AIR Awards Judging & Eligibility

What is the eligibility period?

  • The AIR awards celebrates the success of Australian Independent Artists with releases between the period January 1st – December 31st in the year preceding the AIR Awards event.

Who can nominate a release for the AIR Awards?

  • To nominate an Australian Independent release for the AIR Awards you must be an AIR member as either a:
    • Australian Independent Artist
    • Australian independent label or distributor
    • Global Independent label or distributor

Who can qualify for AIR membership?

  • To qualify for AIR membership, you must be an Australian Artist, Australian or Global independent label/distributor that that holds at least 51% of its business ownership.

To find out more about AIR membership and pricing please click here.

Voting process

  • All award categories are voted on by AIR members
    • Artist members can cast one vote in each category
    • Associate members can cast two votes in each category
    • Full members can cast three votes in each category
    • Global labels and distributors can cast four votes in each category
  • A pool of industry specialists are also invited to vote for awards in our specialist categories, including, Dance, Jazz, Classical.
  • AIR labels whose artists are nominee finalists in any given year will be automatically nominated for the Best Independent Label category which is voted on by AIR members only.

Other notes

If an AIR member chooses to distribute its catalogue through a third-party major label, they will still be eligible for the awards provided they own or control at least 51% of the master to be considered an independent release.

In some cases, a release may be independent in Australia but may differ for the rest of the world.

In order to nominate in the Breakthrough Artist the Year category, the nominated release must be the FIRST release of that type by the artist and the first time they have been nominated. Eg. were it a single nominated, the artist cannot have released a single before that one to be counted, but their first EP or Album may be nominated in that category at a later date.

Associate and Full Label members can self-nominate for the Independent Label of the Year Award. Only label members who have nominees shortlisted for this year’s awards will progress to the finalist stage for voting by AIR Members. Labels must include a page of key highlights noting any achievements in the past year when self-nominating. If their artist is a nominee finalist in any of the AIR Award categories for that year then their label will be put forward for voting by AIR members. Labels must be established and based in Australia to qualify for this category – Distributor and Artist members cannot nominate for this category.

The Marketing and Publicity Team of the Year awards will be judged by an independent voting pool and the AIR Board. AIR Board members whose labels have nominations will be excluded from voting.

The AIR board reserves the right to remove any nominations that do not qualify as Australian independent releases by AIR members.