The 2021 Music Victoria Awards winners are a testament to the strength and diversity of Victoria’s thriving music scene.
In another glorious evening of accolades and live music, last night’s Music Victoria Awards honoured the state’s best acts, albums, songs and musicians of the year at its 17th annual event. The Melbourne Recital Centre came alive once again with music lovers, industry and artists gathering together during Melbourne Music Week to celebrate a joyous end to one of the hardest-hit years the sector has ever faced. The ceremony was live-streamed on Youtube and broadcast via Channel 31 to award the 16 industry-voted categories, seven public-voted categories as well as formally induct the 2021 Hall of Fame inductees.
Co-presented by RRR 102.7FM and PBS 106.7FM, and MC’d by none other than Australian music industry veteran Myf Warhurst, with special guest presenters Mikey Cahill (Hit Different Podcast), Milo Eastwood (PBS), Sosefina Fuamoli (RRR), Triana Butler (JOY 94.9), Chris Holland (Triple M) and more. The 2021 standout triumph was undoubtedly Emma Donovan & The Putbacks. The soul virtuosos took home three awards for Best Soul, Funk, R’n’B or Gospel Act, Best Group, and Best Album for their long-awaited and utterly powerful Crossover LP, winning a pool of prizes thanks to public-voting including a $5,000 media package from Plakkit and a $2,000 voucher for Yamaha gear. In one of the most diverse lists of winners Music Victoria has ever seen, no other artist took home multiple Awards this year. The band were also one of the night’s captivating live performers, sharing the stage with fellow award winner Maple Glider who the public voted the year’s Best Breakthrough Act sponsored by Soundmerch and Bakehouse, as well as Kerryn Fields and Mindy Meng Wang x Tim Shiel, with Mindy taking out this year’s public-voted award for Best Musician sponsored by Yamaha.
In a truly massive feat, half of the industry-voted winners in 2021 were first-time Award nominees including 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.
Other first-time wins in the industry categories included seven-time Awards nominee, 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 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. Victorian Minister for Creative Industries, Danny Pearson announced a total of $6,500 of support for the 13 genre awards winners. The Victorian Government is a generous supporter of Music Victoria and of the state’s celebrated music industry. Thanks to this additional support, 2021 marks the first Music Victoria Awards where every winner takes home a prize.
“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.
“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.” – Danny Pearson, Minister for Creative Industries
In the public-voted categories, Hiatus Kaiyote claimed the year’s Best Song for their 2021 single ‘Red Room’ taking home a $500 cash grant from Music Victoria, Sampa The Great took home a $1000 Yamaha voucher for being voted the Best Solo Artist and Amyl and The Sniffers were awarded a $3,000 outdoor billboard package from Civic Outdoor for their Best Live Act win. 2021 Music Victoria Hall Of Fame inductee, Kylie Minogue accepted her induction via video message and was formally inducted by music journalist and podcast writer for LISTNR, Cameron Adams, while fellow 2021 inductee Pierre Baroni was presented his posthumous induction by close 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.
Music Victoria would like to thank Major Partners Bendigo Bank, City Of Melbourne, the Victorian Government through Creative Victoria and Melbourne Recital Centre, plus Event Partners Brick Lane, Channel 31 and Moshtix for their ongoing support of the Music Victoria Awards. Music Victoria would also like to send a big thank you to everyone who voted, attended, or tuned in to the 2021 Awards and to all who continue to support and champion Victoria’s thriving music community. Here’s to a stronger than ever local music scene in 2022!
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
Music Victoria thanks Major Partners Bendigo Bank, City Of Melbourne, the Victorian Government through Creative Victoria and Melbourne Recital Centre, and Event Partners Brick Lane, Channel 31 and Moshtix for their ongoing support of the Music Victoria Awards.
Watch the Awards back:
Listen to the 2021 Music Victoria Awards winners on Spotify: