Thousands gathered virtually on Thursday 30 April to mark the sixth Gold Coast Music Awards in very different circumstances to previous events.

Held via video premiere across social media, the annual event featured special guests Amy Shark, Tommy Emmanuel, Tones and I, Sophie Monk and Michael Chugg who delivered warm messages to the national audience tuning in.

Casey Barnes took out the big gong, Artist of the Year, for the first time, having been a finalist every year since the Awards’ inception. The win comes just days after Casey hit #1 in the ARIA country charts and #4 in the overall Australian charts. 

Busby Marou, featuring Gold Coast resident Tom Busby won Release of the Year, sponsored by Southern Cross University for their album ‘The Great Divide’ and also impressed with an iso-performance during the presentations.

Eliza and the Delusionals, back on the Gold Coast, having cut short a US tour and cancelled SXSW appearance won Breakout Artist of the Year in recognition of the huge strides they’ve made reaching international audiences over the past twelve months.

Song Of The Year, sponsored by CBD Live was awarded to triple threat, DVNA, for her self-produced tune, ‘Looking Like A Snack’; Julz Parker, acclaimed guitarist for blues ‘n’ roots act, Hussy Hicks, won Musician Of The Year, while Live Act Of The Year was taken out by electronica/world music globetrotters, Tijuana Cartel.

Emerging artist DENNIS. was surprised by a congratulatory message from Tones and I after her win of the inaugural Gold Coast Music Prize, a 12-month career development package with management advice, PR, video production, media support and more. Bleach Festival helped make that category possible by joining forces with other members of the local music industry to create the career-defining prize.

“I definitely know how hard it can be as an emerging artist, so that’s why it’s so great to see an award like the Gold Coast Music Prize help artists and give them a leg up,” said Tones, who’s hit single, Dance Monkey just became the world’s highest ever Spotify streamed song by a female artist.

The competitive Video Of The Year category was taken out by Eddie Ray, for DIY animation, ‘The Story’; fans voted Lagerstein for the People’s Choice Award; while the old adage ‘home is where the heart is’ was proven true when Home Of The Arts turned out to be Gold Coast’s best Venue Of The Year, sponsored by Oztix.

Other category sponsors are HOTA – Home of the Arts for Artist of the Year, Griffith University Queensland Conservatorium for Breakout Artist of the Year, Gold Coast Music for Live Act, TAFE Queensland for Musician of the Year, QT Gold Coast for Video of the Year and East West Presents for the People’s Choice Award.

Trophy artists Dion Parker and Courtenay McCue were also acknowledge for their work in the presentation.

Gold Coast Mayor, Tom Tate, said that Gold Coast talent continues to be of the highest standard.

“I congratulate all of this year’s winners,” Mayor Tate said. “I have no doubt the industry here on the Gold Coast will bounce back stronger than ever and after the restrictions have eased, I look forward to hearing them once again play their music at venues across the city.”

It’s uncertain yet where the Gold Coast Music Awards will take place next year, this being the last year the event was scheduled to take place on the beach in Surfers Paradise. A restructure of the city’s major event groups means all options are on the table.

“We’re having lots of fruitful discussions with the city’s major event organisers,” Director Chloe Popa said. “We’re looking forward to letting the industry know what to expect for 2021 as soon as we can.

You can get your fix of live music with this year’s presentation still available for viewing on Facebook, including intimate, loungeroom performances by winners Casey Barnes, Busby Marou, DVNA, Eliza and the Delusionals, Hussy Hicks and more.

The Gold Coast Music Awards is proudly supported by City of Gold Coast and Surfers Paradise Alliance.

Winners – 2020 Gold Coast Music Awards

ARTIST OF THE YEAR

– sponsored by Home Of The Arts

Casey Barnes

BREAKOUT ARTIST OF THE YEAR

– sponsored by Griffith University and the SEED program –

Eliza and the Delusionals

LIVE ACT OF THE YEAR

– sponsored by Gold Coast Music –

Tijuana Cartel

MUSICIAN OF THE YEAR

– sponsored by TAFE QLD –

Julz Parker

RELEASE OF THE YEAR

– sponsored by Southern Cross University –

The Great Divide – Busby Marou 

SONG OF THE YEAR

– sponsored by CBD Live –

Looking Like A Snack – DVNA

VENUE OF THE YEAR

– sponsored by Oztix –

HOTA Home Of The Arts

VIDEO OF THE YEAR

– sponsored by QT –

The Story – Eddie Ray

GOLD COAST MUSIC PRIZE

– sponsored by Bleach* The Gold Coast Festival –

DENNIS.

PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARD

– sponsored by East West Presents  –

Lagerstein