Australia’s Independent Music’s night of nights welcomed in the 2018 AIR Awards in Adelaide last night hosted once again by the ever charming Dylan Lewis. Not only did this year’s list of recipients see 12 of Australia’s finest artists acknowledged, it also recognised the work of two strong independent music business’, rewarding them with financial funding from our supporting partners.

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The AIR Award for Best Independent Label went to Milk! Records and thanks to moshtix; Australia’s most trusted Independent Ticketing company, they will receive a digital marketing package valued at $20,000 to help showcase their talent to the music public.

Skinnyfish Music took out AIR’s new Outstanding Achievement Award receiving a $5,000 cash prize from global independent rights agency Merlin, in recognition of their significant and lasting contribution to the Australian Independent Music Community.

Milk! Records celebrated once more with Jen Cloher taking home AIR’s Best Independent Artist award, whilst Best Independent Single went to Alex Lahey for her song ‘Every Day’s The Weekend’.

In an AIR Awards first, Best Independent Album or EP was a tie this year, awarding both Methyl Ethel for their Everything is Forgotten album and The Jungle Giants for their Quiet Ferocity album, the two racking up an equal number of votes.

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In the genre awards PNAU dominated in their category for Best Independent Dance, Electronica or Club Single and Best Independent Dance/Electronica Album. Whilst the Best Independent Hard Rock, Heavy or Punk Album award went to King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard, and BIRDZ took home Best Independent Hip Hop Album.

Fanny Lumsden accepted the award for Best Independent Country Album, before taking to the stage to perform ‘Elastic Waistband’ off her Real Class Act record.

Having kicked off the night performing Welcome to Country with the Tal-Kin-Jeri Dancers, followed by his own ‘Mr La Di Da Di’ single, Baker Boy stepped back onstage later in the night to receive the award for Breakthrough Independent Artist of the Year Presented by PPCA.

Alex The Astronaut’s performance of ‘Not Worth Hiding’ and Stella Donnelly ‘Boys Will Be Boys’ raw performance demonstrated the power music can have, whilst BAD//DREEMS kept the party atmosphere in tow with their ‘Feeling Remains’ anthem.

ABC Classics had good reason to celebrate with their two artists James Morrison/BBC Concert Orchestra taking out the gong for Best Independent Jazz Album and Australian Chamber Orchestra/Richard Tognetti receiving Best Independent Classical Album.

The night’s proceedings came to a close with the unique and powerfully endearing Caiti Baker performing her R&B/Soul single ‘I Won’t Sleep’.

AIR GM, Maria Amato commented “It was great to celebrate the success of the Australian Independent music sector at the 2018 AIR Awards in Adelaide last night. We are grateful to the South Australian Government for their continued support and to all our valued partners who helped us make it all happen.”

Minister for Industry and Skills, the Hon. David Pisoni MP commented: “Congratulations to all the winners of the 2018 AIR Awards. The Marshall Liberal Government is committed to developing the environment for the next generation of creative talent in live music, to help the music industry grow and thrive in South Australia.”

Photographer credit: Morgan Sette