of 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 Arts Access Victoria Amplify Award (for Deaf and Disabled Acts) with $3000 cash from Arts Access Victoria and a rehearsal package from Bakehouse.
Elsewhere on the night, seven-time Awards nominee DRMNGNOW was a first-time winner by way of the Best Hip Hop Act category, while Dan Dinnen & Shorty, Charm of Finches, and Alice Skye were also first-timers, taking home awards in the Best Blues, Folk, and Pop Act categories, respectively.
Meanwhile, Allara received the Archie Roach Foundation Award for Emerging Talent, taking home $3000 cash thanks to the Foundation plus a Bakehouse rehearsal package, while 2019 winner Andrea Keller added 2021 Best Jazz Act to her winnings, and former multi-award winner Baker Boy received $3000 cash from Bendigo Bank for his Best Regional/Outer Suburban Act win.
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In the public-voted awards, Hiatus Kaiyote took out Best Song for their 2021 single ‘Red Room’, while Sampa The Great received the Best Solo Artist, and Amyl and The Sniffers were named Best Live Act.
“From the artists on the mic to the off-stage army of producers, promoters, artist managers, technicians, venue operators and more – Victoria’s music industry is an absolute powerhouse of talent and has proved to be a pillar of strength over the past couple of years,” said Danny Pearson, Minister for Creative Industries, in a statement.
“We’re proud to support Music Victoria and the vital work they do to support our local music scene. We also continue to back our music industry through times of challenge and times of success. Congratulations to all the winners and nominees of this year’s awards.”
Meanwhile, the Music Victoria Hall Of Fame also welcomed two new luminaries into their hallowed halls, with Kylie Minogue accepting her induction via video message as she was formally inducted by music journalist and podcast writer for LISTNR, Cameron Adams.
Late broadcaster and artist Pierre Baroni was also inducted into the Hall Of Fame by dear friend Ginger Light, PBS 106.7FM presenter Vince Peach, and Australian Music Vault’s Olivia Jackson, with close friends Jimmy Barnes and Archie Roach sending in video messages in honour of his induction.
Check out the full list of winners via the Music Victoria website.
Check out Best Song winner, ‘Red Room’, by Hiatus Kaiyote:
Music Victoria Awards Winners 2021 (industry-voted)
ARCHIE ROACH FOUNDATION AWARD FOR EMERGING TALENT (FOR FIRST NATIONS ACTS)
(prize: $3,000 cash from Archie Roach Foundation + rehearsal package from Bakehouse)
ARTS ACCESS VICTORIA AMPLIFY AWARD (FOR DEAF AND DISABLED ACTS)
(prize: $3,000 cash from Arts Access Victoria + rehearsal package from Bakehouse)
Eliza Hull – (Castlemaine)
BEST REGIONAL/OUTER SUBURBAN ACT
(prize: $3,000 cash from Bendigo Bank)
Baker Boy – (Ocean Grove)
BEST BLUES ACT
Dan Dinnen & Shorty
BEST COUNTRY ACT
The Weeping Willows
BEST ELECTRONIC ACT
BEST EXPERIMENTAL OR AVANT-GARDE ACT
BEST FOLK ACT
Charm of Finches
BEST HEAVY ACT
Dr. Colossus – (Surf Coast)
BEST HIP HOP ACT
DRMNGNOW – (Shepparton)
BEST INTERCULTURAL ACT
BEST JAZZ ACT
BEST POP ACT
Alice Skye – (Warrandyte)
BEST REGGAE AND DANCEHALL ACT
BEST PUNK/ROCK ACT
BEST SOUL, FUNK, R’N’B OR GOSPEL ACT
Emma Donovan & The Putbacks – (Castlemaine/Melbourne)
Music Victoria Awards Winners 2021 (public-voted)
(prize: $5,000 media package from Plakkit)
Emma Donovan & The Putbacks – Crossover – (Castlemaine/Melbourne)
(prize: $2,000 voucher for Yamaha gear)
Emma Donovan and The Putbacks – (Castlemaine/Melbourne)
(prize: $500 cash grant from Music Victoria)
Hiatus Kaiyote – ‘Red Room’
BEST SOLO ARTIST
(prize: $1,000 voucher for Yamaha gear)
Sampa the Great
BEST BREAKTHROUGH ACT
(prize: $1,000 value of custom-made merch from Soundmerch + rehearsal package from Bakehouse)
(prize: $1,000 voucher for Yamaha gear)
Mindy Meng Wang
BEST LIVE ACT
(prize: $3,000 outdoor billboard package from Civic Outdoor)
Amyl and The Sniffers
HALL OF FAME INDUCTEES