What it’s like interviewing on the ARIA Red Carpet for the first time

The 2018 ARIAs have well and truly gone, but that night was one to remember!

November 28th, 2018 marks the date I was lucky enough to report at my first red carpet event and now it’s time to do a tell-all on the experience:

Interviewing some of Australia’s biggest names in music can seem like a daunting task to anyone, particularly under the pressure of quick recognition and fact recall on the carpet, distracted by other admirable artists walking by and the constant screams of fans. However, I made sure that for my first red carpet, I would ring-in as many acts as I could in order to deliver the finest content for the AU review‘s audience.

After weeks of studying faces and facts (what do the DMAs boys look like in real life?!), I was armed and ready to battle it out on the press barrier to nab passer-bys for a ‘quick chat’.

My first interview off the bat was with ‘Ben and Liam‘ from the Triple J breakfast show. Luckily, I had been following their lookalike competition for the hosts to find doubles to walk the red carpet.
“Perfect, I know exactly what’s going on here…” I thought to myself as the boys strolled coolly down the aisle. I swooped in and began talking to the duo about their red carpet prep (“Not going to lie, there was some last minute nominee checking,” said Ben) and then hit them with a Triple J news quiz. After a confused look from ‘Ben’, ‘Liam’ stepped up to the challenge and was able to break the overnight news of Brooke Boney leaving Triple J and KLP retiring from her five-year stint on the Saturday night House Party program. I was impressed to say the least.

Over the course of two hours, I managed to squeeze in 32 interviews, all readily available for your viewing pleasure. Particular highlights to point out include an interview with Breakthrough Artist winner, Ruel, who let us in on his 2019 plans and said his parents made him write a speech for the night “just in case”. Taylor Henderson attempted to find out my home address and Cyrus recognised me not from the time we actually met, but because I somewhat resemble Jennifer Lawrence – stoked! I also got to talk to my favourite Aussie band Cub Sport about their upcoming album Cub Sport by Cub Sport and ran into influencers Alli Simpson and Michael Finch.

However, one off-camera moment that will stay with me for a while is shaking Keith Urban‘s hand as he was whisked past. See, Keith and I went to the same primary school, so I yelled out “Keith! Ashgrove State School alumni right here!” which caused him to stop in his tracks, turn around and vigorously shake my hand before continuing on his way. I refuse to wash that hand to this day.

A big thanks to the AU review for the opportunity to launch my red carpet career. The night is cemented in my Top 10 Favourite Nights EVER (this is a very big call) and I can’t wait for the next chance to dangle a microphone over another crimson carpet.

You can also check out the behind-the-scenes of the awards night with our backstage coverage! See ARIA-winning artists such as 5SOS, Amy Shark and Kasey Chambers chatting about their work in an exclusive press interview.

Find all of the ARIA Awards coverage here – happy watching!

Tait McGregor