THE ENVIRONMENTAL MUSIC PRIZE IS A NEW $20,000 PRIZE THAT AMPLIFIES THE VOICES OF ARTISTS WHO INSPIRE ACTION FOR CLIMATE AND CONSERVATION.
Launched in November 2021 during the U.N. Climate Summit (COP26), it aims to recognise and reward artists who create exceptional music videos that celebrate the beauty of nature and our connection to it.
We support artists to use their voice strategically, both on and off stage, by providing finalists with:
- Recognition of their ability to connect to fans through their songwriting and recorded work.
- Media opportunities for artists to talk about their songs and connect to wider audiences.
- Opportunities to perform and speak at events.
- Music Climate Leadership Workshops where they get to hear from and engage with environmental leaders.
By empowering talented artists and engaging, energising and activating audiences through music, we create a cultural shift that accelerates change and supports the broad goals of the environmental movement.
PRIZE GUIDELINES 2023
Entries are open to Australian citizens and residents who have released an original song and music video between 1 January 2020 – March 12 2023.
Submitted works must:
- Reference nature or an environmental issue in its lyrics, or in the visual content of its music video.
- Connect us to the natural world, encourage us to reflect, or inspire us to protect the environment.
(This could be a celebration of nature, message of hope, moment of reflection or call-to-action)
- Be submitted as a music video on Youtube that is publicly available to watch and share.
January 23 – Entries open
March 12 – Entries close
March 13 – April 21
Shortlisting committee review finalists.
April 22 (Earth Day)
Finalists announced through Impact Partners and Press.
Voting opens to the general public.
June 4 – Voting closes
Since the vote is open to international audiences votes are open until 23:59 PST so that fans globally have the opportunity to vote on Sunday 4th.
23:59 Sunday 4th in Los Angeles = 16:59 Monday 5th in Sydney / Melbourne.
June 2023 – Winner Announced
The Shortlisting Committee will be looking for compelling and memorable pieces of art that create connection and inspire action.
Key parts of this are:
- Songwriting and lyrics
- Delivery and ability to create connection
- Visual communication through video and image
- Ability to connect to audience
Finalists will represent:
- Talented artists who are invested in their art and have an engaged audience, regardless of size.
- A diverse group of across ages and demographics reflecting Australia’s rich multicultural society and that we are all deeply connected to the natural world.
- A mix of musical styles to engage a significant cross section of music fans.
SHORTLISTING COMMITTEE SELECTING 2023 FINALISTS
MUSIC AMBASSADORS, ARTISTS, MUSIC INDUSTRY
- Nidala Barker – Recipient of 2022 ENVIRONMENTAL MUSIC PRIZE ‘Emerging Environmental Songwriter’ Award
- Montaigne – Award-winning Singer/Songwriter, Australia’s 2021 Eurovision candidate, released the climate anthem ‘READY’
- Heidi Lenffer – Cloud Control, Founder of FEAT (Future Energy Artists) and Solar Slice Recipient 2019 Triple J ‘You Done Good’ Award and SMAC of the YEAR
- Anna Lunoe – DJ, Producer, Vocalist and Apple Music Radio Host, Podcast Presenter
- Fergus Clarkson – Australian Poetry Slam 2019 ‘Youth Champion’ and spoken word artist on Montaigne’s ‘READY’
- Gemma Pike – Head of Editorial Apple Music Australia
ENVIRONMENTAL LEADERS AND IMPACT PARTNERS
- David Ritter – CEO, Greenpeace Australia Pacific!ic
- Edwina Floch – Founder, Environmental Music Prize
- Berish Bilander – CEO, Green Music Australia
- Clare Ainsworth Herschell – Co-Founder, Groundswell Giving
- Tim Silverwood – Co-Founder, Ocean Impact Organisation
- Dr Joelle Gergis – Climate Scientist and award-winning Author
- JoJo Ferris – Head of the Olympic Refuge Foundation & Director, Ferris Family Foundation
- Doha Kahn – School Strike 4 Climate & Fridays For Future Youth Activist, Political Candidate, Med Student
- Cat Nadel – National Director, Tomorrow Movement
CLIMATE SCIENTIST INVITES ARTISTS TO USE THEIR VOICE, TALENT AND PLATFORM
Dr Joelle Gergis, Australia’s lead scientist for the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Report and Author of ‘Humanity’s Moment: A Climate Scientist’s Case for Hope’ led our last MUSIC CLIMATE LEADERSHIP WORKSHOP.
“It isn’t up to the scientific community to drive cultural change. We need our musicians, our artists, our teachers to use their communication skills and platforms.
I was really excited to hear about the ENVIRONMENTAL MUSIC PRIZE, because music has such an incredible way of meeting people in the private place of communion that they have with their own reflective thoughts and their engagement with the world.
The songs highlighted invite us to have a cultural conversation about the things we collectively value as a society. This is meaningful, because when enough people care, they can choose to remove the social licence for the continued destruction of our planetary system.”
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
This is is more than a prize, it’s an ecosystem.
WHY SHOULD ARTISTS APPLY?
This is more than a prize, it’s an ecosystem and community.
- The Network Effect
By acting together, we are stronger than when we act alone.
- Exposure to New Audiences for Your Song and Your Story
Our Impact Partners will be sharing the shortlisted songs inviting their audiences to watch, listen and vote.
