The ARIAs are the flagship event of the Australian music calendar - a celebration of all that is great and popular in local music.
The very first ARIA Awards were held in 1987 at the Sheraton Wentworth Hotel in Sydney, recognising excellence and innovation across all genres of Australian music. Those very first ARIAs were hosted by Sir Elton John and winners included INXS, Crowded House and John Farnham. Since that time the ARIA Awards have developed into Australia's pinnacle Awards ceremony, forging careers and playing host to countless memorable moments and performances.
The ARIA Awards are open to product released by ARIA members (ARIA is the Australian Record Industry Association) ARIA members can be artists, record companies, CD distributors, manufacturers, etc. Each year, all ARIA members are contacted by the ARIA Awards Coordinator with details on how to submit recordings for consideration by the ARIA Awards judging panel. If you wish to join ARIA so you can enter recordings in the ARIA Awards, note that membership applications generally close off in the middle of July each year, and only memberships current and approved on that date may enter recordings in the Awards.
All entries lodged by ARIA members are first assessed to ensure that the relevant recordings are eligible for the particular Awards for which they have been entered. In order for an artist’s release to be eligible for an ARIA Award in 2021, the recording(s) must have been released in the current eligibility period 04 September 2020 to 02 September 2021 or the two previous eligibility period 07 September 2018 to 03 September 2020 (provided the release has not previously been entered). Once eligibility has been confirmed, all eligible entries received by ARIA are then presented to the Voting Academy and/or Judging Schools for their consideration.
Five (5) categories are judged by the Voting Academy which consists of up to 800 representatives from every area of the music industry ('Academy').
Eighteen (18) categories are judged by specialist Judging Schools which consist of representatives experienced with that genre of music ('Judging School').
Five (5) awards are determined by Popular Vote. These are (i) Song of the Year, (ii) Most Popular International Artist, (iii) Best Australian Live Act, (iv) Best Video and (v) Telstra ARIA Music Teacher.
The ARIA Hall of Fame, the Icon Award and Lifetime Achievement Awards are awarded at the discretion of the ARIA Board.