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History of The Age Music Victoria Awards

The Age Music Victoria Awards are an annual Awards night celebrating Victorian music.

The Age Music Victoria Awards consist of:

  • 12 publicly voted categories - Best Song, Best Album, Best Band, Best Male Artist, Best Female Artist, Best Live Act, Best Emerging Act, Best Regional Act, Best Regional Venue, Best Venue (under 500 capacity), Best Venue (over 500 capacity) and Best Festival 
  • 11 genre categories voted on by selected industry panels of experts in that genre - Best Blues Album, Best Country Album, Best Soul, Funk, R'n'B or Gospel Album, Best Jazz Album, Best Hip Hop Album, Best Electronic Act, Best Heavy Album, Best Aboriginal Act, Best Global or Reggae Album, Best Folk or Roots Album and Best Experimental or Avant-Garde Act 
  • 1 induction to The Age Music Victoria Hall of Fame

Patrick Donovan started the Age Music Victoria Awards in 2005 to celebrate The Age EG’s 21st anniversary at the Prince Bandroom. He ran them for six years as The Age EG Music Awards before leaving the Age.

Mary Mihelakos ran them for two years, moving them to Billboard in the city, and in 2013, the Age and Music Victoria entered a joint venture partnership to form the Age Music Victoria Awards. In 2014 Belinda Collins from The Social Crew came on board as the event producer.

In 2015 - its tenth year, The Age Music Victoria awards celebrated the milestone with two big events in November 2015.

Genre Awards

In 2013 The Age and Music Victoria launched the Genre Awards.

These awards celebrate music from spesific genres who may get over looked in the public voted awards.

Genres represented are:
Blues, Country, Soul, Funk, R'n'B, Gospel, Jazz, Hip Hop, Electronic, Heavy, Indigenous, Global or Reggae, Folk, Experimental and Avant Garde.

For a list of previous winners and nominees please click here.


How are the nominees decided?

Nominees for The Age Music Victoria Awards are chosen via an extensive selection process.  

An Awards committee from The Age and Music Victoria select a panel of 30+ industry judges from radio, music blogs, print media, record stores, festivals and more to submit a long list of up to 10 nominations in each category. These lists are then collated into a large voting survey and it is distributed again to judges to vote.

If a judge has a conflict of interest with one of the nominations they will raise this conflict with the Awards committee and the panel will use their descretion to make a decision.

The top five from these results are then selected as the nominees for public vote.  Of course, nominations will always be competitive and in the event of a tie, the Awards committee may do a countback, refer to the criteria and will ultimately have the final decision.

What is ‘Victorian’?

The majority of the band (at least 50%) producing the music must be current permanent residents of Victoria (and have lived in Victoria for at least the last two years). The band’s / artist’s music must be available for sale in Victoria and the band / artist must perform in Victoria regularly.

What is ‘Best’?

Depending on the category and in the opinion of the judges, the nominee who shows the most excellence in contemporary music in the period between 1 September 2016 and 31 August 2017. Factors considered include but are not limited to - connection with audience; volume and quality of shows; live appeal; innovation and Victorian spirit.

Best Band and Best Live Act

‘Band’ may include an artist (who is not a solo artist) that performs/records under an individual name or pseudonym with a regular band.

Best Male and Female

‘Best Male and Female’ may include an artist that performs under a pseudonym or band name and who makes an extraordinary contribution to that act. Factors considered include but are not limited to – volume and quality of releases and live performances; impact overseas; innovation and Victorian spirit.

Best Emerging Act

'Best Emerging Act' may include an artist who has released an EP or debut album, but cannot include an artist who has released more than one album. Artists cannot be nominated twice for 'Best Emerging Act'.

Best Regional Act

‘Best Regional Act’ may include an artist that has at least 50% of its members residing outside of the Melbourne metro area or that by reason of geographical location may face barriers in their music pursuits which have been overcome.

Best Festivals

Any festival may be nominated in a long list by a judge, however only one festival per site can ultimately be nominated for public vote for each promoter/site.

Best Venue Categories

Any venue that hosts contemporary live music may be nominated in a long list by a judge. Factors considered when nominating include but are not limited to - commitment to live music; volume and quality of shows; quality of overall experience; and quality of sound system.
There are three Best Venue awards:

  1. Best Venue (under 500 cap)
  2. Best Venue (over 500 cap)
  3. Best Regional Venue


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