The inaugural Gunnedah Online Music Eisteddfod has had a great year, having been named a state winner at the Australian Event Awards.
The eisteddfod took out the win in the Best Regional Event in 2019/2020 category.
Attracting almost 700 registrations from musicians nationwide, the inaugural event came about as a result of the cancellation of the 68th annual face-to-face competition, becoming Australia's first officially sanctioned online music eisteddfod.
Eisteddfod co-convenor Margaret Amos said that establishing the online eisteddfod was a huge undertaking for the small volunteer committee, however the interest and overwhelmingly positive feedback had made the venture very worthwhile.
"Our primary focus in pushing forward with the music eisteddfod in a different format this year was to ensure that musicians across Australia could continue to practise and perform in a year of such uncertainty," Ms Amos said.
"We know that for many participants, our online eisteddfod provided one of the only opportunities to perform and compete in 2020, whether that was just for fun or in preparation for AMEB exams.
"We are delighted to be recognised by the Australian Event Awards in amongst a field of such highly regarded events from across the country, and congratulate all national and state winners for their exceptional work."
Entries in the awards are judged on all aspects of event management including best practice, innovation, marketing, stakeholder engagement and management, sustainability and event legacy.
Across the board, 2020 was a very high scoring year with Brenda LaPorte, co-chair of the judging panel, reporting that "the entries put forward for judging on average scored significantly higher than last year".
"This is an incredible result knowing what the industry has been through in 2020. It clearly reflects the high quality of the events delivered across Australia and what we have to look forward to when our industry makes its comeback," she said.
Results for all categories are listed on the Australian Event Awards website http://www.eventawards.com.au/results
The Gunnedah Eisteddfod Society endeavour to stage the music, speech and drama and dance disciplines of the eisteddfod face-to-face in 2021 pending government regulations, and intend to also continue with the online music eisteddfod a little later in the year.
"We trust that the successes of our 2020 event bode well for strong interest and participation in all facets of our eisteddfod for next year, and for many years to come," Ms Amos said.