2023 nominees and live legend recipients revealed; free event tickets & public voting now open

After two years off, the National Live Music Awards (NLMAs) is set to return with eight simultaneous FREE events around Australia on 11th October 2023.

Today at a press conference at Stranded during BIGSOUND in Brisbane, the nominees were revealed, alongside the first confirmation of the event’s participating venues, sponsors, and the 2023 Live Legends recipients. 

And it’s the “Kings” who lead the nomination pool this year, with NT rockers King Stingray and VIC’s international pysch rock stars King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard, enjoying six nominations each. 

For King Stringray, that includes Best Live Act, Best Live Voice (Yirrŋa Yunupiŋu), and Best Live Guitarist (Campbell Messer). Meanwhile, King Gizzard see nominations for Best Live Act, Guitarist (Joey Walker), Bassist (Lucy Harwood), Drummer (Michael Cavanagh), and Best Indie/Rock/Alternative Act.

Sitting behind them on five nominations are Electric Fields, who have already won seventrophies to date at the awards, four for Genesis Owusu and ACT rock outfit Glitoris, and three nominees a piece for Amyl and the Sniffers, RVG, Ngaiire, St. Jerome’s Laneway Festival, Cash Savage and the Last Drinks, and Camp Cope

Camp Cope – who received nominations for each member of the group – are no strangers to the awards, having won four trophies in the past, but this may mark the final time the three musicians will be nominated for their live work in the project, with them calling it quits earlier this year. Another group in that boat are WAAX, who previously won Best Live Act in QLD in 2019 (check). This year they’re once again nominated in that category, as well as Best Live Voice in QLD for Marie DeVita.

The awards are excited to debut a new industry award this year, Best Stage & Light Design Presented by Novatech. This award goes to the people behind the scenes who designed the stage and lighting you saw on the tours of Gang of Youths, Genesis Owusu, Rüfüs Du Sol, Tame Impala, and Vera Blue in recent years. 

In addition to the Best Lighting and Stage Design presented by Novatech, there’s been two awards added to the genre categories, which return for the first time since the 2019 event: Best Folk Act and Best Punk/Hardcore Act presented by HEAVY. HEAVY will also be presenting the newly named “Hard Rock or Heavy Metal” prize. 

At today’s event in Brisbane it was also announced that the event’s “Live Legends” recipients would be extended each year to include both an artist and an industry member, to celebrate their career (so far) and contributions to the live music sector. Joining past recipients Magic Dirt (2018) and Deborah Conway (2019) will be iconic group Yothu Yindi, and Frontier Touring’s Susan Heymann

Yothu Yindi’s career has spanned multiple decades, with hit albums and singles including “Treaty”, “Djapana (Sunset Dreaming)”, “Tribal Voice”, “Timeless Land”, “World Turning” and more. So popular were the group, Nirvana opened for Yothu Yindi at the Big Day Out (or at least that’s how the band’s drummer Dave Grohl described the lineup).

They’ve been nominated for 12 ARIA Awards and won eight. Stalwarts of the Indigenous music scene in Australia, Yothu Yindi have toured the globe, winning fans across the US, Europe, and the Pacific, and performing all across Australia in between, including with Midnight Oil, Paul Kelly, Neil Young, and Santana. In 2012 they were inducted alongside the greats of Australian music into the ARIA Hall of Fame, and now they join the National Live Music Awards’ own Hall of Fame as Live Legends.

Yothu Yindi will be inducted at an event still to be determined.

Susan Heymann has been working in the international concert business for 20 years, with experience in touring and promoting contemporary music from local and global artists, across Australia and New Zealand. Susan began her career as an intern at Chugg Entertainment and worked as a Tour Coordinator and Marketing Manager, before taking on a leadership position in the business, managing the touring team (including marketing, PR, ticketing, and production specialists), securing new business opportunities, and planning for the future of Chugg Entertainment.

When Chugg Entertainment entered into an exclusive joint venture arrangement with Frontier Touring (part of the Mushroom Group) in 2019, Susan continued in her role as the Managing Director of Chugg Entertainment, and also began collaborating with the broader Frontier Touring team and other parts of the Mushroom business on various projects, including programming and helping to produce a number of television and streaming properties developed as a response to the global pandemic.

In March 2022, Mushroom Group and AEG Presents announced a new leadership structure for Frontier Touring, where Susan moved into the role of COO of Frontier Touring, with a focus on artist relations, creative and content development for the business.

