Australian Commercial Radio Awards considering virtual event in light of COVID-19

The Australian Commercial Radio Awards (ACRAs) – due to take place on 10 October on the Gold Coast in Queensland – will proceed in a “different format” in 2020, organising body Commercial Radio Australia (CRA) has announced.

CRA said the large-scale traditional ceremony could not proceed as planned due to ongoing COVID-19 government restrictions on interstate travel and event size. The industry body is investigating whether the ACRAs could be “a virtual or online event” instead.

Samantha Jade performs at last year’s ACRAs

The entry date for the awards has also been extended to 30 June, and judging will be conducted remotely.

The radio industry’s conference, Radio Alive, will not be held in 2020.

CRA chief executive officer Joan Warner said the decision was difficult.

“The Australian Commercial Radio Awards and Radio Alice national conference are highly anticipated and well attended by commercial radio and media industry professionals from across the country. The decision to move the ACRAs from the usual live format attended by over 1,000 people to a different format, and to cancel the 2020 Radio Alive conference was a difficult one that was made in the context of the complex planning processes and long lead time needed for these very large events, as well as taking into account the wellbeing of attendees,” she said.

“At the same time, it’s very important that we still come together as a community to acknowledge and celebrate the hard work of commercial radio station staff throughout the year, not only recently, but during the bushfires, floods and drought that impacted both regional and metropolitan Australians. Radio teams are showing great resilience and continuing to keep Australians connected, informed and entertained during the current crisis.”

CRA said in lieu of the conference, it will release two webinars in May and August, revealing he results of its research studies. The dates for Infinite Dial and Share of Audio will be confirmed shortly.

The radio industry has been battered by the COVID-19 crisis, despite an increase in engagement from consumers.

The industry’s measurement system has been paused until at least September, as the in-person aspect of collecting data could not proceed throughout COVID-19. In addition, various radio stations have shed staff, cut hours, reduced pay and struggled with plummeting revenue.


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