Awards season is back. We’re all winners (Op-Ed)


Awards season is back. And if you’re in living in Australia, the glory is all yours.

Last Wednesday night (April 28), the industry gathered for the APRA Music Awards on Sydney’s Darling Harbour, the first of what everyone in the room will hope should be a regular thing.

The APRAs was a type of mass coming-out party. After a year-and-some held back from the fun stuff, the schmoozing and taking happy snaps with our favourite people, the APRAs took us back to another, golden time.

There was mingling without social distancing, masks weren’t to be seen, the stars came out, and enough bubbly was on hand to lay waste to a herd of elephants.

Most ice-breakers on the night would start with how bizarre it was to see a large gathering of industry people, indoors and in fancy clothes. And how utterly thrilling it was to be part of it all, participants in a cracking night.

We’re all out of practice.

Some of us even caught flights — in actual planes — to get amongst it on the night.

It used to be like this, prior to March 2020. We took it for granted.

Tones wins two at the 2021 APRA Awards

The APRAs were, in every possible way, a stark contrast with the 2021 Academy Awards, an historically-lame event held in a train station, its small, dispersed audience looking on with grim faces and not a drink in sight.

Australians live in the lucky country, no doubt about it. As do our buddies on the other side of the Tasman, who’re now connected by a “bubble.”

There’s action on that front, with the finest from Queensland lining up for the 2021 QMAs, set for Brisbane’s Fortitude Music Awards next Wednesday (May 5).

And next Friday, Denis Handlin’s 50 years with Sony Music will be celebrated with a blockbuster at the ICC Sydney, the same setting for this year’s APRA Awards.

The ceasefire with COVID is a fragile one, a situation rammed home by recent snap lockdowns in Perth and Brisbane. And until Australia catches up on the vaccine sweepstakes, life as we know it will be lived day-to-day.

Still, it could be much worse.

The APRA Awards showed us just how fortunate we are. The telecast of the drab Oscars was a reminder of that.

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