Fittingly held in NZ Music Month, the Music Managers’ Forum staged the 14th annual MMF Awards at The Tuning Fork in Auckland on May 9.
For the second consecutive year the Manager of the Year title and trophy went to Berlin-based Alastair Burns for his highly successful work with Marlon Williams, as well as Australian artist Julia Jacklin. His very personal videoed acceptance speech came from overseas – as did that of Breakthrough Manager of the Year Rikihana Douglas, who has himself quickly developed an impressive roster of talent with Sachi, Montell2099, L.A. Women and Matthew Young, all of whom have also enjoyed a busy year.
The International Achievement award went to Niel de Jong for his work gaining a European foothold for Waipu’s already famous teenage metal band Alien Weaponry.
Tana Tupai and Avina Kelekolio from Tomorrow People grabbed the Best Self-Managed Artist trophy, quite evidently to their own surprise – quipping that despite their pride in winning the award they would be happy to have one of the managers in the room take the job off their hands. Callum McDougall and Chris Chetland were named as Emerging Managers of the Year for their co-management of Rei (McDougall himself).
The Best Independent Tour award was won by Nick Atkinson for organising Hopetoun Brown‘s Round The Horn tour for which the band sailed the Hauraki Gulf from venue to venue in their own boat, rowing all their instruments and a small PA into each new coastal venue in the yacht’s dinghy. The Achievement award went to Pennie Blair who was mentored by the MMF to help her band Hex with their SXSW appearance and USA tour.
The NZ Music Foundation was named Industry Champion of the year for their contribution in helping musicians in need and developing the Wellbeing Service. The Best Small Venue award went to Neck of the Woods, while the Best Large Venue award went to The Civic, both Auckland venues.