The Australian Event Awards announced its list of finalists in the 2020 Australian Event Awards, with Gold Coast Music Awards 2020 – an entirely virtual event – getting a nod in the Best Small Event category, which has also landed them in the Best Event list, alongside such heavy hitters as Splendour in the Grass 2019, Perth’s Bledisloe Cup, and fellow Gold Coast events Bandwidth 2020, the final Currumbin incarnation of Buskers By The Creek in 2019, and last year’s Groundwater Country Music Festival in Broadbeach.

>>> Read the full list of finalists here

Gold Coast Music Awards co-founder Chloe Popa says the team is honoured by the acknowledgment, particularly considering the event was unable to proceed as planned.

“We are absolutely stoked to be a finalist in this year’s Australian Event Awards, especially after the craziness of 2020 so far,” says Chloe.

“We went from planning our major physical event in Surfers Paradise, to not being sure we were going to be able to proceed at all, to doing a last minute pivot to the virtual format we ended up with. I think it’s a real testament to the hard work and resilience of our small but dedicated team, that we were able to pull something of such high quality in such a short period of time.

“We believe that the Gold Coast Music Awards is an essential event in Gold Coast’s cultural calendar, and judging by the overwhelming support and feedback we received on deciding to proceed with 2020’s virtual offering, the music industry here feels the same way. This finalist nod is a welcome reflection of that idea.”

>>> You can still watch the video of this year’s GCMAs, which has now racked up over 61,000 views.

Australian Event Awards organisers say this year’s event will absolutely be proceeding live.

“2020 has been a horror year for Aussie Events” says Ian Steigrad, Managing Director of the Awards, “so we are determined to do anything we can to get everyone together to celebrate the great things that we have achieved prior-to and in some cases in-spite-of the effects of COVID-19.”

The Awards Ceremony will proceed in a COVID-Safe manner by holding simultaneous events in most capital cities on 21 October.

The Sydney celebration will serve as the largest of the events with up to 150 people allowed according to current orders from NSW Health. Satellite ceremonies are already being planned for Brisbane and Perth in compliance with health orders in those States and organisers hope to bring other states on board in the next few weeks. Video link-up technology will be used to tie the individual ceremonies together so that Winners can be anywhere and still participate.

“We will have to operate in a new way with restrictions on total numbers at each event, social distancing requirements and the possibility of last-minute changes to restrictions but we’re excited to meet the challenges of the new reality and work with the great people in our industry to pull together something that we can all be proud of.” Steigrad continued.

Details of venues and ticket sales for each Ceremony will be available in the next few weeks. “Obviously, with limited tickets available, priority will be given to finalists” says Steigrad, “but we’re hoping to be able to include a number of non-finalists as well so watch this space as the details emerge!”.

>>> Read the live plan here

Across the board, 2020 was a very high scoring year.

In fact, Brenda LaPorte, Co-Chair of the Judging Panel, reported that “the entries put forward for judging on average scored significantly higher than last year. This is an incredible result knowing what the industry has been through in 2020. It clearly reflects the high quality of the events delivered across Australia and what we have to look forward to when our industry makes its comeback.”

For more information on the Australian Event Awards 2020, visit the website.