ARIA Awards 2021: Viewers call out major detail: ‘What the hell?’

The 2021 ARIA Music Awards featured star-studded presenters, exclusive performances and wow-worthy fashion, but there was one major detail that left viewers upset.

A number of people who tuned into the award show, which was streamed digitally on YouTube and 9Now for the very first time, were shocked by how short it was.

Vance Joy at the ARIA Awards.
Viewers weren’t impressed with how short the 2021 ARIA Awards were. Photo: Getty

While Australian music’s so-called ‘night of nights’ had a pre-show at 6:30pm, the actual event only went for an hour from 7:30pm to 8:30pm on Wednesday night.

It didn’t take long for Twitter users to express their disappointment with the major change, as the show normally lasts for at least two hours.

“Shortest ARIAs ever. For the biggest Australian music showcase of the year, that was a bit sad,” one person tweeted.


“Well that was such a short and strange awards show this year,” another added.

“Would have been cool if more awards had been presented during the live stream of the ARIAs. Operative word being ‘awards’,” a third remarked, noting that several trophies were handed out before the broadcast began.

The Wiggles at the ARIA Awards.
Twitter users called the award show “short and strange”. Photo: Getty

“Hang on, what the hell am I supposed to do now?” someone else wrote after the stream ended, followed by a different user who said, “An hour? It used to take that long to get home from Homebush!”

“At that length, the ARIAs could have been on TV. Celebrate Aussie music and artists properly,” another shared. “This is poor effort.”

“Poor Aussie music industry. So much to celebrate. Give the time to the ARIAs,” one user commented.

Others said that the award show simply “isn’t the same as it used to be”, and plenty of people remarked that they weren’t even aware it was on.

Meanwhile, a few people labelled the award show “short but sweet” and said that they “loved the loose vibe” which “felt more like the music industry”.

Amy Shark at the ARIA Awards.
The 2021 ARIA Music Awards streamed on 9Now and YouTube for the very first time. Photo: Getty

Among the night’s festivities were performances from The Kid LAROI and RÜFÜS DU SOL, as well as award presentations from Ed Sheeran, Charli XCX and Troye Sivan.

Hip-hop newcomer Genesis Owusu ended up winning the most awards of the night, nabbing four out of his six nominations.

Here is the full list of winners:

Best Artist

WINNER: The Kid LAROI & Justin Bieber - ‘Stay'

Amy Shark - Cry Forever

Budjerah - Budjerah (EP)

Genesis Owusu - Smiling with No Teeth

Keith Urban - The Speed Of Now Part 1

Kylie Minogue - Disco

Masked Wolf - 'Astronaut In The Ocean’

Ngaiire - 3

Tones And I - Welcome to the Madhouse

Vance Joy - 'Missing Piece'

Album Of The Year

WINNER: Genesis Owusu - Smiling with No Teeth

Amy Shark - Cry Forever

Midnight Oil and First Nations Collaborators - The Makarrata Project

The Avalanches - We Will Always Love You

Tones And I - Welcome to the Madhouse

Best Australian Live Act

WINNER: Lime Cordiale - Relapse Tour

Amy Shark - Cry Forever Tour 2021

Ball Park Music - The Residency

Budjerah - Budjerah 2021 Aus Tour

Genesis Owusu - Smiling With No Teeth Album Tour

King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard - Micro Tour

Midnight Oil and First Nations Collaborators - Makarrata Live

The Avalanches - The Avalanches Live

The Teskey Brothers - The Teskey Brothers (Headline Shows + Festivals)

Thelma Plum - Homecoming Queen Tour

Michael Gudinski Breakthrough Artist

WINNER: Budjerah - Budjerah (EP)

Gretta Ray - Begin To Look Around

Masked Wolf - 'Astronaut In The Ocean'

MAY-A - Don't Kiss Ur Friends

Ngaiire - 3

Song of the Year

WINNER: Spacey Jane - Booster Seat

Amy Shark Feat. Keith Urban - Love Songs Ain't For Us

Dean Lewis - Falling Up

Hooligan Hefs - Send It!

Keith Urban & Pink - One Too Many

Masked Wolf - Astronaut In The Ocean

Sam Fischer & Demi Lovato - What Other People Say

The Kid LAROI with Miley Cyrus - Without You

Tones and I - Fly Away

Vance Joy - Missing Piece

Music Teacher Award

WINNER: Zoë Barry - Sacred Heart School, Melbourne VIC

Aaron Silver - Wodonga Primary School, Regional VIC

Ashley Baxter - Pimlico State High School, Townsville QLD

Daniel Wilson - Star Struck, Newcastle NSW

Best Video

WINNER: Missing Piece - Vance Joy, Annelise Hickey

24k - Tkay Maidza, Nicholas Muecke

Astronaut In The Ocean - Masked Wolf, Daniele Cernera

could cry just thinkin about you (Full Version) - Troye Sivan & Jesse Gohier-Fleet

Dance - Julia Stone, Jessie Hill

First Nation - Midnight Oil ft. Jessica Mauboy & Tasman Keith, Robert Hambling

Higher - Budjerah, Mick Soiza

Love Songs Ain't for Us - Amy Shark, James Chappell

The Divine Chord - The Avalanches, Jonathan Zawada

Won't Sleep - Tones and I, Nick Kozakis, Liam Kelly

Best Hip Hop Release

WINNER: Genesis Owusu - Smiling with No Teeth

B Wise - jamie

Masked Wolf - 'Astronaut In The Ocean'