Susan Heymann will be inducted in Sydney. 

Additional industry members around the country will be acknowledged for their support of the live music sector with “The NLMA”. The event’s industry achievement award that has previously been awarded to Sounds Australia (2016), Live Music Office (2017), Girls Rock! Australia (2018), and Leanne De Souza (2019), moves from a national award to a State/Territory prize, with eight recognitions made around the country. These winners have already been decided, but won’t be revealed until October 11th.

Public voting for the four other state and territory awards – Best Live Act, Voice, Event, and Venue are all now open at nlmas.com.au. 

MMAD – or Musicians Making a Difference – return this year with the award we debuted in the hybrid digital/physical 2020 awards. They are an Australian charity that transforms young lives through music. MMAD uses the power of music and mentoring to inspire young people to overcome adversity so that they can live their potential.

The trophy is awarded to an inspiring artist or organiser who has created positive social change through music in Australia. The nominees this year are: Baker Boy, Big hART & Songs for Freedom, Prinnie Stevens, G Flip, and Josh Pyke. MMAD honours these music industry creatives for their inspiration and change they have made in Australian communities, harnessing the power of music to make a positive difference in our world.

More details about these nominations can be found amongst the nominations list below. 

This year, the live event is doing away with its traditional gala, and hosting eight intimate events around the country – each of which will award the trophies to the winners of that state and territory – so if the winner of Best Live Country Act is from your state, chances are they’ll be awarded it at the show in that city. This means there’ll be plenty of surprises – and with limited capacity rooms, we expect tickets will go fast. 

On today’s announcement, Founding Board Member Damian Cunningham said, “What a welcome sight it is to see the host of nominees for this year’s National Live Music Awards! The awards are here to honour all those amazing artists, bands and individuals who have made your live music industry one of the best in the world. We look forward to welcoming nominees, industry and the public to our events around the country in October to find out who wins.”

The intimate venues set to host the awards on 11th October are:

Darwin Railway Club – Darwin, NT

Jive – Adelaide, SA

Music Market – Melbourne, VIC

Simple Complex – Hobart, TAS

Stranded – Brisbane, QLD

The Bird – Northbridge, WA

The Great Club – Sydney, NSW

UC Hub – Canberra, ACT

Only 50 strictly limited free tickets to each event are available now at nlmas.oztix.com.au. After these tickets are exhausted, the only way to join us is by voting for your favourite artists, venues, and events in your State or Territory – with public voting open now until September 19th at nlmas.com.au. Every vote goes into the draw to win tickets to the show.

Each event will have multiple performances, the local state and territory awards handed out, and a number of surprises! Those details will be revealed closer to the date.

The National Live Music Awards are possible thanks to the support of our national ticketing partners Oztix, Live Event Logistics, Creative Hobart, City of Adelaide, Adelaide UNESCO City of Music, Novatech, Music Victoria, and MMAD (Musicians Making a Difference).

We also thank the support of our merch partners Red Octopus, our PR partners at beehive, and our media partners The Music, HEAVY, 2SER, 4ZZZ, BMA, Edge Radio 99.3FM, Three D Radio, RTR FM, and SYN. Media partners will also have ticket giveaways – so look and listen out for them. 

The NLMAs thanks Stranded and BIGSOUND for welcoming us this week for the announcement. Don’t miss these nominees playing BIGSOUND this week: Charm of Finches, Full Flower Moon Band, Southeast Desert Metal, and The Empty Threats.


2023 Live Legend Inductees

Yothu Yindi

Susan Heymann

National Awards

MMAD – Musicians Making a Difference Award

Presented by MMAD

Baker Boy

For his work in celebrating the Yolngu language through music and connecting First Nations young people in remote communities to their potential.

Big hART & Songs for Freedom

For their advocacy work in raising awareness of the disproportionate incarceration rates of Aboriginal children in Australian prisons through their national touring production.

Prinnie Stevens

For celebrating the historic power of the female voice and the transformation of pain into music through her album and stage show, ‘Lady Sings The Blues’

G Flip

For their advocacy work in encouraging conversation about gender identity.

Josh Pyke

For championing indigenous languages through music in primary schools while raising funds through Busking for Change.

