Be a part of the Australian Roots Music Awards


There are new awards on the music scene, solely dedicated to supporting – and promoting – Australian roots music. Embracing the roots genre and the skilled musicians from its craft, the  Australian Roots Music Awards (ARMA) 2017 will be held at in Nimbin this September 17.

Designed to celebrate the finest musicians in the styles of Alt country, Americana, early blues, Australiana, bluegrass and world music, musicians are now being encouraged to enter to be part of the first ever roots-focused awards.

the ARMAs will work hand-in-hand with  the Nimbin Roots Festival and winners will be announced at  gala event on the eve of the final day of the festival 

The ARMA winners will be judged by a panel of Australian music industry professionals.
The ARMAs were conceptualised as a means of rewarding musicians purely for their music.

The awards will be judged by an esteemed panel of industry professionals:
Stuart Coupe (journalist/author/editor/manager/record label director/radio presenter/publicist/tour promoter), Anthony Lycenko (Record producer/audio engineer) and Polly Coufos (The Australian).

Judges will select music under three categories – best song, best EP and best album.
All profits will go to the Nimbin Indigenous Cultural centre. 
ARMA Judges

Rod McCormack

Long recognised as one of Australia's leading musicians and songwriters, Rod McCormack is also one of the most in-demand record producers, having produced many award winning acts.

Rod has his own recording studio “The Music Cellar” on the NSW Central Coast, which has hosted the cream of Australia’s musical talent, bringing to life numerous Gold and Platinum albums.

As a songwriter, Rod has written over 30 number one country hits, along with theme songs and background music for a number of successful TV shows and documentary series, and has won numerous awards. He has over 400 titles currently recorded and released by artists here and overseas, including Wendy Matthews, The McClymonts, Lee Kernaghan, Gina Jeffreys, Adam Harvey, Beccy Cole, Paul Kelly and many others.

As a musician Rod gained the reputation of one of Australia's finest, and is one of our most recorded artists, appearing on thousands of albums and soundtracks ranging from KD Lang and Leo Sayer to Jimmy Barnes, Guy Sebastian to Kasey Chambers,  Shannon Noll to  symphony orchestras etc.

He has played and toured with many leading international artists such as Johnny Cash, Glen Campbell, Sherrie Austin, Jamie O'neal and was musical director for Trisha Yearwood, LeAnne Rimes, Pam Tillis, Jo Dee Messina and Tracey Lawrence on their Australian tours. In 2006 the CMAA awarded Rod their inaugural Musician Of The Year.

Rod plays many instruments - guitar, banjo, mandolin, lap steel, piano, hammond and lots more and in 1985 toured the American bluegrass circuit, winning the Colorado guitar and banjo championship, the Tennessee guitar and banjo championship and the West Virginia banjo championship. He has been both the Australian Guitar and Banjo champion 3 times each, before becoming a judge of the event. In recent years Rod has toured the US and Europe with Grammy nominated US based The Greencards.

As a producer, Rod has been responsible for many high selling and award winning albums and was named CMAA Producer of the year in 2004, 2008 and again in 2010.

Stuart Coupe

Stuart Coupe (born 1956) has worked as a journalist, author, editor, manager, record label director, radio presenter, publicist and tour promoter. After growing up in Launceston, Tasmania he attended Flinders University in Adelaide (1976 - 78) where he became editor of the university magazine, Empire Times, and founded the music magazine Roadrunner.

In late 1978 he was poached by Rock Australia Magazine (RAM) and moved to Sydney. After 18 months at RAM he became the music writer for the Sun Herald for the next decade as well as freelancing for countless publications ranging from the National Times to Dolly. Stuart is the only Australian to interview Bob Dylan twice and has conducted thousands of conversations with musicians from around the globe.

He estimates that he has had in excess of six million words published over the years.

Stuart also managed the Hoodoo Gurus, and then Paul Kelly through the period when Kelly recorded the quartet of albums Post, Gossip, Under The Sun and So Much Water, So Close To Home. Over the years he has continued to manage artists such as X, Perry Keyes, LJ Hill, Starky and The Devoted Few.

As a tour promoter Stuart was responsible for Australian tours by musicians Guy Clark, Lucinda Williams, Chris Whitley, Ted Hawkins, Link Wray, Dick Dale, Harry Dean Stanton, Dave Alvin, Kinky Friedman, Chris Smither, Rosanne Cash, Mary-Chapin Carpenter and others. He also promoted events and tours with authors James Ellroy, Ed McBain, Lawrence Block, Elmore Leonard and PJ O’Rourke.

He used those experiences as the basis for the successful book The Promoters (2003) which was recently reissued. That is one of ten books that Stuart has written, co-written or edited. The most recent is Gudinski: The Godfather Of Australian Rock’n’Roll, a biography of Australian music icon Michael Gudinski which was published in August 2015.

After a stint co-presenting the album show on 2MMM in the 1980s, Stuart has spent the past thirteen years presenting a weekly show on FBi radio in Sydney. He also presents a nationally syndicated show entitled Dirt Music on radio 2SER and during 2013 filled in for Lucky Oceans on Radio National. He is also a frequent commentator on radio, TV and in print media on matters relating to music and popular culture.

Stuart has frequently worked as a publicist, starting with The Clash, The Cramps and other international artists.

He is a founder and director of Laughing Outlaw Records which began in 1999 and has done the bulk of the publicity for the more than 180 releases from the label. Laughing Outlaw releases music from predominantly new and emerging Australian artists working in a wide range of styles from jazz to folk, Americana, punk rock, bluegrass, vaudeville, singer/songwriter and psychedelia. Stuart is also responsible for all contract negotiations and marketing for artists on the label.

For 17 years Stuart was the crime fiction book reviewer of the Sydney Morning Herald. He also founded and edited Mean Streets magazine and co-edited three crime fiction anthologies. In 2005 at the annual Ned Kelly Awards he was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award for his contribution to the crime fiction genre.

Stuart has attended the SXSW music industry conference in Austin, Texas most years since 2001. In 2012 and 2013 he presented panels on the Australian music industry. He has been a speaker at the WAMI Conference in Perth, Music Business Adelaide, and Big Sound in Brisbane. He has also been a panelist at various Sydney Writers’ Festivals.

Stuart likes talking about Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan and the Sydney Swans, not necessarily in that order.


ARMA conditions of entry​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

1. The cost is $20 per entry payable at the time of submission. Entries will not be considered valid unless the above mentioned fee is paid in full.

Three awards will be on offer for:

 i. Best song  (original composition)

ii. Best EP ( up to 7 compositions with 80% or more being original compositions)

iii. best Album ( 8 or more compositions with 80% or more being original compositions)

3. You can enter as many times as you want, in as many categories as you like but please note that each entry requires that above mentioned fee of $20 is paid. For example John Smith enters 2 songs into Best Song, 1 EP into Best EP, and  2 Albums into Best Album. The total cost for John Smith's entries is 5x$20=$100.

5. Judges decisions are final and no correspondence will be entered into.

6. Entry to ARMA 2016 will close midnight 22nd June 2017. Postal entries (EP & Album categories only) will be accepted if postmarked before midnight on 22nd June 2017.

7. Entries in to Best Song category must be submitted along with MP3 formatted recordings ( please do not upload larger formats or try and send hard copies). Send to

8. Entries to  Best EP & Best Album  categories must be submitted along with 2 hard copies of CD. Send to Nimbin Roots festival Po Box 181 Nimbin, NSW 2480

9. Fill in the paypal form below to submit. All categories must fill in the paypal form and pay via this form. Categories for best album and best EP must also send 2 x hard copies.

Enter the ​​​​​​ARMA awards here