Stella Donnelly, Tones and I, Angie McMahon among winners at the 2020 AIR Awards

The ceremony was broadcast live on YouTube

Stella Donelly, Tones and I and Angie McMahon were among the long list of winners named at the 2020 AIR Awards last night (October 1).

The ceremony was held at Adelaide’s The Lion Arts Factory and broadcast live on YouTube for the first time in AIR Awards history. It was co-hosted by Dylan Lewis and Jessica Braithwaite, with the former performing his hosting duties virtually from home.

The event was opened with remote performances from The Teskey Brothers and The Soul Movers, as well as winners McMahon and Donnelly. McMahon was awarded Best Independent Rock Album Or EP for her 2019 debut ‘Salt’, while Donnelly took home two gongs for ‘Beware Of The Dogs’, winning Best Independent Pop Album Or EP and Independent Album Of The Year.


Tones and I also took home double wins, taking out the awards for Breakthrough Independent Artist Of The Year and Independent Song Of The Year.

You can watch the full event below:

Among the other award winners were Sampa The Great, taking out the Best Independent Hip Hop category, Julia Jacklin’s ‘Crushing’ for Best Independent Blues & Roots Album or EP, Charlie Collins ‘Snowpine’ in the Best Independent Country category, DZ Deathrays’ ‘Positive Rising: Part 1’ for Best Independent Punk Album Or EP and The Jungle Giants, who won Best Independent Dance Or Electronica with their ‘Heavy Hearted 1,2,3,4 AM Remixes’.

Awards were also given to industry players making real positive contributions to music, with Isol-Aid’s Emily Ulman receiving the 2020 Outstanding Achievement Award. Ulman’s virtual festival Isol-Aid has been supporting musicians throughout the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, with all revenue from the events going back into artists’ pockets.

ABC Music were also crowned Independent Label Of The Year, recognised for their ongoing support and contribution to Australia’s independent music scene.


AIR CEO Maria Amato congratulated everyone involved in this year’s awards, from nominees to winners.

“We congratulate all the nominees and award recipients and are grateful for the ongoing support we have received from the South Australian Government and our supporting partners. We look forward to celebrating the success of the Australian Independent music sector in Adelaide again next year,” she said.

The 2020 AIR Awards winners are: 

Best Independent Country Album or EP
Charlie Collins, ‘Snowpine’

Best Independent Blues And Roots Album or EP
Julia Jacklin, ‘Crushing’

Best Independent Pop Album or EP
Stella Donnelly, ‘Beware Of The Dogs’

Best Independent Rock Album or EP
Angie Mcmahon, ‘Salt’

Best Independent Label
ABC Music

Outstanding Achievement Award
Emily Ulman

Independent Album Of The Year
Stella Donnelly, ‘Beware Of The Dogs’

Independent Song Of The Year
Tones And I, ‘Dance Monkey’

Best Independent Soul/R&b Album or EP
Caiti Baker, ‘Dust (Pt. 1)’

Best Independent Classical Album or EP
Richard Tognetti & Erin Helyard, ‘Beethoven & Mozart Violin Sonatas’

Breakthrough Independent Artist of The Year
Tones And I

Best Independent Hip Hop Album or EP
Sampa The Great, ‘The Return’

Best Independent Dance or Electronica Album or EP
The Jungle Giants, ‘Heavy Hearted 1,2,3,4 AM Remixes’

Best Independent Dance, Electronica or Club Single
Dom Dolla, ‘San Frandisco’

Best Independent Jazz Album or EP
Kate Ceberano And Paul Grabowsky, ‘Tryst’

Best Independent Punk Album or EP
Dz Deathrays, ‘Positive Rising: Part 1’

Best Independent Heavy Album or EP
Northlane, ‘Alien’

Best Independent Children’s Album or EP
Regurgitator’s Pogogo Show, ‘The Really Really Really Really Boring Album’