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simonW picValued at more than $130,000 in total, the Melbourne Prize for Music 2016 and Awards is one of the most valuable music prizes in Australia, providing significant opportunities for Victorian musicians across all music genres and career stages. As we head towards the entry closing dateĀ  of July 11 at 5pm, we caught up with Melbourne Prize founder Simon Warrender for a quick Q&A.

Simon, what’s your musical background?
I am not a musician but have an interest in music across a broad range of genres and enjoy what music brings to daily life.

What did you listen to growing up?
Growing up in the 70’s and 80’s I was fan of Australian music from this era, plus the iconic groups and musicians that came to Melbourne. My parents liked well-know musicals and my Dad loved military bands.

Name an album that you never tire of hearing?
Elton John’s Goodbye Yellow Brick Road

What’s your guilty pleasure album? One that we might not expect to be in your collection!
Daft Punk or Massive Attack

How did the Melbourne Prize come about?
I had the idea for a City to demonstrate the importance of significantly rewarding and recognising its writers, musicians and sculptors. I Googled to see if there was, for example, a London Prize, Paris Prize, New York Prize or Tokyo Prize and there was none so I trademarked the Melbourne Prize and started to raise money to offer the first one in 2005 – we are going into our thirteenth year in 2017.

What’s the best part of being involved in this competition for you?
Seeing the huge commitment of organisations, people and artists in each cultural sector and the benefits the annual Melbourne Prize makes to artists and their careers.

Are there any restrictions to entries in regard to genre/style of music?
All music genres are eligible.

Can a metal band, country music artist or hip hop act expect to have their work considered in the same way as a classical or jazz artist?
Absolutely. We have a judging panel representing a range of music genres.

What qualities did you seek in the judging panel that has been appointed?
A broad range of expertise, experience and music genres with the ability to work together.

Are there any simple mistakes that entrants could make which may cause non-acceptance of their entry? What kind of things do entrants need to pay attention to for a problem-free entry?
The most important part of entering is to read the Entry Guidelines carefully, which are available on our website, before completing the online entry form. Eligibility is important which is covered in the Guidelines.

Melbourne is a global arts capital. Is there a similar competition anywhere else in the world?
I am not aware of a music competition that is offered under the banner of a city known as a centre for arts and culture. I think we are up there in terms of prize money too.

Who should enter this competition?
Victorian musicians or groups from ALL music genres.

Entries close on Monday July11 at 5pm and late entries will not be accepted. For those waiting until the last day, what factors do they need to consider?
Please read the Entry Guidelines carefully, which outline exactly what is required for each category. Following the information requests on the online entry form and submit before 5pm on July 11.

For more information visit the Melbourne Prize website


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