Amyl & The Sniffers and Sampa The Great clean up at the 2020 Music Victoria Awards

Amyl & The Sniffers and Sampa The Great clean up at the 2020 Music Victoria Awards

Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever - image by Martin Philbey
Words by Tom Williams

Seven publicly-voted and 14 industry awards were announced at the Melbourne Recital Centre on Wednesday night.

The 16th annual Music Victoria Awards have recognised the astonishing achievements of local musicians from the last year. Jointly presented by PBS and Triple R, the in-person event revealed seven winners of publicly-voted awards as well as 14 industry accolades.

Sampa The Great took home four awards including Best Album for The Return, Best Song for her track ‘OMG’ as well as Best Solo Artist. Accepting the Best Solo Artist award via a pre-recorded video, she emphasised the shared effort that went into her releases.

“Although this is a solo award it would be nothing without my team and all those who support me,” she said. “The women who support me and my home that has supported my story.”


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Amyl & The Sniffers also received multiple awards for Best Band and Best Live Act. Their lead singer Amy Taylor was voted Best Musician, which she proudly received in a video acceptance. “People have literally looked me in the eye and told me I’m not a musician,” she said. “Not only am I a musician, I’m the musician of the year.”

The awards also acknowledged fledgling artists breaking into the Victorian music community. Punk band Pitch Points was voted Best Breakthrough Act and Kuku Yalanji, Jirrbal and Badu Island singer-songwriter Kee’ahn received the Archie Roach Foundation Award for Best Emerging Talent.

Industry awards were also presented to standout acts and releases within specific genres and locations. The Teskey Brothers were awarded Best Regional/Outer Suburban Act, which bass player Brendon Love fittingly accepted via video recording from his home in Warrandyte.

Victorian music veterans Mary Mihelakos and the late Chris Wilson were inducted into the Music Victoria Hall of Fame. After his passing last year, Wilson’s family Sarah Carroll, Fenn Wilson and George Carroll Wilson accepted the award on his behalf, after being inducted by former bandmate and Australian music legend Paul Kelly.

The ceremony featured live performances from Elizabeth, Alice Skye, Simona Castricum and Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever, and was livestreamed on YouTube and Channel 31.

The awards followed on from October’s Industry Awards which saw seven other industry awards handed out as part of a livestream event. On this occasion, Golden Plains was awarded Best Festival, The Forum received Best Large Venue and The Gasometer Hotel received Best Small Venue, among other accolades.

If you missed the live event, you can catch a video recording of the awards here. Read up about the full list of accolades here.

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