Last year’s ARIA Awards Ceremony proved controversial after Matt Okine and Hall of Fame inductee Tina Arena used their acceptance speeches to make political statements, blasting the local Australian music industry for its treatment of women in the past and unfortunately, even today.

This year it was the lockouts that made headlines, with even Flume, who managed to pick up a total of four ARIAs, using his time at the winner’s podium to slam the Baird government and the way NSW’s lockout laws have detrimentally impacted the city’s local live music scene.

As the Sydney Morning Herald reports, Flume used his speech to call on “our policy-makers and politicians to please Keep Sydney Open, so that the next artists can have the same opportunity I had”. Of course, it should be noted that the ceremony took place at The Star, Sydney’s most violent venue and the reason Baird is often called Casino Mike.

“Small venues and small parties, that’s where all the exciting stuff is happening,” Flume told the audience. “I performed at Goodgod Small Club supporting Chet Faker, that was one of my earliest gigs. And I think it’s so important for the future of music here that there is a scene,” he told Fairfax backstage.

Montaigne, who won the award for Breakthrough Artist, took to the stage with the words “People Over Profit” displayed prominently on her chest. She later told Fairfax that the message was indeed about the Sydney lockouts and “the way the government is treating arts in this city”.

However, her acceptance speech raised some eyebrows for her odd reference to bowel movements. “ARIA, you’ve gifted me this pointy spear of recognition which I really appreciate, but of course I must remember that for the rest of my life I will probably eject at least three loads out of my butt every week at least three times and along with other…like a million other humans at the same time,” she said.

“So you’re probably wondering why my speech was incomprehensible,” the singer later wrote on Twitter. “It’s because I wrote something COMPLETELY COMPREHENSIBLE and then decided FOR SOME STUPID REASON not to read it. It was actually a VERY CLEVER speech but now look what happened.”

Okine, who presented the award for Breakthrough Artist with on-air partner Alex Dyson, also took the opportunity to make a political statement. “Congrats to the nominees,” Alex said, before Matt jumped in with, “No black ones though! What’s going on ARIA…!? Nah, I’m joking.”

Several artists also used the stage to bring more attention to marriage equality and the plight of LBTQI+ youth, such as homegrown pop sensation Troye Sivan, who picked up the awards for Best Video and Song of the Year, dedicated his win to “every LGBT kid in Australia”.

Kylie Minogue called for marriage equality, whilst Sia, who nabbed her 22nd ARIA by taking out Best Female Artist, sent CEO of Stand Up Events and The Equality Campaign Ambassador Angie Greene to accepted the award on her behalf. “This award is for every single non-hetero and gender diverse person who can currently not marry the person that they love in this country,” Greene said.

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