Best Music Event - presented by Heaps Normal

Music events brought us together again in 2022. Across dancefloors, festivals, and venue takeovers, we remembered what it was like to wish some sets were infinite, to be absorbed by colour and light, to spend hours in awe etc.? Which curator of made you forget about the passage of time?

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WARRANGU; River Story by DOBBY

WARRANGU; River Story by DOBBY is an affecting and immersive storytelling performance. Striking orchestral sounds are overlaid with DOBBY’s voice and a chorus of fellow knowledge holders to share yarns from NSW rivers. This event draws on stories from the three rivers that together form the tribal boundaries of Far Western NSW’s Brewarrina, and shed light on the shameful mismanagement of the Murray Darling Basin. In this artful reconnection to Country and culture, DOBBY takes us on a journey back to his family’s home and history.

Photo courtesy of artist

Radar Sundays

If anyone knows how to champion the very best of African culture, identity and music right here on Australian shores, it’s Radar Sounds. Their day party, Radar Sundays, spotlights creatives both from home and abroad in a huge celebration of afrobeats, amapiano, afroswing and gqom. Radar Sundays brings Afro-Australian identity to the forefront – acknowledging a rich history through music and dance, and making room for enduring cultural pride.

Photo courtesy of nominee

Pressure Fest

Pressure Fest took form as a full venue takeover of Newtown’s the Marlborough Hotel for a free celebration of the country’s most exciting emerging artists. This event is a large-scale expansion of Low Pressure – a weekly showcase of music-makers from across Sydney’s bustling live scene. Pressure Fest is a raucous awakening of post-lockdown Sydney, championing a diversity of genres on every floor of the venue. This year’s Pressure Fest was a 12-hour affair featuring artists like Body Type, Moaning Lisa, Gordon Koang, Skeleten, Liyah Knight, ARSE and Andras among others.

Photo courtesy of nominee


Community-based musical festival NAG NAG NAG VII celebrated the sounds of Australia’s burgeoning underground music scene, but you’re wrong if you thought this was your run-of-the-mill musical festival. Held across two days each year, NAG NAG NAG brings together artists who represent the idiosyncratic shadows of genres, exploring the fringes of punk, electronic, pub rock, new wave and metal. Marrickville Golf Club and Marrickville Bowling Club are NAG NAG NAG’s homes, where lawn bowls and cold schooners add to the festival’s comfortable atmosphere. NAG NAG NAG greets all with open arms, establishing itself as a mainstay on all Sydney underground music fans’ calendars.

Photo courtesy of nominee


Athletica is a celebration of club music and the communities that gather around it. Created by Isa in 2019, this regular showcase of local and regional DJs delivers a high octane sensory smorgasbord designed to make you dance, and make you sweat. A proudly queer event, Athletica has grown into a safe space for self-expression for DJs and dancers alike, and has garnered a reputation for spotlighting DJs pushing boundaries in their respective scenes.

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4ESydney is the only festival and project of its kind, specialising in hip hop culture and multi-art form practice. The annual festival meeting ground is a space where community, industry and education combine to create unique opportunities for the growth and preservation of hip hop culture. Community is at the heart of 4ESydney; mentoring, professional development programs and industry sustainability are its limbs. Now in its eighth year, 4ESydney continues to gradually build a global infrastructure and platform for hip hop in this country.

Photo courtesy of nominee