National Indigenous Music Awards return to live format + announces massive performance line-up  

[by Mitch Fresta]


Image: supplied

The National Indigenous Music Awards are proud to unveil a huge live performance lineup for the 2021 event at the Darwin Amphitheatre on August 7.


An extraordinary celebration of music, song, dance and the oldest surviving culture in the world, the night will once again be broadcast via NITV and online platforms, focusing on healing and reflection after a challenging time for our community.


With lockdowns, remote communities cut off from loved ones and a music community on its knees from the impact on touring and live performances, the NIMAs is a time for our First Nations music sector to come together as one with all of our community on Larrakia land to share stories, reflect on our shared experiences and look to our future.


This year’s musical lineup is one of the strongest in the event’s seventeen-year strong history with Baker Boy, Jessica Mauboy, Miiesha, Electric Fields, King Stingray, Dallas Woods and Kee’Ahn, Alice Skye and more to be revealed.


After last year’s hosting interrupted by border closures, the host with the most Steven Oliver (Faboriginal, A Chance Affair, Black Comedy) will finally grace the stage to bring together the exclusive performances and the coveted award presentations, switching last year’s intimate indoor celebration for the bright stars of the Top End.


Creative Director Ben Graetz explained that this year’s theme of collective experience, healing and reflection has never been more pertinent as the world grapples with COVID-19.

“The vision for this year’s awards is to draw on our opportunity to come together and celebrate in person and as a community. We will reflect on our journey over the past year and acknowledge each others’ personal stories of being able to push through the challenging times but also finding gentle opportunities in these moments. This year we focus on healing as a community and how, through the magnetism of music, we can make this happen.”


Last year’s virtual NIMAs was the biggest in the event’s history, reaching over 250,000 people with broadcasts across NITV, Double J, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter. Featuring live performances captured across Australia including Archie Roach, Miiesha, Thelma Plum, Mambali, JK-47 and more, the event also crossed live to communities as far as Yirrkala and Broome, with an amazing buzz lighting up social media and providing togetherness in a year that needed it most.


This year’s event will continue to reach out across the country in a program that will welcome and include its online audience.


Nominations for this year’s awards close tomorrow (May 28) and are open for any member of the community to nominate First Nations artists or releases from the last twelve months. For more details, visit


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