AIM Awards launches livestream and diversity categories for 2021

AIM Awards launches livestream and diversity categories for 2021

Submissions are now open for the AIM Independent Music Awards, which returns for 2021 with an immersive virtual event on September 9.

The awards will celebrate that resolve, plus the very best of independent music, with a host of livestreamed performances from internationally renowned artists.

New for 2021 are two additional categories: Diversity Champion and Best Live [Streamed] Act. The Diversity Champion award will recognise individuals working in music who have dedicated themselves to achieve something extraordinary in the cause of diversity, equity and inclusion, and demonstrated a desire and drive to level the playing field in their work or business. There will also be a twist on the public-voted Best Live Act award, returning as Best Live [Streamed] Act to pay homage to the outstanding creative performances.

Submissions are open to all, and free for AIM’s rights-holder and independent distributor members. The One To Watch, Best Independent Remix, Best Small Label and Diversity Champion are free for anyone to enter.  

The deadline for submissions is midday on Tuesday, May 4. Submissions can be made via

Now in its 11th year, the event follows the success of the 2020 Awards, which featured performances from award winners Arlo Parks, Little Simz, and AJ Tracey, as well as Gorillaz’s Damon Albarn, who gave a tribute to his late friend Tony Allen.

Black Skull Creative – who have worked with a variety of high-profile artists on everything from virtual shows to television performances – will be taking the production reins to design an immersive virtual stage for the event.

“In a year like no other, the brilliance of independent music has cut through and brought hope to displace despair,” said AIM CEO Paul Pacifico. “Our community has held out its hands to offer emotional, cultural and financial support to those in need, while demonstrating incredible resilience and agility in response to the double whammy of Covid and Brexit. We still face enormous challenges and there is much work to do, but our Awards are a moment in the year to come together and celebrate what we do best - make and release outstanding music!”

AIM’s Annual Platinum Partners return as category sponsors at this year’s AIM Awards: Amazon Music (Innovator Award), Facebook (Best Independent Track), Merlin (Outstanding Contribution to Music), PPL (Most Played New Independent Artist), Spotify (Best Independent Album) and YouTube Music (UK Independent Breakthrough).

BBC Music Introducing will also be reprising their sponsorship of the One To Watch category, which recognises an emerging independent artist hotly tipped for success in the next year.  

2021 Award Categories 

Best [Difficult] Second Album

Best Creative Packaging

Best Independent Album (in association with Spotify)

Best Independent Label

Best Independent Remix

Best Independent Track (in association with Facebook)

Best Independent Video

Best Live [Streamed] Act –new for 2021

Best Small Label

Diversity Champion – new for 2021

Indie Champion

Innovator Award (in association with Amazon Music)

International Breakthrough

One to Watch (in association with BBC Music Introducing)

Outstanding Contribution to Music (in association with Merlin)

Pioneer Award

PPL Award for Most Played New Independent Artist

UK Independent Breakthrough (in association with YouTube Music)


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