Best Live Act

Amyl and the Sniffers

King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard

Electric Fields

King Stingray

Genesis Owusu

Best Live Voice

Cash Savage


Romy Vager (RVG)

Yirrŋa Yunupiŋu (King Stingray)

Zaachariaha Fielding (Electric Fields)

Best Live Guitarist

Andrew Glitoris (Glitoris)

Chloe Dadd (May-a, Peach PRC, Solo)

Joey Walker (King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard)

Roy Kellaway (King Stingray)

Sophie McComish (Body Type)

Best Live Bassist

Kelly-Dawn Hellmrich (Camp Cope)

Lucas Harwood (King Gizzard)

Nick Finch (Cash Savage)

Steele Chabau (Butterfingers, James Johnston, Katie Noonan and more…)

Zoe Hauptmann (Missy Higgins, Ian Moss, Troy Cassar-Daley and Phil Jamieson)

Best Live Drummer – The Sheddy

Sarah Thompson (Camp Cope)

Michael Cavanagh (King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard)

Lewis Stiles (King Stingray)

G Flip


Best Live Instrumentalist

Kirsty Tickle (Party Dozen)

Laura Jean

Lyndon Blue

Monique Clare

William Barton

Best Live Photographer
Presented by beehive

Jess Gleeson

Jordan Munns

Ruby Boland

Samuel Graves

Tashi Hall

Best Live Journalist

Ellie Robinson

Mikey Cahill

Sosefina Fuamoli

Will Oakeshott

Zara Richards

Best Live Event

Presented by The Music

Byron Bay Bluesfest

Dark Mofo

Meredith Music Festival

St Jerome’s Laneway Festival

Tamworth Country Music Festival

Best Stage & Light Design

Presented by Novatech

Gang of Youths – Emile Frederick, Nathan Taylor and Louis Oliver

Genesis Owusu – Alex McCoy and Pat Santamaria

Rüfüs Du Sol – Matthew Smith and Alex ‘Katzki’ George

Tame Impala – Rob Sinclair

Vera Blue – Nathan Dagostino, Nicholas Beachen and Rachael Johnston

Best International Tour

Presented by Live Event Logistics

Angel Olsen – Big Time Tour 2023 – Supersonic

Ed Sheeran – + – = ÷ x Tour – Frontier Touring

Harry Styles – Love on Tour – Live Nation

Nick Cave and Warren Ellis – Australian Carnage Tour – Supersonic

Sleaford Mods – AUS Tour 2023 – Handsome Tours

Genre Awards

Best Indie/Rock/Alternative Act

Ball Park Music

Cash Savage and the Last Drinks 


King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard


Best Hip Hop Act


Baker Boy


Genesis Owusu

Tkay Maidza

Best DJ/Electronic Act

Elle Shimada


Rüfüs Du Sol


Tijuana Cartel

Best Hard Rock or Heavy Metal Act

Presented by HEAVY




Rocky’s Pride & Joy 


Best Pop Act

Amy Shark

Electric Fields

Peach PRC

Thelma Plum

Vera Blue

Best Punk/Hardcore Act

Presented by HEAVY

Amyl and the Sniffers

Cable Ties

Pinch Points

Private Function 

Sly Withers

Best Folk Act

Ben Salter

Charm of Finches

Emily Wurramara

Melody Pool

Naomi Keyte 

Best Blues & Roots Act


Hussy Hicks 

Jack Biilmann & The Black Tide 

Sweet Talk

The Teskey Brothers

Best Country Act

Caitlin Harnett & The Pony Boys 

Hana and Jessie-Lee’s Bad Habits

Mark Curtis and the Flannelettes

Siobhan Cotchin

The Weeping Willows 

Best R&B or Soul Act


Emma Donovan and the Putbacks




Best Classical Act

Australian String Quartet

Australian Vocal Ensemble (AVÉ) feat. Katie Noonan, Fiona Campbell, Andrew Goodwin and Andrew O’Connor 

Ensemble Offspring

Sydney Symphony Orchestra

Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra

Best Jazz Act

Cigany Weaver 

Grievous Bodily Calm 

Hiatus Kaiyote


Shaolin Afronauts

State and Territory Awards

A local NLMA: Industry Achievement Award winner will be revealed at each event on the night. 

