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The 2021 ARIA Awards Will Go Ahead, But The Best Male/Female Artist Awards Are Goneski

The 2021 ARIA Awards are forging ahead with plans to celebrate the success of Australian music in the face of extreme adversity this year.

The organisation has just announced the 2021 awards ceremony will go ahead on Wednesday, 24th November, but naturally, there’ll be some changes in the wake of Sydney’s Delta outbreak and the current revolving door state border closures.

The Australian music industry’s night of nights will now happen as an “innovative digital show”, streamed live on YouTube.

ARIA Chief Executive Annabelle Herd explains: “Even though it has been another huge year for Australian music, unfortunately, we are still living through a pandemic. As much as we wish it were different, it is just not possible to come together for an in-person event.

“Having said that, COVID will not stop us from recognising the outstanding achievements of ARIA Award nominees in 2021 and spotlighting the strength and resilience of our amazing local music industry,” she continues.

“Even after an extremely difficult year, nothing can keep this industry down, and we hope to capture and pay homage to that spirit through the premium digital show that we have planned for this unique year.”

And that’s not the only news we’ve got from ARIA today. The association is officially turfing its traditional gendered awards for Best Male & Best Female Artist, in favour of one overarching and inclusive award category for Best Artist.

“The time for separating artists based on gendered categories that exclude non-binary artists altogether has passed,” Herd says.

“The music industry is demanding a more equal, inclusive, safe and supportive space for everyone and ARIA is working hard to achieve that across the ARIA Awards and everything we do. While the removal of gender-based categories is a significant change we are proud of, I recognise it is just one step in the continuous journey of reassessment, progression and ultimately evolution that we are committed to undertake. We’re determined to make the future of the ARIA Awards and the future of Australian music as bright as it can be.”

Stay tuned for more details about the 2021 ARIA Awards streaming event & nominees coming our way in the next few weeks.

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