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November 25, 2019

Who won what at the 2019 SAM Awards?

Horror My Friend took out three gongs, Adrian Eagle got two, and Jess Day was awarded Best New Artist. See who else made the list at this year's South Australian Music Awards.

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  • Words: Johnny von Einem
  • Pictures: Dave Court
  • Image 5: Nick Astenai

The 2019 SAM Awards took over Bonython Hall at the University of Adelaide on Friday night in the year’s biggest celebration of Adelaide and South Australia’s music community.

With performances from Kelly Menhennett, Jimblah, Stellie, Jess Day, Horror My Friend and Electric Fields, the night was a raucous celebration of the city and state’s collective musical talent.

Some changes were brought into the ceremony this year: the APRA/AMCOS Emily Burrows Award, which has been running external to the SAM Awards since 2001, was brought into the ceremony; the arguably problematic ‘World Music’ category was replaced with ‘Soul/Funk/RnB’; and the ‘Best Engineer’ category was split into both ‘Best Live Engineer’ and ‘Best Studio Engineer’.

Skye Walter of Wing Defence. This image: Dave Court

Some recent CityMag interviewees picked up awards in all award categories: SAM Award, People’s Choice, and the industry honours.

Amongst the artists awarded was Horror My Friend, who got two nods of their own, Best Song for Turned Loose and Best Group, and then a third with filmmaker Ryan Sahb, who took out Best Video for Dopamine Waster; Jess Day was recognised as Best New Artist; Adrian Eagle, who gave us his SAM Awards nominations, won Best Solo and Best Release for A.O.K.; in the People’s Choice categories, Ollie English, who took us for a trip up to Villetta Porcini, won the Blues & Roots award; Elsy Wameyo, who just released her upcoming EP’s first single, Outcast, took out the Hip Hop award; Adam Page won the Jazz award; and the Punk Rock award was handed to Wing Defence.

Dead Roo took out the APRA/AMCOS Emily Burrows Award, which is given out to one up and coming South Australian musician or band each year, along with $5000 toward professional development.

On the industry side, Mario Spate, who we recently spoke to about scoring the Rumpus and House of Sand production The Split, took out Best Studio Engineer; Porchland, which happened in The Range over the weekend, shared the award for Best Festival/Event with punk rock mini-festival Stonecutters; Lion Arts Factory took out Best Venue; and Alex Karatassa, who works within Five Four Entertainment and occasionally slings us some gig recommendations, took out Best Manager.

And Neville Clark, who runs Disk Edits and spoke with CityMag for a profile on the inner-suburban locale Bowden back in 2015, was presented with the Music SA Lifetime Achievement Award.

For the complete rundown, we’ve compiled the entire list of winners from each award group (SAM Awards, People’s Choice and industry honours) in a conveniently digestible format below.


SAM Awards

Best Studio
Wundenberg’s Recording and Rehearsal Studios

Wundenberg’s Recording and Rehearsal Studios founder, Lewis Wundenberg. This image: Nick Astenai


Best Studio Engineer
Mario Spate

This image: Nick Astenai


Best Live Engineer
Luke Hancock

This image: Nick Astenai


Best Festival/Event

Porchland 2018. This image: Jack Fenby


Best Venue
Lion Arts Factory

This image: Nick Astenai


Best Cover Art
Jack Fenby (Dress Code)

This image: Supplied


Best Manager
Alex Karatassa

This image: Nick Astenai


Best Music Video
Ryan Sahb (Horror My Friend)

This image: Nick Astenai


Best Song
Horror My Friend – Turned Loose


Best New Artist
Jess Day

This image: Nick Astenai


Best Group
Horror My Friend

This image: Nick Astenai


Electric Fields


Best Solo
Adrian Eagle

This image: Supplied


Best Release
Adrian Eagle – A.O.K.


People’s Choice Awards

Blues & Roots
Ollie English

This image: Nick Astenai


The Cut Snakes

This image: Nick Astenai


Electric Fields

This image: Nick Astenai



This image: Nick Astenai


Ukulele Death Squad

This image: Nick Astenai


Hidden Intent

This image: Nick Astenai


Hip Hop
Elsy Wameyo

This image: Dave Court


Adam Page

This image: Joshua Fanning



This image: Nick Astenai


Wing Defence

This image: Nick Astenai



This image: Nick Astenai



This image: Nick Astenai



Industry Honours

UNESCO, City of Music, Best International Collaboration Award
Slava and Lenny Grigoryan with Beijing Duo, as part of Adelaide Guitar Festival

Adelaide Festival Centre CEO, Douglas Gautier This image: Nick Astenai


Music SA Lifetime Achievement Award
Neville Clark


APRA AMCOS Emily Burrows Award
Dead Roo

This image: Nick Astenai


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