Flume has cleaned up at the ARIA Awards, winning five gongs and taking aim at Sydney’s controversial lock-out laws on a night that saw rockers Crowded House joined the ARIA Hall of Fame, 30 years after the formation of the band that spawned iconic tracks like Don’t Dream It’s Over, Better Be Home Soon, Fall At Your Feet and Something So Strong.
— ARIA (@ARIA_Official) November 23, 2016
Australian music’s finest braved a wet afternoon for the ARIA’s 30th anniversary in Sydney, and heard impassioned pleas for the country to support marriage equality as Sia was named best female artist.
Electronic music producer Flume dominated the event, winning the coveted Best Album and Best Male Artist awards for his second record Skin, and also taking home trophies in the dance, pop and independent release categories.
“I want to say a big thank you to … the small venues and the small parties that are doing what they’re doing, because that’s where music evolves,” Flume said as he accepted the Best Dance Release gong.
“That’s where all the exciting stuff happens, and that’s what’s getting shut down right now. To our policy-makers and our politicians, please keep Sydney open so that the young artists of the next generation can have the same opportunities that I had.”
Indie darling Montaigne, who picked up the Breakout Artist Award, also made a stand against the laws, which close Sydney’s music clubs to new guests at 1:30am and ban the sale of alcoholic drinks after 3:00am.
She attended the ARIAs with “People Over Profit” scrawled across her chest, and said the message was about how the laws were strangling the arts. “If you’re going to prioritise the casinos and residential development and all that bullshit, over the art scene that we have … surely at least you can strike a balance,” she said.
Chandelier songstress Sia Furler was named female artist of the year. There was a huge standing ovation as Angie Greene, a campaigner for marriage equality, took to the stage on her behalf. Ms Greene said Sia had asked her to accept the award on behalf of “every single non-hetero and gender-diverse person, who can currently not marry the person that they love in this country”. The message was reinforced by Kylie Minogue and her fiance Joshua Sasse, who urged Australia to say “I Do” and said 2017 could be the year the country gets “back on the right side of history”.
Troye Sivan earlier triumphed in the Song of the Year stakes, beating out Flume, Sia and Illy to pick up the coveted award for Youth. “This is for every gay Australian kid who wants to go and make music, every LGBTQ kid who wants to go and make music — you can totally do it, and win an ARIA Award too,” said Sivan, who rose to fame on YouTube. The 21-year-old Perth pop singer also took home the public-voted Best Video award for the acoustic clip of the track.
Rap duo The Hilltop Hoods won best live act, triumphing over the likes of Flume and Courtney Barnett to take home their eighth ARIA. “Google CanTeen and pledge your allegiance to this project so young people can come and see live music,” the rappers said, a reference to their collaboration with the organisation for young people living with cancer.
English-Irish pop sensations One Direction fought off fierce competition from stars like Adele, Beyonce, Coldplay, Justin Bieber and Taylor Swift to win Best International Artist for the fifth year running — an ARIAs record.
Fanning claimed Best Adult Contemporary Album for Civil Dusk, his third solo record, and said he was “very proud” to claim the award that eluded his former band Powderfinger. “I used to play in a band that was accused of being a dad rock band. We were never nominated for this award but I’ve brought it home tonight,” said Fanning, who beat Paul Kelly and Robert Forster to claim the win.
Sarah Blasko beat Matt Corby and The Temper Trap to take home the award in the adult alternative category, while Brisbane band Violent Soho picked up Best Group and Best Rock Album. There were few surprises as The Wiggles picked up the gong for Best Children’s Album — the 13th time they have won in the category. They sang part of their acceptance speech, and also thanked those who listened to The Wiggles as children, grew up, had children themselves, and now listen to their music as parents.
Singer-songwriter Russell Morris beat artists including Kev Carmody and Jimmy Barnes to win in the blues and roots category, while Perth hip hop artist Drapht won Best Urban Album. “My anxiety has anxiety right now,” Drapht said, paying tribute to Illy and The Hilltop Hoods.
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard claimed the best hard rock/heavy metal award, while Best Country Album went to Sarah Storer.
The Veronicas hosted the 2016 ARIA Awards on Wednesday night and while they didn’t make a red carpet appearance — it was bucketing down, and they had places to be — they made up for it with their performance of “In My Blood.”
- Album of the Year: Flume, for Skin
- Song of the Year: Troye Sivan, for Youth
- Best Female Artist: Sia
- Best Male Artist: Flume
- Best Group: Violent Soho
- Breakthrough Artist: Montaigne
- Best International Artist: One Direction
- Best Video: Troye Sivan, for Youth (Acoustic)
- Best Adult Contemporary Album: Bernard Fanning, for Civil Dusk
- Best Adult Alternative Album: Sarah Blasko, for Eternal Return
- Best Australian Live Act: The Hilltop Hoods
- Best Blues and Roots Album: Russell Morris, for Red Dirt Red Heart
- Best Children’s Album: The Wiggles, for Wiggle Town
- Best Comedy Release: Yet to be announced
- Best Country Album: Sara Storer, for Silos
- Best Dance Release: Flume, for Skin
- Best Hard Rock/Heavy Metal Album: King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard, for Nonagon Infinity
- Best Independent Release: Flume, for Skin
- Best Pop Release: Flume, for Never Be Like You
- Best Rock Album: Violent Soho, for Waco
- Best Urban Album: Drapht, for Seven Mirrors
This article was originally published on ABC