The special invite-only awards ceremony took place at Brisbane’s The Triffid and was livestreamed through Dailymotion.
The theme of this year’s NLMAs was “Saying Thanks”, with numerous special achievement awards given to recognise organisations, initiatives and artists who made a positive difference throughout the coronavirus pandemic.
Sampa The Great took home the biggest award of the night – Best Live Act – becoming the first solo artist and female musician to do so in the event’s history.
“I just want to thank my band for touring ‘The Return’ around the world, and sharing it with everybody,” she said.
“I want to thank all the sound engineers, everybody that makes things happen at festivals behind the scenes, especially at this time. You are valued and we appreciate you for making our live shows amazing.”
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Jaguar Jonze won the award for Best live Act in Queensland, which was presented by Brisbane City Council. She thanked her live band, saying it would have been “impossible without them”.
“I feel like I had a very short window at the start of this year and the end of the last year to prove myself as a live act before COVID took away my health,” she said.
“I spent the rest of the year fighting that and recovering and obviously the music industry itself is recovering from the pandemic as well, so this just blows my mind. Thank you so much.”
Other winners on the night included Stu Mackenzie for Live Guitarist of the Year, G Flip for The Sheddy/Live Drummer of the Year, Sosefina Fuamoli for Live Music Journalist of the Year and more. Find the full list of winners below.
The winners of the 2020 NLMAs are:
Special Achievement Award Winners
Stephen Wade (ALMBC)
Listen Up Music
Melbourne Digital Concert Hall (MDCH)
Live Act of the Year
Sampa The Great
Musicians Making A Difference Live Award
Live Voice of the Year
Zaachariaha Fielding (Electric Fields)
Live Guitarist of the Year
Stu Mackenzie (King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard)
Live Bassist of the Year
Jennifer Aslett (Stella Donnelly)
The Sheddy: Live Drummer of the Year
Live Instrumentalist of the Year
Warren Ellis (Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Dirty Three)
Live Event of the Year
Woodford Folk Festival
Photographer of the Year
Live Music Journalist of the Year
International Tour of the Year
TOOL (Frontier Touring)
Best Live Act in NSW
Caitlin Harnett & The Pony Boys
Best Live Act in ACT
Best Live Act in VIC
Best Live Act in QLD
Best Live Act in WA
Best Live Act in NT
Best Live Act in TAS
Best Live Act in SA