The ARIA Awards have becoming an increasingly embarrassing affair for a number of years now as the ship continues to sink to new lows. Last year was the pinnacle of embarrassment for what is supposed to be Australian music’s night of nights, with most of the industry and the media lambasting what really was a poorly thought out event.
This year organisers have tried to turn their fortunes around but the devil was in the detail from the very outset with media partner Channel Ten pulling the plug due to the dwindling ratings. I guess the TV executives started to wonder what the rest of us did, are the ARIAs still relevant?
The awards weren’t able to find a new home on any of the staple free-to-air channels, but instead now have been relegated to Channel Nine’s Go! network alongside re-runs of I Dream Of Jeanie. Surely the biggest celebration of Australian music deserves better than this?
Organisers really have tried to pull out the star power for this years event, which is due to take place at Allphones Arena on Sunday, with performances from an eclectic group of artists including Gotye & Kimbra, Drapht, Boy & Bear, Art Vs Science, Gurrumul, Missy Higgins, Cut Copy, The Living End, and that shit stain we can’t seem to get rid of Guy Sebastian.
The awards show will also induct into its Hall Of Fame two Australian icons, Kylie Minogue and The Wiggles, for that added star power organisers hope will make us interested to watch. But they weren’t content with stopping there, more star power they yelled!
So in headline grabbing fashion they looked to who else but the ever-popular Julia Gillard to induct the singing budgie in the Hall Of Fame. Cue the popcorn because this thing is going to be awkward. This makes total sense for organisers though who can only come up looking good by comparison, the only thing lower than the ARIA Awards ratings are the ratings for Gillard herself.
Actor David Wenham (you know, the guy from Seachange), Stevie Nicks, and Divinyls front-woman Chrissy Amphlett will also be in attendance to present awards on the night. As will Nine entertainment reporter Richard Wilkins, although we’re guessing that was part of a contra deal with the only broadcaster willing to throw the ARIA Awards a lifeline.
So don’t forget to tune into Go! on Sunday at 7.30pm, if last year is anything to go by you’ll be kicking yourself if you miss it. Also don’t forget to check out our slideshow of the top 10 award ceremony gaffes.