APRA Music Awards Shifts to Virtual Ceremony Due to COVID-19 Pandemic

Sydney, Australia
Buena Vista Images/Getty Images

Sydney, Australia

The 2020 APRA Music Awards is the latest music event switching up their strategy in the wake of the coronavirus crisis.

The Australasian industry event was slated to take place April 28 at the International Convention Centre in Sydney, but there's been a change of plan. In response to the pandemic and ongoing safety concerns, reads a statement issued Thursday (March 26), this year’s show won’t be held in the usual live format.

Instead, award winners and nominees will be celebrated at a “virtual event” on Tuesday, May 26, to be streamed live from a location yet to be announced.

"This is an unprecedented time in all our lives, it’s not easy to make any sort of decision right now about the near future,” comments Jenny Morris, chair of the APRA Board. “But everyone involved with the APRA Music Awards decided that going ahead with the awards was something we could and should do – albeit in a very different way, but one that brings the awards to music fans far and wide for the first time. It’s important to celebrate and acknowledge the success and artistry of our songwriters whose work enriches our lives. They will be the ones who help us get through this time."

Established in 1982, the Australasian Performing Right Association's annual songwriters' ceremony is one of the Australian music industry's most treasured events, one which recognizes excellence in songwriting.

Award-winning singer and songwriter and Australia’s 2019 Eurovision representative Kate Miller-Heidke returns for her second year as curator of the APRAs, in the role as Awards Musical Director.

Nominees for the “reimagined” event will be announced on April 7.

The list will include a new category, for most performed alternative work, the nominees and winners of which are determined by royalties earned from Australian performances of the song across broadcast, digital downloads, streaming services, and live performance.

Meanwhile, the category of overseas recognition award has found a new home within the Global APRA Music Awards, held for the first time in recent weeks across Los Angeles, Nashville and London.