Australia’s 2021 National Indigenous Music Awards (NIMAs) has been postponed, due to recent outbreaks of COVID-19 across the country.
This year’s NIMAs was slated to take place Aug. 7 at the Darwin Amphitheatre, though with the Delta variant spreading fast and wrecking plans for cross-border travel, organizers have made the tough call.
Currently, the state of New South Wales is considered a hotspot by the Northern Territory government and strict COVID restrictions remain in place for Melbourne and Adelaide.
According to a statement issued late Tuesday, the current health crisis has made it “increasingly clear the festivities have to be put on pause until later in the year to ensure performers and nominees can be together for the annual celebration.”
NIMA Creative Director Ben Graetz adds, “it is unfortunate yet the best choice for all our artists and community that we move this year’s event to ensure the night celebrates togetherness.”
Nominees this time included three-time finalists The Kid Laroi, Sycco, and Baker Boy, and two-time finalists Birdz, Miiesha, and Tia Gostelow. Also earning nods this year are Budjerah, J-MILLA, King Stingray, and Chasing Ghosts, and Triple J Unearthed NIMAs winner, JK-47.
Performers booked this year included Baker Boy, Miiesha, Electric Fields, King Stingray, Dallas Woods and Kee’Ahn, and Alice Skye, and comedian Steven Oliver was named as host.
The 17th annual NIMAs, said to be Australia’s premier First Nations music event, was set to be broadcast again via NITV and online platforms, including Double J, Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter.
A celebration of music, song, dance, and the oldest surviving culture on the planet, the NIMAs are supported by the Territory Government and in association with Darwin Festival.
Ticket holders for the 2021 NIMAs will be contacted with the opportunity to hold onto their stubs for the to-be-confirmed new date or access a refund.
At this stage, it’s unclear which date organizers have penciled-in for 2022.