The show will be open to the public as a live stream, offering fans an evening of spectacular independent music performances with no ticket purchase required. It will also function as a fundraiser for artists, musicians, crew, and small labels experiencing financial difficulties due to the coronavirus crisis. Sweet Relief will serve as A2IM’s official charity partner for the event, donating 100% of proceeds raised during the show to career musicians and music industry professionals in need.
The evening will be hosted by acclaimed actor, comedian, and author Chris Gethard, well-known for The Chris Gethard Show, his Beautiful Stories from Anonymous People podcast, and his 2018 book, Lose Well. Gethard will be reprising his role as Libera Awards host; he also hosted the show in 2019.
This year’s performers hail from a variety of musical backgrounds and genres. They include Grammy winning hip-hop icon Wyclef Jean, legendary hip-hop duo Shabazz Palaces, Colombian indie rockers Salt Cathedral, masked country music sensation Orville Peck, eclectic folk rockers Y La Bamba, violinist and vocalist Sudan Archives, and singer/songwriter Julia Jacklin. Punk rock pioneer Alejandro Escovedo and electronic music maestro Suzanne Ciani will perform; in addition, both of these musical titans will be honored with this year’s Independent Icon Award.
This year’s Awards will also feature special screenings of two recorded performances: one by indie folk band and 2020 Grammy nominees Big Thief, as well as British rockers IDLES, recorded live at Le Bataclan in Paris.
Sire Records co-founder Seymour Stein will receive the 2020 A2IM Lifetime Achievement Award. A profound influence on the world of independent music, Stein signed legendary bands that brought in the New Wave era of the 70s and 80s – including the Talking Heads, the Ramones, and The Pretenders. He was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2005. The award will be presented by Lyor Cohen, Global Head of Music at YouTube.
The A2IM Libera Awards are made possible by the support of its sponsors including SoundExchange, Merlin, ADA, Ingrooves, Qobuz, Spotify, and The Orchard.
The A2IM Libera Awards offer members of the independent music community the opportunity to recognize the immense talent and hard work of their peers. Nominees include a diverse array of artists and labels across the independent music spectrum, as well as organizations that have championed the success of independent music across the globe.
Each year, the A2IM Libera Awards serve as the culmination of A2IM’s Indie Week, an international conference that brings together leaders and visionaries from the independent music world for a powerful lineup of keynotes, workshops, one-on-one meetings, and panels. Like the A2IM Libera Awards, this year’s A2IM Indie Week will take place as a virtual event, safely bringing together music trailblazers, leaders, and luminaries from around the world.
This year’s A2IM Indie Week and A2IM Libera Awards come as A2IM celebrates 15 years of supporting and strengthening the independent community through advocacy, education, and connection-building within and outside of the independent music community.
“The 2020 A2IM Libera Awards serve as a dual celebration for A2IM: one that applauds the extraordinary talent and individualism of so many artists, labels, and independent champions, as well as the commemoration of 15 years of A2IM and all that our family of independents worked so hard to accomplish,” said A2IM CEO Richard James Burgess. “Independent music has its own distinct ethos and the Libera Awards is the perfect showcase for that creative and business commonality. Independent market share has increased by a double-digit percentage over A2IM’s 15-year history and the A2IM team is energized and excited for the next fifteen years of growth.”
With label membership consistently expanding annually and now exceeding 700, A2IM is not just a driving force in the independent music world, but the recorded music world in general – making an impact on the Grammy Awards, streaming services, music legislation, and beyond.
The 2020 A2IM Libera Awards will stream on Twitch, Facebook and YouTube, and on the official A2IM website, liberaawards.com.