The Australian Independent Record Labels Association (AIR) has announced that once again it will be presenting and producing its annual awards ceremony, with this October’s Jagermeister Independent Music Awards.

Now in its seventh year, the ceremony is an opportunity for Australian labels, artist and the music industry at large to celebrate and honour some of the country’s most interesting and underrated acts, held once again at the Revolt art space in the Melbourne suburb of Kensington.

This year’s announcement also comes with a new partner. While presenting partner Jagermeister are once again involved, along with music station Channel [V] and the support of DMG’s Nova radio network; airline Virgin Australia will joining AIR to help reward the country’s highest achieving independent artists across all genres.

The Music Network notes the partnership was struck between the two following the airline’s continuing commitment to forge ties with the music industry. This year has seen the airline holding a summit with bodies representing the music business to foster closer ties, following their introduction of new baggage deals for musicians.

AIR General Manager Nick O’Byrne spoke to The Music Network, talking about the positives of the new alliance. “Virgin has been doing a lot of things with the music industry, and we are hoping this is the start of more involvement with the independent sector. Obviously they see much value in the music industry and the audience that its music reaches,” says O’Byrne.

The AIR General Manager also spoke about the introduction of a new category to this year’s awards to recognise the efforts of independent record labels, with the introduction of the Best Independent Label award; open only for AIR members who will also corral the votes.

“Indie labels have their own race but they all have a shared experience,” say O’Bryne. “There’s nothing like a category like this to emphasise the amazing sense of community in Australian indie labels.”

With representatives from online media, music press, broadcasters, independent music industry figures and the artist themselves, the voting and results are aimed to reflect the broad, diverse range of talents of Australia’s independent music scene. Combined with an awards ceremony that will feature acts and performances on the night, which O’Byrne confirms are all locked in and will be announced soon.

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