Tones And I, Jack River, Baker Boy and Miss Blanks among panelists and performers set for 2021 ARIA Week

This year's week of panels and performances will take on a new format

The festivities for the ninth annual ARIA Week have been announced, making its return to Sydney later this month with performers including Tones And I, Vance Joy and Baker Boy.

Per a press release, this year’s ARIA Week – which as usual, ties into the Ausmusic Month initiative, and is backed by the NSW Government and non-profit licensing firm PPCA – was tailored specifically “to celebrate Australian music, as well as to draw attention to and create discussion around industry issues”.

Kicking off on Saturday November 19, this year’s week of panels, workshops, performances and pop-ups will be hosted by non-alcoholic beer brand Heaps Normal, with today’s (November 8) press release noting that they’ll be “helping to support the Aussie music industry and unite music lovers by reconnecting with our beloved music scene in innovative and exciting new ways”.

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Leading this year’s live music showcase is a virtual edition of Nova’s Red Room, with Tones And I, Vance Joy and Baker Boy – all of whom are nominated for various categories in the 2021 ARIA Awards – delivering unique performances. It’ll go down on Wednesday November 23, following a quadrant of panels and workshop events that will be available to stream on YouTube. “Attendees” are encouraged to RSVP here.

It’s noted that 2021’s ARIA Week will take on a new format, with a focal point on “key discussions around some of the industry’s biggest themes heading into 2022”. By way of its roster of panels, the event hopes to address “key areas of interest including innovation and entrepreneurship, cultural change, promoting first nations culture through music, and a workshop to help nurture emerging artists and aspiring industry professionals”.

Among the industry professionals set to appear, artists who will take part in these events include Miss Blanks, Nooky, Jack River and Emma Donovan. Full details for the entire slate of panels can be found on the ARIA website.

“Perhaps more than ever, it has been important for ARIA to find a way to bring the industry together in a meaningful way this awards period. Australian music is at a turning point and as such we wanted to curate events that acknowledge the work that has been done, while also guiding the conversation for the future,” ARIA CEO Annabelle Herd said in a statement.

“We’re excited to say we have collaborated with some of the most exciting and innovative artists, leaders, industry professionals and third party experts ready to talk about what they do best. Of course, ARIA Week is also about celebrating the incredible work and dedication of everyone involved in Australian music through another difficult year, which I’m sure is something we can all look forward to.”

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The bespoke ARIA Awards ceremony is slated to go down virtually on Wednesday November 24. This year’s nominees were announced last month, with Budjerah, Genesis Owusu, Amy Shark and The Avalanches each earning multiple nods. The latter three, Midnight Oil and Tones And I are all up for the prestigious Album Of The Year award.

This is the first year ARIA has abolished the gendered categories of Best Male Artist and Best Female Artist, instead opting for a gender-neutral Best Artist category. The annual Breakthrough Artist category was also renamed this year in honour of the late Mushroom Group founder, Michael Gudinski.

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