A brand new awards show has been added alongside The Brits and the Mercury's to the UK music calendar, to celebrate independent labels and all the great music they release...
AIM, the UK Association of Independent Music, has chosen Independence Day (that's today) to announce their first Independent Music Awards. The awards show take place on Thurs 10th November and will be hosted by Steve Lamacq and Huw Stephens.
The point of these awards is summed up by Chairman and CEO of AIM, Alison Wenham, who explains:
“AIM has spent 10 years focused on helping independent music to make the most of its huge creative assets, first in the UK and lately worldwide. We were always looking outward and upward. Now with the confidence which comes from our genuine and measurable achievements in the independent sector, we want to celebrate, in a distinct and indie fashion.”
This isn't just a night on the lash for people who put out records by the likes of Arctic Monkeys, Adele and Aphex Twin (and that's just a few names under the letter A) but this news comes at a time when UK indie labels are doing superbly, here and abroad. Last month, for instance, UK independent labels celebrated a first by securing four albums in the Top 10 chart for four weeks in a row so. And yeah, did you hear how out-selling-Gaga-ly well Adele, who's signed to UK independent XL, is doing in America?
The prizes themselves will most probably be a healthy mix of media attention and bragging rights but obviously the real winner, will be independent music. Some of the awards will be voted for by the public and others by a panel of experts, including Drowned in Sound dot-com and DiS Records founder, Sean Adams, who has been invited to join the judging panel - the full judging panel will be announced soon.
Here are the award categories, which hopefully give you a flavour of what to expect...
International Achievement of the Year
Recognising notable overseas success for a UK signed artist
Catalogue Release of the Year
Recognising the best independent catalogue release
Best ‘Difficult’ Second Album The independent album that has built of the success and brilliance of debut release
Independent Entrepreneur of the Year
For someone approaching the market in a smart and forward thinking way
Innovative Marketing Campaign of the Year
Recognising the year’s best independent marketing campaign
Recognising a visionary independent label founder
Independent Breakthrough of the Year
For the artist who created serious waves in 2011
Best Small Label
They’re not big (yet), but they are clever
Outstanding Contribution to Music
For an artist who continues to influence and inspire with their work
There are also the following awards, which will be voted independently:
Golden Welly Award for Best Independent Festival
Recognising the UK’s best independent festival and voted for by Virtual Festivals users
Indie Champion Award
For an individual who demonstrates unwavering support for the independent community and voted for by AIM members
Best Live Act
For the best live act signed to an independent label and voted for by (website TBC) users
PPL Award for Most Played Independent Act
Based on airplay stats and for the independent act most played in public and on radio in 2011
Hardest Working Band or Artist
Recognising the independent band or artist that has gigged the most in the last year
The awards nominees will be unveiled by AIM in October. For tickets, to enter and for more info visit musicindie.com/awards or you can follow updates about the awards on Twitter @AIMawards or on FaceBook.
DiScuss: Who do you think will/should win some of these awards?