Baker Boy had another big night following his ARIA wins, picking up three awards.
It was a special night at the Music Victoria Awards, packed with strong, emotional performances; new inductees into the Hall Of Fame, and winners not needing to make speeches upon accepting their awards. Held in The Edge at Melbourne's Federation Square, the scene was set on a chilly yet bright evening in the city.
The 18th annual event saw the judging panel of over 200 Victorian music experts and the largest public voting response in the award show’s history make difficult decisions to choose just one winner per category. Here are all the winners.
Following on from his recent success at the 2022 ARIA Awards, the big winner of the night was Baker Boy, who picked up three awards, including Best Regional Act, Best Song for Survive and the coveted Best Album award for his acclaimed record Gela. The awards mark the eighth Music Victoria Award for Baker Boy, who previously won four trophies in 2018 and picked up another award in 2021.
First Nations talent from across the state remained front and centre throughout the ceremony, with Australia’s queen of soul, Emma Donovan scoring the Best Group award for Emma Donovan & The Putbacks. Noongar woman Bumpy won the Archie Roach Foundation Award for Emerging Talent, and revered Melbourne artist Mo’Ju picked up the Best Soul, Funk, RNB or Gospel Work award.
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Elsewhere, Melbourne group Pinch Points returned this year after winning the Best Breakthrough Act award in 2020, scoring their second Music Victoria award, this time for Best Rock/Punk Work.
Jazz artist Barney McCall also came back to the Music Victoria Awards in 2022, scoring his second trophy for Best Jazz Work after previous success in 2015 for his record Mooroolbark. Eclectic funk musician Harvey Sutherland was awarded Best Electronic Act for the second time after his last win in 2016.
For the first time in the award show’s history, Music Victoria announced the winners of the brand-new category, Best DJ, celebrating electronic and dance music communities in Victoria.
After being put to a public vote, Toronto-born Victorian-resident Jennifer Loveless and event curator and radio broadcaster MzRizk tied for the award, proving the appetite for dance music culture is high in Australia’s home of live music. Neither artist could make it on the night, but both had stylish representatives accepting awards in their places.
Pop musician and multi-instrumentalist Xani Kolac was awarded Best Musician, Kerryn Fields won Best Folk Act for Water, and Julia Jacklin backed up her recent ARIA award by taking out the Best Solo Artist award.
While Alice Ivy couldn't make it on the night, she was FaceTimed upon winning the Best Producer award, to the delight of everybody in the room.
Checkerboard Lounge won Best Blues Work, Georgia State Line scored Best Country, Outright moshed to Best Heavy Work, MAMMOTH. & Silent Jay picked up Best Hip Hop Work, The Stroppies won Best Pop Work, JahWise picked up Best Reggae or Dancehall Work, and The Amplified Elephants scored the Best Experimental or Avant-Garde Work award.
The essential Arts Access Amplify Award, established to highlight and recognise the contributions made by D/deaf and disabled musicians in Victoria, was officially awarded to Evelyn Ida Morris, whose work has been gaining critical acclaim and deeply resonating with audiences since their debut release Pikelet in 2007.
New partner MAV (Multicultural Arts Victoria) signed on to sponsor the MAV Diasporas Award (previously Best Global/Intercultural) – an award created for, by and with culturally and linguistically diverse creatives as an artistic intervention to increase visibility, participation, and equity in the music scene towards a new music ecology - went to Solomon Islands singer and musician Charles Maimarosia.
In 2022, the awards covered an even bigger footprint than before, with the award for Best Festival splitting out into Best Metro Festival and Best Regional Festival, spreading even more of the festive spirit across the state and celebrating the important events happening in Victoria’s vibrant regions. While Best Metro Festival went to Brunswick Music Festival, the award for Best Regional Festival landed at the Port Fairy Folk Festival.
The iconic Forum Theatre scored Best Large Venue for the second time, while Brunswick Ballroom picked up a trophy for Best Small Venue. The Best Regional Venue (Established) went to the Caravan Music Club in Archies Creek and Best Regional Venue (under 50 gigs per year) went to the beloved Daylesford Hotel.
The Music Victoria Awards also paid homage to some of the state’s most prolific artists, with Paul Kelly inducting Deborah Conway AM into the Hall Of Fame before Best Country winners Georgia State Line performed their rendition of Conway’s iconic track It's Only the Beginning.
Gareth Liddiard and Fiona Kitschin from Victorian bands The Drones and Tropical Fuck Storm inducted Helen Marcou AM and Ian "Quincy" McLean AM of Bakehouse Studios into the Hall Of Fame after spending more than 25 years helping strengthen the nation’s music culture.
There wasn’t a dry eye in sight as Uncle Kutcha Edwards performed his own rendition of Old Mission Road, paying tribute to one of the most influential artists that Australia has ever produced - the late, great Uncle Archie Roach - before the state of Victoria looked back at the critical music figures that we lost in 2022. While he didn't intend to perform, we're grateful he did.
Local outfit JAZZPARTY closed the evening with a live performance of their 2016 hit Higher With My Love.
“Last night’s Music Victoria Awards ceremony was bursting at the seams with the community, comradery, and solidarity that we have seen from the music community throughout the Music Victoria Awards campaign," said Simone Schinkel, CEO of Music Victoria.
"It was an honour to witness three generations in attendance alongside the full spectrum of the industry involved in contemporary music.
"In the last year, the Victorian music industry has done it tough, and we have lost some important figures. Everyone in that room, even those who tuned in from home, knows exactly why we do it – the celebration, the tears, and the soul-moving, humanising, joyous music. Congratulations to all involved – the entrants, the nominees, the judges, the sponsor and partners, the staff, the performers, and the deserving winners."