Red carpet rain, risqué dresses, protests and a big winner who doesn’t sing: the 30th anniversary of the ARIA Awards hit all the right headline notes in Sydney yesterday.
For those who braved the downpour on the red carpet, it was hard to know where to look.
British pop star Charli XCX took things to the extreme, flashing her bottom, and her underwear, in the shortest dress ever seen at the ARIAs.
Former Bardot star Sophie Monk also left little to the imagination with a very leggy display in a short sheer and embellished mini dress.
But it was Swedish singer Tove Lo who had most fans talking as she rocked a sheer orange dress with a print of the female reproductive system printed on the front.
She combined the controversial look with platform combat boots and had her short locks out and over her shoulders.
Inside the Star Casino, it was left to electronic producer Flume to steal the show as he collected five major gongs, including the coveted Best Album and Best Male Artist prizes.
The 25-year-old uses guest vocalists to sing his songs, but he grabbed the mic yesterday to take aim at Sydney’s controversial lock-out laws.
“I want to say a big thank you to … the small venues and the small parties that are doing what they’re doing, because that’s where music evolves,” Flume said as he accepted the Best Dance Release award.
“That’s where all the exiting stuff happens, and that’s what’s getting shut down right now.
“To our policy-makers and our politicians, please keep Sydney open so that the young artists of the next generation can have the same opportunities that I had.”
Indie darling Montaigne, who picked up the Breakout Artist Award, also made a stand against the laws, which close Sydney’s music clubs to new guests at 1.30am and ban the sale of alcoholic drinks after 3am.
She attended the awards with “People Over Profit” scrawled across her chest, and said the message was about how the laws were strangling the arts.
“If you’re going to prioritise the casinos and residential development and all that bullshit, over the art scene that we have … surely at least you can strike a balance,” she said.
Chandelier songstress Sia Furler was named female artist of the year. There was a huge standing ovation as Angie Greene, a campaigner for marriage equality, took to the stage on her behalf.
Angie said Sia had asked her to accept the award on behalf of “every single non-hetero and gender-diverse person, who can currently not marry the person that they love in this country”.
The message was reinforced by Kylie Minogue and her finance Joshua Sasse, who urged Australia to say “I Do” and said 2017 could be the year the country gets “back on the right side of history”.
Troye Sivan earlier triumphed in the Song of the Year stakes, beating out Flume, Sia and Illy to pick up the coveted award for Youth.
For the first time this year, fans made history by voting for the Apple Music Song of the Year by playing their favourite song in Apple Music.
To mark the occasion, iPhone photographer Chris Hillary shot images using his iPhone 7 Plus in Portrait mode to capture the artist’s energy on the red carpet.
The full list of ARIA winners are:
Album of the Year: Flume, for Skin
Song of the Year: Troye Sivan, for Youth
Best Female Artist: Sia
Best Male Artist: Flume
Best Group: Violent Soho
Breakthrough Artist: Montaigne
Best International Artist: One Direction
Best Video: Troye Sivan, for Youth (Acoustic)
Best Adult Contemporary Album: Bernard Fanning, for Civil Dusk
Best Adult Alternative Album: Sarah Blasko, for Eternal Return
Best Australian Live Act: The Hilltop Hoods
Best Blues and Roots Album: Russell Morris, for Red Dirt Red Heart
Best Children’s Album: The Wiggles, for Wiggle Town
Best Country Album: Sara Storer, for Silos
Best Dance Release: Flume, for Skin
Best Hard Rock/Heavy Metal Album: King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard, for Nonagon Infinity
Best Independent Release: Flume, for Skin
Best Pop Release: Flume, for Never Be Like You
Best Rock Album: Violent Soho, for Waco
Best Urban Album: Drapht, for Seven Mirrors