Australia's flagship industry gala, the ARIA Awards, will take center-stage on Nov. 7 as part of a revamped formula designed to win the public over.

For the first time in its 24-year history, the gala will be hosted at the Sydney Opera House, the final crowning piece in a rejigged program comprising six separate events. All told, a record 31 ARIA Award categories will handed out in the coming months.

News of the new "ARIA season" was revealed today at the iconic venue on Sydney Harbour, where the industry gathered for the ARIA #1 Chart Awards, the first-up show in the industry awards calendar.

Next up will be the Sept. 28 nominations event at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, followed by the third-annual ARIA Fine Arts Awards on Oct. 11. Four home-grown legends will be inducted Oct. 27 into the ARIA Hall of Fame, which relocates to Sydney's Hordern Pavilion after five years in Melbourne.

A special "roll-out" function for 12 genre categories will lead-off Nov. 1, a week prior to the main ARIA Awards.

Speaking today at the function, ARIA chairman and president/CEO of Warner Music Australasia Ed St John described the run of shows as the most "spectacular reinvention" in ARIAs history.

On the big night, six performances will happen inside and outside the Opera House, and 11 gongs will be decided, including the two new peer-voted categories of best hard rock/heavy metal album and best adult alternative album.

After a ratings dud on Channel Nine last year, the ARIA Awards will be beamed on the evening by long-time free-to-air broadcast partner Network Ten, and produced by FremantleMedia Australia.

St John is confident the return to Ten and a string of new elements will prove popular with the masses. "We needed to take it to another level," St John tells Billboard.biz. "We felt we were losing engagement the audience. There's a younger audience who isn't necessarily enamored with watching three-hour TV shows. We felt we had to reengage with the audience, make it a more public event, a more visible event, a more mainstream event that appeals to more people."

Fourteen artists were feted at today's (July 22) eighth annual ARIA #1 Chart Awards, which celebrates the success of those acts who nailed a No. 1 single, album or music DVD, during the period May 1, 2009 to 19 July, 2010.

Among the chart-toppers on hand to receive their trophies were members of popular rock group Powderfinger, hip hoppers Hilltop Hoods, classical-crossover artist David Campbell, soul singer Guy Sebastian, pop-rock phenomenon Short Stack and progressive act COG.

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