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A WAMtastic 2016 in review, WA Xmas pressie ideas & more

19 Dec


What a year 2016 was: Mourning the loss of global artists such as Prince, Bowie and Cohen was shocking, but throughout the year WA music kicked enormous goals both at home and further afield. Tame Impala consolidated their place as one of the world’s most important bands, headlining Glastonbury this year, but the local talent on display at the likes of State Of The Art and WAMFest (which just won ‘Australian Live Music Event Of The Year’ in The Au Awards!) demonstrated the quality and depth of local artists.

A massive thanks to our supporters, wishing all WAM members, partners, musicians, fans and anyone who has championed WA music a fun filled/restful/full-on holiday period; whichever of these most appeals.



In conjunction with ECU Joondalup, WAM entered a research project, finding that the contemporary music industry contributes almost $1 billion to the WA economy each year.

WAM welcomed our first donations to the WA Music Fund, contributing towards our community initiatives and bringing opportunity for aspiring artists taking those first steps. We also raised funds to frame some of local music legend Sue Hammersley’s historical poster collection.

WAM again partnered with Celebrate WA to help present the State Of The Art Music Festival, with SOTA’s new Elizabeth Quay setup seeing the longest lines we’ve seen at music festivals for years. Maybe decades.

The Wheatbelt Touring Circuit saw 32 acts performing at 16 events in 10 Wheatbelt towns to over 2,000 people. The introduction of the Wheatbelt WAMBassadors initiative tackled road safety like never before, including producing a video with partners RAC that turned the spotlight on the deeply personal effect of road trauma and received almost 20K views in a few days.

► Sounds Of The Goldfields launched to a sold-out Goldfields Art Centre audience. 800 CDs were distributed on the night, with all tracks from the compilation receiving airplay on various ABC and community radio stations around Australia, including Feature Album on RTRFM.

Freshly renamed, WAMFest presented by Drug Aware saw a total attendance of 14,637 across four days (an increase of 30% from last year), and showcased 156 acts across 23 venues, resulting in incalculable good times. In recognition, WAMFest was awarded ‘Australian Live Music Event Of The Year’ in The Au Awards.

The WAMAwards‘ new seated format at new venue Gate One Theatre proved a hit, including the night selling out, 8 acts showcased through the night and after party, a new award added in “Best Record Producer”, and Koi Child walking away with the most WAMis (4).

► Song Of The Year saw the competition’s first ever Indigenous Grand Prize winner, Beni Bjah, picked from 925 entries, determined by 91 independent industry judges, and over $40,000 worth of prizes distributed to WA songwriters. The winners were announced at the Awards Party, taking place at B-shed at Fremantle Ports.

The newly named WAMCon curated its biggest ever line-up, with 73 conference speakers (6 international, 41 national and 26 local) taking part in the event at The State Theatre Centre of WA. The ever-popular QuayNote Boat Party also sold-out.

Another successful installment of self-managed artist workshop series Higher Note saw 16 participants (6 regional and 10 metro artists) exposed to 17  music industry expert speakers from around Australia.

WAM’s Regional Roundtable celebrated its 10th year of existence. Over 100 people have now been part of this networking and feedback forum for key contributors to contemporary music in regional WA.




What could be better this Xmas than present-ing someone you love some local lovin’? Absolutely nothing, that’s what. As such, we recommend:

Your fave WA music album (try the list of WAMAwards nominated Best Albums for starters!)

An instrument, especially for someone that doesn’t play music

► Music lessons to make WA venues sound even better

Grab a Kiss My WAMi CD from the WAM office before Xmas and we’ll throw in a second to share with a loved one who needs more WA music in their life!

Tickets to an event stocked with local goodness (heaps here)

Make a donation on behalf of someone to the WA Music Fund

Gift a musician or music industry member/hopeful a WAM Membership

The coolest summer merch from your fave WA artist



Yep, we’ll soon be off soaking ourselves in music and good times/much needed rest, so please note we’re closed from Friday 23 December. We’ll be back championing WA music loud and proud Monday 9 January, 2017, when we’ll be soon to announce our Song Of The Year comp…

From everyone at WAM,


Government of Western Australia Department of Culture and The Arts Australian Government

WAM is supported by the State Government through the Department of Culture and the Arts, and is assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body.