NSW – Presented by 2SER

Best Live Act in NSW
Presented by 2SER


Body Type




Best Live Voice in NSW

Andy Golledge


Georgia Mulligan

Milan Ring

Vera Blue

Best Live Venue in NSW

Hoey Moey, Coffs Harbour

Oxford Art Factory

Phoenix Central Park

The Enmore Theatre

The Great Club

Best Live Event in NSW

Presented by Oztix 

Dashville Skyline

Groovin’ The Moo

Mardi Gras Fair Day

Summer Camp Festival

Yours & Owls Festival

VIC – Presented by SYN

Best Live Act in VIC

Presented by SYN

Amyl and the Sniffers


Emma Donovan and the Putbacks


King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard

Best Live Voice in VIC

Presented by Music Victoria

Emma Donovan

Georgia Maq (Camp Cope)

Julia Jacklin

Sampa The Great


Best Live Venue in VIC

Brunswick Ballroom

Forum Melbourne

Northcote Social Club


The Night Cat

Best Live Event in VIC

Presented by Oztix

Golden Plains

St Jerome’s Laneway Festival


Meredith Music Festival

Rising Festival

QLD – Presented by 4ZZZ

Best Live Act in QLD

Presented by 4ZZZ

Ball Park Music

Cigany Weaver

Full Flower Moon Band

Jaguar Jonze


Best Live Voice in QLD

Asha Jefferies

Jaguar Jonze


Katie Noonan

Marie DeVita (WAAX)

Best Live Venue in QLD

Presented by Red Octopus

Fortitude Music Hall

The Brightside

The Princess Theatre

The Tivoli

The Triffid

Best Live Event in QLD

Presented by Oztix


Caloundra Music Festival

Groovin’ The Moo

St Jerome’s Laneway Festival

Woodford Folk Festival

ACT – Presented by BMA

Best Live Act in the ACT
Presented by BMA

Apricot Ink



Genesis Owusu


Best Live Voice in the ACT

Cormac McKahey (Sonic Reducer)

Keven 007 (Glitoris)

Kim Yang

Lucy Sugerman

Tasha Nauenburg (Bad Lunar)

Best Venue in the ACT

Gang Gang Cafe


Smith’s Alternative

The Basement

UCLivex – UC Refectory & UC Hub

Best Live Event in the ACT

Presented by Oztix


Loading Zone – Sideway

National Folk Festival

Spilt Milk



Best Live Act in the NT

Caiti Baker

Katanga Junior

King Stingray


Southeast Desert Metal Band

Best Live Voice in the NT

Aidan Lijanga (Katanga Junior)

Alice Cotton

Caiti Baker

Ngulmiya Nundhirribala

Yirrŋa Yunupiŋu (King Stingray)

Best Live Venue in the NT

Black Wreath 

Darwin Railway Club

Epilogue Lounge & Rooftop Bar

Happy Yess

The Darwin Ski Club

Best Live Event in the NT

Presented by Oztix

Barunga Festival


Blacken Festival

Darwin Festival

Garma Festival

SA – Presented by Three D Radio

Best Live Act in SA

Presented by City of Adelaide

Electric Fields


Teenage Joans

The Empty Threats

West Thebarton

Best Live Voice in SA

Presented by Three D Radio

Alana Jagt

Carla Lippis

Naomi Keyte


Zaachariaha Fielding (Electric Fields)

Best Live Venue in SA


Lion Arts Factory

The Gov

The Wheatsheaf Hotel

UniBar Adelaide

Best Live Event in SA

Presented by Oztix

Adelaide Beer & BBQ Festival

Adelaide Jazz Festival

Harvest Rock

PAK Music Live at Wundenbergs


TAS – Presented by Edge Radio 99.3FM

Best Live Act in TAS

Presented by City of Hobart

Grace Chia

Lennon Wells

Luca Brasi

The Native Cats


Live Voice in TAS

Presented by Simple

Ben Salter

Christopher Coleman

Claire Anne Taylor

Emily Wurramara

Tasha Zappala

Best Live Venue in TAS

Presented by Edge Radio


Royal Oak Hotel

Simple Complex

The Grand Poobah

The Odeon Theatre

Best Live Event in TAS

Presented by Oztix

Cygnet Folk Festival

Dark Mofo

Mona Foma

Pangaea – a festival of the arts, culture & sustainability

Party in the Paddock

WA – Presented by RTR FM

Best Live Act in WA

Presented by RTR FM

Alter Boy


Spacey Jane

Tame Impala

The Kill Devil Hills

Best Live Voice in WA


Brendon Humphries (The Kill Devil Hills)

Carla Geneve

Noah Dillon

Siobhan Cotchin

Best Live Venue in WA



Mojos Bar

The Bird

The Rosemount

Best Live Event in WA

Presented by Oztix

Hidden Treasures – Fremantle’s Music Series

Hyper Festival

Nannup Music Festival

RTRFM’s In The Pines