The voting period will see media, music industry, environmental groups and fans sharing the stories and the artists behind these environmentally engaging masterpieces across platforms including newsletters and social media. (Greenpeace alone has an audience of 1.2 million in Australia)
Last year’s prize saw over 50+ media articles from Australia and international media outlets
- Future engagement and training opportunities
Finalists will receive ongoing invitations to join future workshops, presentation and training opportunities delivered by the Environmental Music Prize and impact partners.
What is considered Environmental Music?
Music that connects us to nature, makes us reflect and want to protect our living ecosystems and their amazing biodiversity. Environmental Music can come in all styles and genres. Check out our 2022 Finalists and their artist pages for more information on what inspired them to write the song.
WHO CAN PARTICIPATE
Can I apply if I’m under 18?
Yes but you will need your parents to sign and return the following consent form.
If my song is co-written, can I still apply?
You need to have contributed to the songwriting of the entered song to apply. We only accept one entrant per song.
Please ensure your co-writers have agreed and authorised the submission of your song into this competition. We can supply you with consent forms for this purpose.
If you win, you would be deemed the sole winner and any eventuating prizes would be divided amongst your co-writers at your discretion.
Do I have to be a member of APRA AMCOS or another Performing Right Organisation (PRO) to enter?
Songwriters who have no current PRO affiliation may apply. However we do suggest that if your original songs are being broadcast on TV/Radio, streamed or downloaded for sale online or performed live in a public venue, you should consider joining a PRO to ensure that you collect your songwriting royalties.
Can I apply if I’m an international artist?
We recognise that both environmental issues and music are global and we hope to open to international entrants in future rounds.
2022 and 2023 are focused on start-up and scale-up in our home country, Australia, as a cultural shift is required to accelerate the adoption of sound environmental policy.
Please follow us on socials and join our mailing list (include your country on the signup form) to receive updates on future launches.
We would like to deepen our knowledge of the music and artists active in this space around the world.
If you are a recognised artist and have strong song you would like us to know about, please add it to our ENVIRONMENTAL MUSIC DATABASE
How many songs can I enter?
A maximum of two. Choose your best and most aligned work.
Each song will need to be entered separately so we can collect specific information about that concept, composition, video and team.
I have a song but no music video, can I still apply?
No. We understanding that creating a video is complicated and expensive, and so not available to every artist, for every song. At this early stage, we’ve chosen to focus on music videos as they are strong, highly evocative and memorable communication tools that can watched and shared widely, thus reaching, touching and activating large audiences.
We may open future rounds to songs without videos, and we also hope to build a strong list of environmental songs to share, so if your work is of high / professional quality, please add it to this form. We will be in touch if relevant opportunities come up.
I have a music video, but it is not on Youtube, can I still apply?
No. The aim of the prize is to reach the maximum number of people with engaging environmental messages. Having a video that is freely available to watch and share enables us to embed it for voting, as well as media and impact partners and fans to share in their articles and newsletter when they are touched or inspired.
Will The Environmental Music Prize own my song if I enter?
No, you will retain all rights to your song. We will share the link to your music video on YouTube on our website and with impact partners. Please review the Terms & Conditions before entering.
Do you accept live recordings?
Yes. Live recordings of high quality will be accepted.
What are the main criteria the Shortlisting Committee will assess?
They will be looking for compelling and memorable pieces of art that create connection and inspire action.
Key parts of this are:
- Ability to create a personal connection
- Songwriting and lyrics
- Visual communication through video and image
- Delivery and quality of execution
- Ability to connect to an audience
Am I expected to re-share environmental campaigns?
We will host workshops and events that you are free to attend at your discretion.
If there is a strong link between the content or purpose of your song and the work of an environmental organisation in our network we may offer to provide an introduction, but you are under no obligation to accept or engage.
Who is behind this prize?
A not-for-profit entity called Environmental Music Limited. Directors are Edwina Floch, Matthew Dent and Christina Chun. See the About Us section for more information.
The initial funding for the 2022 Prize was provided by…
A few kind donors who believe in the power of music to inspire:
Edwina Floch, The Ferris Family, Clare Ainsworth Herschell, Universal Music Australia, Graeme Wood Foundation
Probono Partners: Black Nova Capital, Paper Moose, Green + Simple, Byron Writers Festival
HOW CAN I SUPPORT?
The Environmental Music Prize is community and philanthropically funded. However without further funding we will not be able to deliver on our bold vision to build an impact ecosystem where artists are rewarded, supported and trained to engage more strategically on environmental issues.
We would greatly value your support:
Make a tax-deductible donation to increase the significance of the prize, build strategic partnerships and scale quickly.
- Individuals, trusts and corporations: donate via PRIZE SUB-FUND at Australian Communities Foundation
- Private and Public Auxiliary Funds: please contact us for details
Sponsor the prize or additional activities (Strategy and Budget available on request).
Become an Impact Partner to share the playlist of shortlisted songs and environmental stories with your network.
Strategic time, talent or connections.
If you can provide high value input to support and accelerate the prize it is greatly appreciated.
Please contact our Founder Edwina : email@example.com
CAN I VOLUNTEER?
PLEASE SIGNUP FOR UPDATES AND FOLLOW ON SOCIALS TO DISCOVER INSPIRING SONGS AND STORIES.
AND TO FOLLOW OUR STORY.