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Loud & Proud

Indigenous music’s night of nights returns in 2023, as the National Indigenous Music Awards (NIMAs) celebrate Australia’s thriving First Nations musical landscape, right here on Larrakia Country. The highly anticipated annual event raises the profile of Indigenous music whilst showcasing talent, as a diverse mix of artists take to the Amphitheatre stage to perform under the stars.

By Tierney Seccull

The 2023 NIMAs are hosted by Fred Leone and Elaine Crombie, with performances from a range of artists including Barkaa, Budjerah and Thelma Plum. Awards categories include Artist of the Year, New Talent of the Year, Film Clip of the Year, Song of the Year, Album of the Year, and Community Clip of the Year.

NIMAs Creative Director Ben Graetz says he’s proud the event is held on Larrakia Country.

“The event was originally born here in the Top End on Larrakia Country, so I think it’s wonderful that 19 years later, we can still celebrate our incredible First Nations musicians and artists, and honour our music, songs and culture.”

Presented by Music NT, the NIMAs have gained traction over the years to become the largest celebration of First Nations music in Australia. Music NT's Executive Director Mark Smith says it’s important to recognise Indigenous music on a national level.

“The NIMAs play an important role ... but none more so than to amplify and showcase the amazing First Nations talent that Australia is producing,” he says.

“Alongside that, being able to stage what is arguably the most significant celebration of achievement and talent of First Nations musicians in the country, in Darwin, shows that nationally significant events can happen in regional centres.”

Arnhem Land group Wildfire Manwurrk, nominated for three awards this year, say the national recognition the NIMAs bring is very important to them.

"We have walked a long hard road to get here over many years and feel so happy to be recognised for our music at this national level. To be recognised as one of Australia’s important Indigenous voices means everything to us.

"Our music tells our story in our language, one of the oldest languages in this world. That language, it will help you connect to where you are standing. It will help us come together, where we learn from each other."

Smith says the artists deserve every bit of recognition.

“While the national sector has started to catch up and realise how incredible Australia’s First Nation artists are – through the success of The Kid Laroi, King Stingray and Jessica Mauboy – a space and place for community and the broader public to come together and celebrate is what drives the NIMAs to continue fostering this platform.”

For a magical night of celebration, storytelling and music, settle in under the stars to celebrate Australia’s brightest stars in Indigenous music.

National Indigenous Music Awards
COST $40 | $33 CONC | FREE U12

Inset: King Stingray

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