Youngn Lipz - Area Baby

Best Pop Release

WINNER: The Kid LAROI & Justin Bieber - ‘Stay'

Amy Shark - Cry Forever

The Avalanches - We Will Always Love You

Tones And I - 'Fly Away'

Vance Joy - 'Missing Piece’

Best Independent Release

WINNER: Genesis Owusu - Smiling with No Teeth

Archie Roach - The Songs Of Charcoal Lane

Ball Park Music - Ball Park Music

Emma Donovan & The Putbacks – Crossover

Vance Joy - 'Missing Piece’

Best Soul/R&B Release

WINNER: Tkay Maidza - Last Year Was Weird, Vol. 3

Budjerah - Budjerah (EP)

Hiatus Kaiyote - Mood Valiant

Ngaiire - 3

Tash Sultana - Terra Firma

Most Popular International Artist

WINNER: Taylor Swift - Evermore

Ariana Grande - Positions

Doja Cat - Planet Her

Justin Bieber - Justice

Kanye West - Donda

Luke Combs - What You See Ain't Always What You Get

Machine Gun Kelly - Tickets To My Downfall

Miley Cyrus - Plastic Hearts

Olivia Rodrigo - Sour

Pop Smoke - Shoot For The Stars Aim For The Moon

Producer Of The Year

WINNER: Konstantin Kersting & The Rubens

Andrew Klippel, Dave Hammer


Matt Corby

Robert Chater

Engineer Of The Year

WINNER: Konstantin Kersting

Chris Collins

Eric J Dubowsky

Matt Corby

Tony Espie

Best Cover Art

WINNER: Kofi Anash & Bailey Howard for Genesis Owusu - Smiling With No Teeth

Ngaiire Joseph & Dan Segal for Ngaiire - 3

Eben Ejdne for Odette - Herald

Jonathan Zawada for The Avalanches - We Will Always Love You

Giulia Giannini McGauran & Mitchell Eaton for Tones and I - Welcome to the Madhouse

Original Soundtrack or Musical Theatre Cast Album

WINNER: Angus & Julia Stone - Life Is Strange

Antony Partos - Rams (Original Motion Picture Score)

Caitlin Yeo, Maria Alfonsine, Damian de Boos-Smith - Wakefield Season One Official Soundtrack

Sia - Music: Songs From And Inspired By The Motion Picture

Yve Blake - Fangirls

Best World Music Album

WINNER: Joseph Tawadros - Hope In An Empty City

Bob Weatherall & Halfway, with William Barton - Restless Dream

Bukhu - Bukhchuluun Ganburged - The Journey

Eishan Ensemble - Project Masnavi

Kuya James - ISA

Best Hard Rock/Heavy Metal Album

WINNER: Tropical F**k Storm - Deep States

Alpha Wolf - A Quiet Place To Die

Psychedelic Porn Crumpets - SHYGA! The Sunlight Mound

Yours Truly - Self Care

A. Swayze & the Ghosts - Paid Salvation

Best Adult Contemporary Album

WINNER: Crowded House - Dreamers Are Waiting

Big Scary – Daisy

Kylie Minogue - Disco

Nick Cave & Warren Ellis - Carnage

Odette - Herald

Best Jazz Album

WINNER: Mildlife - Automatic

Australian Art Orchestra, Reuben Lewis, Tariro Mavondo & Peter Knight - Closed Beginnings

Kristen Beradi, Sean Foran & Rafael Karlen - Haven

Petra Haden & The Nick Haywood Quintet - Songs from my Father

Vazesh - The Sacred Key

Best Dance Release


Cosmo's Midnight - Yesteryear

Dom Dolla - 'Pump The Brakes'

Jolyon Petch - 'Dreams'

KLP & Stace Cadet - 'People Happy'

Best Country Album

WINNER: Troy Cassar-Daley - The World Today

Brad Cox - My Mind's Projection

Felicity Urquhart & Josh Cunningham - The Song Club

Shane Nicholson - Living In Colour

The Wolfe Brothers - Kids On Cassette

Best Classical Album

WINNER: Genevieve Lacey and Marshall McGuire - Bower

Christian Li - Vivaldi: The Four Seasons

Emily Sun & Andrea Lam - Nocturnes

Grigoryan Brothers - This is Us: A Musical Reflection of Australia

Nat Bartsch - Hope

Best Children's Album

WINNER: Bluey The Album - Bluey

Amber Lawrence - The Kid's Gone Country 2

Diver City - Dance Silly

The Wiggles - Lullabies With Love

Various Artists - The Moon, The Mouse & The Frog: Lullabies from Northern Australia

Best Blues & Roots Album

WINNER: Archie Roach - The Songs Of Charcoal Lane

Emma Donovan & The Putbacks – Crossover

Josh Teskey & Ash Grunwald - Push The Blues Away

Martha Marlow - Medicine Man

Ziggy Alberts - Searching For Freedom

Best Rock Album

WINNER: Middle Kids - Today We're The Greatest

AC/DC - Power Up

Ball Park Music - Ball Park Music

Holy Holy - Hello My Beautiful World

Midnight Oil and First Nations Collaborators - The Makarrata Project

Best Group


AC/DC - Power Up

Gang Of Youths - 'The Angel of 8th Ave.'

Midnight Oil and First Nations Collaborators - The Makarrata Project

The Avalanches - We Will Always Love You

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