The first winner of the Environmental Music Prize is revealed

The song “If Not Now Then When” by King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard has won the inaugural Environmental Music Prize. 

The Environmental Music Prize aims to recognise Australian music with a pro-environment message capable of inspiring people to take action. 

From the hundreds of songs entered, 24 finalists were selected and put to an international public vote. “If Not Now Then When” came out on top. 

Director: Dr D Foothead 

Stu Mackenzie, the singer and main songwriter of King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard, said that they are humbled to win the prize. 

“It’s fantastic and deeply important for initiatives like this one, to help build community around the fight against the climate crisis,” Stu said.  

Along with the title, the band also wins $20,000 prize money, which they donated to The Wilderness Society, one of Australia’s largest environmental advocacy organisations. 

The environment has always been a major concern for King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard, and it’s reflected in their music. Their winning song was written after the 2019-2020 bushfires and communicates an urgent need for climate action to be taken.

“We need actual, real, tangible action from our leaders, otherwise what are they there for?” Stu said. 

“Why are we not doing everything we humanly can to right our wrongs? When we’re literally on fire, why not now? If not now, then when?” 

Additionally, a prize for ‘Emerging Environmental Songwriter’, created in partnership with Byron Writers Festival, was also awarded. 

The recipient was Nidala Barker, a singer-songwriter and Djugun woman, who co-wrote and performed on the song “Our Song” (one of the 24 finalists). 

As part of her prize, Nidala will perform and speak at the upcoming Byron Writers Festival (26-28 August) and complete a three-day writing retreat in the region.

Perhaps nobody is more enthusiastic about all the engagement and goodwill generated by the inaugural Environmental Music Prize than its founder, Edwina Floch. 

“I’m so delighted that the Environmental Music Prize resonated so strongly and received such strong high level support in year one,” Edwina said. 

She is keen for the prize to reach even greater heights going forward. 

“We’ll be building quickly from here to provide ongoing support, opportunity and reward for artists who are actively using their voice to advance environmental issues during this crucial decade,” Edwina added. 

To find out more about the Environmental Music Prize and enjoy the songs of all the finalists, please visit this link: https://environmentalmusicprize.com

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Markos Hasiotis

Markos Hasiotis is a writer and researcher based in Melbourne. He has written content for outlets around the world and volunteered for a variety of causes, including mental health, the environment, animal welfare and Meals on Wheels. His main passion is sharing facts and fighting against the forces of propaganda and misinformation.

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