Sampa The Great, Violent Soho and WAAX lead nominations for 2020 National Live Music Awards

The winners will be announced in October

Sampa The Great, Violent Soho and WAAX lead the nominations for the 2020 National Live Music Awards (NLMAs), with three categories each. Find the full list of nominees below.

The nominations for this year’s NLMAs were announced today (September 8), with public voting to run from September 8-24.

The winners will be announced via livestream on October 20, the night before BIGSOUND 2020 kicks off. A special invite-only, socially distanced gala will be held simultaneously at Brisbane’s The Triffid, with live performances and other presentations to be announced.


In a statement, NLMA board member and singer-songwriter Katie Noonan said she was “inspired and buoyed by the quality and diversity of nominations” from this year’s NLMAs.

“Live music in Australia is truly world-class and these nominations are the evidence,” Noonan said.

“Our industry was decimated within a matter of days mid-March and will be the last to
recover, but we fight on – to protect our amazing and resilient industry and all the
artists who make it the world-class beast it is! The phoenix will rise from the ashes of
this pandemic, and our amazing Australia music will be the soundtrack to its new

A “Live Legend Award Presentation” was also scheduled for this year’s NLMAs, but both winners and organisers decided mutually to defer the presentation until next year, which will see two artists inducted into the NLMAs Hall of Fame for both 2020 and 2021.

NLMAs director Larry Heath said it was “an honour” to reveal this year’s list of nominees, despite the challenges presented by the coronavirus pandemic.

“It’s an honour to reveal the NLMAs Class of 2020, a group who reflect a year that is split
between normality and the exact opposite – but one that deserves to be celebrated
from start to end – for incredible performances, ingenuity and perseverance,” Heath said.


“We hope for those nominated, this is a glimmer a good news in what we know is a
very tough time for so many around the country involved in the live industry – from
the musician to the sound engineer, the venue owner to the festival booker. Our
thoughts are with all of you, the entire Australian live industry – the best damn live scene in the world.”

The full list of NLMAs Nominees for 2020 is:

Live Act of the Year
Ball Park Music
Genesis Owusu
Sampa The Great
Tropical Fuck Storm

Live Voice of the Year
Sampa The Great
Stella Donnelly
Zaachariaha Fielding (Electric Fields)

Live Guitarist of the Year
Bec Goring (Gordi, Alexander Biggs, Merpire)
Courtney Barnett
James Tidswell (Violent Soho)
Oscar Dawson (Holy Holy)
Stu Mackenzie (King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard)

Live Bassist of the Year
Fiona Kitschin (Tropical Fuck Storm)
Grace Barbé
Jennifer Aslett (Stella Donnelly)
Joe Russo (Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever)
Luke Henery (Violent Soho)

The Sheddy: Live Drummer of the Year
Lindy Morrison (Alex The Astronaut)
Talya Valenti (Stella Donnelly, Bolt Gun)
Tim Commandeur (Tkay Maidza, PNAU)
Tom Bloomfield (WAAX)

Live Instrumentalist of the Year
Kirsty Tickle (Party Dozen)
Silentjay (Sampa The Great)
Toby Chew Lee (Baker Boy, The Veronicas etc.)
Warren Ellis (Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Dirty Three)
Zoe Davis (Cub Sport)

Live Event of the Year
St Jerome’s Laneway Festival
Woodford Folk Festival
Yours & Owls Festival

Photographer of the Year
Adrian Thompson
Jess Gleeson
Lauren Connelly
Michelle Grace Hunder
Tashi Hall

Live Music Journalist of the Year 
Hayden Davies
Jules LeFevre
Kate Hennessy
Poppy Reid
Sosefina Fuamoli

International Tour of the Year
Elton John (Chugg & AEG)
Orville Peck (Live Nation & Secret Sounds)
Sleaford Mods (Handsome Tours)
The 1975 (Secret Sounds)
TOOL (Frontier Touring)

Best Live Act in NSW
Caitlin Harnett & The Pony Boys
Lime Cordiale
Ruby Fields

Best Live Act in ACT
Aya Yves
Citizen Kay
Hope Wilkins

Best Live Act in VIC
Alice Ivy
Cable Ties
Kira Puru
Sampa The Great

Best Live Act in QLD
Jaguar Jonze
Violent Soho

Best Live Act in WA
Great Gable
Stella Donnelly
Sly Withers
Southern River Band
Your Girl Pho

Best Live Act in NT
Caiti Baker
Kuya James
Stevie Jean
Serina Pech

Best Live Act in TAS
A. Swayze and the Ghosts
Chase City
EWAH & The Vision of Paradise
Slag Queens

Best Live Act in SA
My Chérie
West Thebarton

The nominees for the Special Achievement and the Musicians Making a Difference (MMAD) Awards are still to be announced.