Music SA is proud to reveal the 2018 South Australian Music (SAM) Awards finalists, with the winners to be announced during a red carpet ceremony hosted by Double J’s Zan Rowe at the Adelaide Town Hall on Thursday November 8.

Celebrating excellence in local contemporary music, categories include both People’s Choice Awards, determined by online voting, and SAM Awards as judged by a panel of industry peers.

Lisa Bishop, General Manager of Music SA says the finalists announced today are a sound representation of the stellar music that exists in South Australia.

“We are so proud of the talent we have here in this state,” she said. “These finalists showcase the quality and diversity in our music scene and represent us well as a UNESCO City of Music. I look forward to celebrating all of our nominees, finalists and winners at the ceremony on Thursday November 8.

“The SAM Awards will be a fabulous evening paying tribute to the hard working people in South Australia’s music industry.”

On the back of the national success of debut album Different Beings Being Different, West Thebarton lead the list of finalists with six nominations, while 2017 SAM Award winners A.B. Original return in four categories this year. Other acts in the running for the prestigious Best Release Award include multiple contenders Heaps Good Friends, making the final list in five categories, and MANE and Wing Defence, receiving four nominations each.

Tickets to the South Australian music industry’s night of nights are open to everyone 18+ and are on sale now via moshtix.

Entry to the gala event includes full catering throughout the evening, with food and drink supplied by event partners Adelaide Town Hall, Yalumba Wines, Hills Cider Company and Young Henrys Brewery.

In addition to award presentations, attendees can expect to be entertained by DJ sets, quality live performances by Ollie English, MANE and Adrian Eagle, and more, while legendary music journalist Zan Rowe manages proceedings as MC.

Alongside Music SA, this year’s SAM Awards are presented in conjunction with major partners The Music, the South Australian Government’s Music Development Office, The City of Adelaide, Moshtix, Australian Hotels Association (SA Branch), Media Arts Lawyers, beverage partners Yalumba Wines, The Hills Cider Company and Young Henrys, and AV partners Novatech and Nexstage.

The SAM Awards are an excellent excuse to get glammed up and celebrate our local music scene, so grab tickets from moshtix before they sell out.

With 157 entrants and 7343 votes cast for the People’s Choice Awards, a significant increase on last year’s numbers, the awards are already creating quite a buzz.


Best Studio
Chapel Lane Studios
Ghostnote Recording Studio
Island Recording Studios
Mixmasters Productions
Wunderberg’s Recording Studio

Best Engineer
Jimmy Balderston
Luke Hancock
Mario Spate
Michael Ellingford
Neville Clark

Best Music Festival/Event (presented by moshtix)
A Day of Clarity (Clarity Records)
Futuresounds Adelaide
Stonecutters Festival
Porch Sessions

Best Music Venue (presented by AHA (SA Branch)
Crown & Anchor Hotel
Fat Controller
Rocket Bar and Rooftop
Wheatsheaf Hotel

Best Manager
Alex Karatassa
Craig Lock
Emma Coyle & Joel Byrne (Sundial Productions)
Little Acorn Music (Sian Walden)
Sue Germein

Best Cover Art (presented by VERSION Design)
Heaps Good Friends (Dan Steinert & Tim Coyle – photographer Kate Potter)
K21 (Joel “Vans The Omega” Moore)
Laura Hill (Darren Longbottom Photographer & Todd Fischer Design)
Neon Tetra (Jack Fenby)
West Thebarton (Nick Astenei Design and Morgan Sette photographer)

Best Music Video (presented by Channel 9)
Abbey Howlett (Video International and Capital Waste) – Colour me Gold
Heaps Good Friends (Aaron Schuppan and Heaps Good Friends) – I Could Eat a Full Packet of Yoyos
Mallrat (Rory Pippan and Young Black Youth) – Better
West Thebarton (Aaron Schuppan/Video International) – Bible Camp
Wing Defence (Lewis Brideson and Dave Court) – Listerine

Best Song (presented by APRA AMCOS)
A.B. Original – Blaccout
Adrian Eagle – 17 Again
Ollie English – How Many Times
MANE – Chasing Butterflies
West Thebarton – Bible Camp

Best New Artist
Adrian Eagle
Paradise Club
Pinkish Blu
Wing Defence

Best Aboriginal or Torres Strait Island Artist (presented by Nexus Arts)
A.B. Original
Corey Theatre
Jessica Wishart
Nathan May

Best Group
A.B. Original
Heaps Good Friends
West Thebarton

Best Solo
Adrian Eagle

Best Release (presented by The Music)
A.B. Original – Blaccout
Heaps Good Friends – Hug Me EP
MANE – Chasing Butterflies
West Thebarton – Different Beings Being Different
Wing Defence – Listerine

Local Judges
Alice Fraser, Ben Martin, Courtney Duka, Dan Rankine, Jade O’Donohue, Jason North, Kelly Menhennett, Spoz Spozington

National Judges
Emma Donovan, Nick Findlay, Jess Beston, Grant Gillies, Rebecca Young, Richard Moffat, Sharni Honor, Motez


Blues & Roots Artist (presented by The Gov)
Emily Davis
Lazy Eye
Ollie English
The Skeleton Club

Country Artist (presented by Grace Emily Hotel)
Amber Joy Poulton
Haystacks Calhoon
Kelly Brouhaha
Stafan Hauk
The Heggarties

Electronic Artist (presented by Fresh 92.7)

Experimental Artist (presented by Ghostnote Studios)
Abbey Howlett
Brodie Trent
Howl N Bones
Robot Sex Dolls

Folk Artist (presented by Wheatsheaf Hotel)
Laura Hill
Mary Webb
The Tangerines
Sarah King

Heavy Award (presented by Underground Records)
Dirty Pagans
Hidden Intent
The Straight-Jacket Tailors
Wings of Thanatos

Hip Hop Award (presented by Northern Sound System)
Daydream Fever
Tkay Maidza

Jazz Artist (presented by Elder Con)
Adam Page
Chelsea Lee
Django Rowe
Er@ser Description
Kate Fuller and the Boys Club

Pop Artist (presented by Fat Controller)
Heaps Good Friends
Neon Tetra

Punk Award (presented by Three D Radio)
Horror My Friend
Sleep Talk
Stabbitha & The Knifey Wifeys
Wing Defence
Young Offenders

Rock Award (presented by Crown & Anchor)
Lead Worm
The Dunes
West Thebarton

World Music Award (presented by WOMADelaide)
Local Revolution
Los Mescalitos
The Coconut Kids
The Jango

Head to for more information and grab your tickets to the event through Moshtix here>