American Association of Independent Music (A2IM) has kicked off the Libera Awards season by announcing the opening of the submission process for the annual event. The A2IM Libera Awards bring together the music community each summer to honor the extraordinary talent of independent artists, labels, and music industry leaders. People will be able to submit nominees for each awards category until submissions close on December 6.
This year, A2IM unveils new awards categories to choose from, totalling 36. Changes include genre additions like "Best Pop” and some category adjustments to give more records a proper home, like changing "Best Metal" to "Best Heavy Record,” which now encompasses other styles such as hardcore and industrial. Uniquely Libera Awards, Best Outlier Award is for all the records that don’t quite fit elsewhere — from spoken word and comedy to psychedelic hyperpop and beyond. Best Reissue Record celebrates the spirit of rediscovery, showcasing records that were initially released at least 5 years ago. There are also changes to old categories: Best Dance/Electronic Record has been divided to reflect two individual styles of music: Best Dance Record and Best Electronic Record.
Finally, Self-Released Record of the Year celebrates the entrepreneurial and organizational prowess of artists who release music without label support. The submission must be fully self-released by an individual artist or group; records co-released with record labels or as a subsidiary of a parent company are not eligible. A 30% discount code for submissions will be made available to all participants in A2IM:Artist, a program designed for independent, self-releasing artists.
“A2IM is truly excited to head into our 11th Libera Awards season,” said Richard James Burgess, A2IM CEO. “As independent music is such a diverse and wide-ranging universe, the new awards categories we’ve added to the lineup offer new ways for us to showcase and applaud the best of everything independent artists and labels have to offer.”
The first round of voting for the A2IM Libera Awards runs January 24, 2022 through February 8. Nominees will be announced and the final voting round will open on March 23, with voting closing on April 6.
For a list and descriptions of all A2IM Libera Award categories and to submit nominees, click here.
The 11th annual Libera Awards will be streamed globally via YouTube on June 16, 2022. The event serves as the culmination of A2IM’s Indie Week, an international conference that brings together leaders and visionaries from the independent music world for four days of keynotes, workshops, and panels. Indie Week 2022 takes place June 13 through 16.