Fowler’s Live Music Awards: Looking into your own backyard

Words by Melina Scarfo, Photo by Melissa Donato

Fowler’s Live is where many young music lovers experience their first dose of live music or play their first gig.

The City West Campus venue has always been a promoter for all ages shows and a supporter of local live music. Now, for the third year, they are presenting the Fowler’s Live Music Awards.

After a number of years with no awards to recognise South Australian artists, the Fowler’s Live Music Awards were born in 2012. Owner and operator of Fowler’s Live, Peter Darwin, noticed this gap and created the night to recognise the diversity of original live music made right here in South Australia.

‘There are a lot of people who spend a lot of time working artistically and in the production side for live original music. It was just the case of trying to provide some recognition for new and developing artists,’ Peter said.

The awards are a combination of five publicly voted categories and 13 peer nominated categories such as Best Indie Act, Best Pop Act and Best Rock Act. About 30 industry professionals donate their time to select the winners.

Musicians and bands can now self- nominate for the first time if they meet the criteria. Solo artists or 50% of the band must reside in South Australia and have released, toured or performed live over the past year. However, artists must be strictly independent. ‘We don’t consider acts that are signed to major labels. If it is a record label they own themselves or a small independent label, then we consider them.’

Last year’s Best Indie Act winners Bad//Dreems have gone on to gain recognition interstate and sell out shows in Adelaide and Melbourne. Peter stresses the importance of supporting our local scene and recognising musicians’ achievements.

‘I can’t see how people don’t seem to appreciate or understand what is in their own backyard. Quite often people fail to see what’s in front of them. If they (musicians) are able to gain recognition locally, in their home base, surely this assists on the national and international scale,’ he said.

Fowler’s Live are also a strong advocate for providing young people with live and original music. The venue is committed to providing this opportunity to under 18s.

‘If we didn’t have a venue like Fowlers that was constantly allowing under 18s in to see live music, then my belief is there would be less access and appreciation of live music,’ Peter said.

This year’s Fowler’s Live Music Awards night will be held on Thursday 13 November and is free to the public. Expect performances from last year’s winners, a sausage sizzle and sets from DJ and Play Pause Play music blogger Luke Penman.

Self-nominations close on 29 September and public category voting opens on 1 October.

When: 13 November 2014

Where: Fowler’s Live City West Campus

Entry: Free

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