The AIR Awards may been postponed last year as it readied some major changes, including adding an Industry Conference and showcase event, but it’s returned with one lionised lineup of nominees this morning.

A.B. Original, the collaborative project between NIMA Award winner Briggs and ARIA Award-winning producer Trials, dominates the noms list with five nods.

Meanwhile, D.D. Dumbo, Flume and Alex Lahey are up for four awards each, including Best Independent Artist and Best Independent Album or EP.

It’s girls to the front in the Breakthrough Independent Artist category with Alex Lahey, Camp Cope and Julia Jacklin all nominated. And longtime collaborators Nick Murphy and Flume will go head-to-head for the Best Independent Dance, Electronica or Club gong.

Scroll below for the full list of nominees.

AIR has revealed the major sponsors of the AIR Awards and AIR Industry Conference. Replacing Carlton Dry as major sponsors for the next three years are The State Government of South Australia through the South Australian Tourism Commission, and Events South Australia and Arts South Australia through the Music Development Office.

Maria Amato, General Manager Australian Independent Record Labels Association, told TIO:

“We are very grateful for the strong support we have received from the South Australian Government, a government who understands the value that the Arts and Creative Industries bring to the social and cultural fabric of society, as well as the far reaching flow on effects it has on many other industries and the economic benefit it delivers to the Australian Economy.”

TIO can exclusively reveal this year’s supporting partners. They include: CUB (Carlton Dry), Little Green Cider, PPCA, Media Arts Lawyers, Delinquente Wine Co, Radio Adelaide, Fresh 92.7, the Mantra Group, Scenestr, The Appointment Group, Yewth Magazine, Nightlife and The Orchard.

AIR is expected to announce additional partners in July.

The 11th AIR Awards are set to take place for the first time in Adelaide – the first and only UNESCO City of Music in Australia – at the Queen’s Theatre, Adelaide on July 27.

To find out more about the Awards shake-up, read out short Q&A with Maria Amato below.

2017 marks a big change-up for the Awards. AIR moved the eligibility dates to align with the calendar year. How was the change received? 

It was a change that made sense to everyone, now we can celebrate the success of a full Calendar year rather than a period that began on the 1/8 and ended on the 31/7.

The nominations process has changed with the new use of Award Force. Was it smooth sailing for its inaugural use? 

Yes it was and it made the process much, much easier.

Looking at the nominees, what do you think they say about the local industry? 

The local industry has a lot to be proud of as has our independent recording sector that has launched the careers of many high profile, successful artists. This year’s Awards features multiple after parties at Scouted and an industry conference too.

What was the feel among AIR’s board when the Industry Conference and unsigned talent showcase were first suggested? 

They saw it as an exciting opportunity to showcase performances by genre and give AIR attendees a choice of where they would like to go afterwards, they may go to one or to them all as their wristband will enable them free entry.

SEE BELOW FOR THE FULL LIST OF 2017 AIR AWARDS NOMINEES