They spelt her name wrong and barely broadcast a moment of her acceptance speech at the Australian music industry’s night of nights.
But it’s the snub to her fans and country music that offended acclaimed singer-songwriter Sara Storer after she stepped up on stage to receive her first ARIA Award last week.
With 19 Golden Guitars to her credit, Storer won the ARIA for Best Country Album but her name was spelled “Sarah” in huge flashing lights and executives cut out most of her speech for the television broadcast.
Fans took to social media, including the ARIA’s official Facebook page, to vent their disgust at the obvious snub.
The story was picked up by The Daily Mail’s Australian correspondent with the headline ‘ARIA kidding me?’ and included comments from disgruntled fans.
One wrote: 'Agree so many of us waited with anticipation to see the award. Not cool that the country album was not given the air space it deserved!!!'
The report noted the ARIA Facebook page later replied with a link to the full version of Storer’s speech.
But it was too little too late for fans and the acclaimed singer who said it was disappointing Australia’s “equivalent of the Grammys” did not give wider recognition to country music.
“Winning an ARIA was on my bucket list,” said Storer, who is in the running for another five Golden Guitars at the 2017 Tamworth Country Music Awards.
“I’m not here to bag the ARIAs but I think there is a perception that country music is not worthy of air time.
“Yet Australia has produced world-acclaimed country artists like Keith Urban and hello, Lee Kernaghan had the highest-selling Australian album across all genres in 2015.
Storer said she hope the ARIA fallout might raise awareness about the huge following that existed for country music and the emerging young talent.
And on a night where it seemed everyone was intent on making a political statement about same-sex marriage, Storer suggested she too had statements worth a wider audience.
“Maybe I had something wonderful to say about the farmers who are out there right now harvesting the crops that will feed our nation,” she said.
“These are the people I sing about and who I am passionate about and their stories need to be heard too.”