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October 22, 2021

SAM Awards announces 2021 Industry Awards nominees

Finalists in the industry-voted categories of the 2021 South Australian Music Awards have been announced, including first-time nominees Teenage Joans, Bermuda Bay, Jess Johns, MARLON X RULLA and Mum Friends.

  • Words: Johnny von Einem
  • Main image: Lydia Heise

Despite the many, many, many, many hardships still faced by South Australia’s music community, the list of nominees named for the 2021 SAM Awards shows the local scene continues to thrive, even in the pandemic era.

The SAM Awards will this year take place at the Old Adelaide Gaol on Thursday, 18 November, during Australian Music Month, and will see Adelaide acts and artists awarded in a range of people’s choice- and industry-voted categories.

On Thursday, 21 October, the SAM Awards announced the finalists in the 17 industry-voted categories – including the CityMag-sponsored Best Innovation Award.

These awards are decided by a judging panel consisting of local and national industry representatives. You can meet all the faces of the judging panel here.

The organisation also recently announced its 2021 people’s choice nominees, which were decided by a record-breaking 11,604 votes.

Last year’s SAM Awards were held at the Adelaide UniBar


Winners will be announced on the night, alongside performances from a number of the finalists to be announced at a later date.

There will also be food available from Bits N Bites and Paella Bar and drinks from Pirate Life and Alpha Box & Dice, to keep you sufficiently sated and merry.

See below for the full rundown of 2021 SAM Awards nominees , and to take part in the action yourself, snap up a ticket now.


Industry Awards Finalists

Best Studio (Presented by Adelaide Music Collective)
Chapel Lane Studios
Electric Ant Records
Stone Shed Studio
Wizard Tone Studios
Wundenberg’s Recording Studio

Best Studio Engineer/Producer (Presented by SAE Institute Adelaide)
Cactus Cactus Sound (Ryan Martin John)
Jarred Nettle
Kiah Gossner
Lewis Wundenberg
Suture Mastering

Best Live Technician (Presented by Novatech)
Dagger’s Production (Nathan D’Agostino)
Lisa Lane Collins
Luke Hancock
Michael Wickens
Patrick Lockwood
Peter Wing

Best Major Festival/Event (Presented by MOSHTIX)
Adelaide Guitar Festival
Beer & BBQ Homebrewed
Summer Sounds Festival
The Local

Best Small Festival/Event (Presented by Pirate Life)
Folkloria Festival
Garden Daze
One12 Festival
Space Jams South Coast Tour
Utopian State

Best Venue (Presented by AHA)
Grace Emily Hotel
Lion Arts Factory
The Wheatsheaf Hotel
Unibar ADL
Vintage Vulture

Best Cover Art (Presented by Version Design)
Wolf & Cub – Nil (Luke Byrne)
The Mondays – No Sugar Sprite (Arkadia Visuals)
Kaurna Cronin – Aloft In Blue (Julia Thornberg – Thorsoee)
Heaps Good Friends – Up Close and Personal (Ashley Giles)
Holas May – Block Letter (Angus Smith/Angvs)
Teenage Joans – Taste of Me (Samuel Graves & Eve Burner)

Best Manager (Presented by Association of Artist Managers)
Planet Shhh
Rachel Whitford
Sebastian James
Sian Walden (Little Acorn Music)
Diana Sautelle

Best Music Video (Presented by Alpha Box & Dice)
Slowmango – Thairaide (Kaspar Schmidt Mumm & Emmaline Zanelli)
Teenage Joans – Something About Being Sixteen (Jack Bielby & Thomas Schaefer)
TOWNS – Swimming (Thomas Schaefer & Jack Bielby)
Neofix – Freedom (Neofix)
Glowing – Poppy (Harry Nathan)

Best Song (Presented by APRA AMCOS)
George Alice – Teenager
Motez – Reset
Stellie – 22 Pieces
Teenage Joans – Something About being Sixteen
Wolf & Cub – Blue State

Best New Artist (Presented by WOMADelaide)
Teenage Joans
Mum Friends
Rocky’s Pride & Joy
Tilly Tjala Thomas
Jess Johns

Best Group (Presented by Derringers Music)
Bermuda Bay
Teenage Joans
The Empty Threats
The Mondays

Best Aboriginal/Torres Strait Islander Artist (Presented by Centre for Aboriginal Studies in Music – CASM)
Dem Mob
Rob Edwards
Tilly Tjala Thomas

Best Solo Artist (Presented by Media Arts Lawyers)
George Alice
Tom West

Best Release (Presented by
MANE – Coping Mechanisms
Motez – Reset
Pinkish Blu – People Just Do Good Things Sometimes
Stellie – Stellie (Self-titled)
Teenage Joans – Taste Of Me
Tom West – I’m Livin’

Best Music Educator (Presented by SAMII)
Abbey Howlett
Alison Hams
Ben Smith
Jess Day
Julian Ferraretto
Paige Court
Matt Gully

Best Innovation (Presented by CityMag — it us!)
Against The Grain – ATG Sessions
Play/Pause/Play – The Sounds of South Australia Podcast
Summer Sounds Festival
WOMADelaide x NSS Academy
Carclew Music At Work – BLKMPIRE


People’s Choice Awards Finalists

Best Blues & Roots (Presented by UniBar)
Cal Williams Jr
Mojo Dingo
Sean Kemp
Sturt Avenue
Trav Collins

Best Country (Presented by Grace Emily Hotel)
Mark Curtis and the Flannelettes
Matt Ward
Michaela Jenke
Ricky Albeck & The Belair Line Band

Best Electronic (Presented by Fat Controller)
Jack Truant
Kelly Matejcic, Krunk & Restricted
Stace Cadet

Best Experimental (Presented by The Lab)
Georgia Oatley
Sons of Zoku
The Empty Threats

Best Folk (Presented by The Wheatsheaf Hotel)
Alison Newman
B.S Roberts
Jess Johns
Siberian Tiger
Trent Worley

Best Heavy (Presented by ARMI)
Dirty Pagans
Kitchen Witch
No No No No No

Best Hip Hop (Presented by The Gov)
Dem Mob
Stefan Rossi

Best Jazz (Presented by the Gilbert St Hotel)
Chelsea Lee
Christina Guala Saxophone Quartet
Max Grynchuk

Best Pop (Presented by Lion Arts Factory)
George Alice
Kyan Burns
Lilac Cove
Rachael Leahcar

Best Punk (Presented by Three D Radio)
Teenage Joans
Wing Defence

Best Rock (Presented by Jive)
Druid Fluids
Oscar The Wild
Wolf & Cub

Best Soul/Funk/R&B (Presented by Woodville Town Hall)
Dino Jag
Dojo Rise
Mum Thinks Blue

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