America has the Grammys, the UK has the BRIT awards, Australia has the ARIAs ... and Dubbo has the DOMAs.
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The DOMAs - or Dubbo Original Music Awards - celebrate musicians and songwriters from Dubbo and surrounds who've made an impact on the local music scene over the past year.
In 2023, the Songwriters and Original Musicians Association of Dubbo (SOMAD) will host the awards ceremony on Wednesday, November 15 at the Dubbo Regional Theatre and Convention Centre.
"We created the DOMAs out of a desire to raise the profile of local musos and reward those doing great work," Tim Hosking, secretary of SOMAD and bass player in local indie rock outfit One Proud Monkey, said.
"They do often go under the radar from the general Dubbo community and there was no explicit award for those doing the best work locally.
"While the competitive nature of the event is not what we prefer to do, it really does help to raise the profile and reward the best and brightest local songwriters."
Any musician living in Dubbo, Narromine, Gilgandra, Wellington, Peak Hill, Dunedoo or Mendooran who performs their own music can be nominated for an award. Nominees are then voted on by music industry peers.
"This year we've got nominees which are acoustic, rock, metal, country and rap ... rap is a first for us, we haven't had that before," Mr Hosking said.
"SOMAD operates without genres, we celebrate all genres and we're not about picking winners and losers in that regard. We welcome all songwriters of all different stripes."
Award categories include Single of the Year, Music Video of the Year, Album or EP of the Year and Live Music Artist of the Year.
"That's gonna be a hotly contested division, Riley and Ah See are going up against the likes of Whisperhead who are a really strong metal band kicking goals across the state," Mr Hosking said.
"And then a few of the other local rock bands as well who put on a great show when they, when they get going. So, yeah, it'll be a good one."
Venues who support local, original musicians are also eligible for awards including Original Live Music Venue of the Year and Event of the Year Showcasing Local Original Music.
Nominated for Original Live Music Venue of the Year in 2023 are the Amaroo Hotel, Devil's Hollow Brewery, Dundullimal Homestead, Old Bank Restaurant and Bar and the Western Plains Cultural Centre.
"We've seen a steady improvement in the live scene in Dubbo over the last few years," Mr Hosking said.
"But for the original songwriters, the scene is a lot harder to get amongst... a lot of the great activity is based around cover bands and cover musicians."
As well as the peer-voted categories, the SOMAD committee will select winners for the Rising Star award and Services to the Music Scene award.
All the nominees will be announced on the SOMAD Facebook page in the lead up to the ceremony.
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