14 April 2021

The AIM Independent Music Awards has announced an eclectic list of broadcasters and tastemakers making up the judging panel for its 2021 event, and moved forward to a new date on Wednesday 25 August, for what is gearing up to be the event’s most dazzling ceremony yet.  

Celebrating the dynamism, innovation and resilience of the independent sector over one of the most challenging years in its history, the event will build on last year’s groundbreaking experience with a livestreamed show and extra content on the AIM Awards app to create an immersive virtual showcase event, featuring performances from some of the world’s leading independent artists. 

Get your submissions in for this year’s awards! The deadline is coming up at midday on Tuesday 4 May and there will be no extension this year. All submissions are free for AIM’s Rightsholder / Distributor Members. Several categories including Best Small Label, Best Independent Remix, One to Watch and – new for this year – Diversity Champion, are free for anyone to submit to. Submissions can be made via the awards’ website:  

The judging panel for this year’s event will feature some of the UK’s leading tastemakers, representing a diverse range of genres, broadcasters and publications. They include: Amazing Radio, BBC Cymru, BBC Introducing, BBC Radio 1Xtra, Capital XTRA, ChillDaBeats, DIY Mag, DJ Mag, Dummy Mag, gal-dem, Kerrang!, Line of Best Fit, Mixmag, Mixtape Madness, The Quietus, The Skinny, The Telegraph, TRENCH and Worldwide FM

Nadia Khan, AIM Chair and Founder of Women In CTRL, said: “Once again AIM has pulled together a diverse and eclectic mix of tastemakers for this year’s AIM Awards, representing a cross-section of music genre expertise as well as diversity of locations and backgrounds, which is, after all, fundamentally representative of the independent music sector as a whole. 2020 was a hugely challenging year, but that didn’t stop the UK’s independent music sector from releasing some of the most innovate and exciting music in the world. Picking the winners will not be easy with so much talent to choose from.” 

Gee Davy, COO of AIM said “Holding the Awards for a second year as a virtual event is incredibly exciting. It has given AIM scope to be as experimental and innovative as our members and to build on the foundations of our gripping immersive show last year. The new date at the end of summer will be at a time, we hope, of renewed positivity and optimism for the music community and for the world at large – a fitting time for AIM to celebrate and showcase the best and brightest independent talent.” 

2021 AIM Independent Music Awards Categories  

UK Independent Breakthrough (in association with YouTube Music) 

International Breakthrough 

Best Independent Album (in association with Spotify) 

Best Independent Track (in association with Facebook) 

Best Independent Remix (in association with SoundCloud) 

Best Independent Video 

Best [Difficult] Second Album 

Best Independent Label 

Best Small Label 

One to Watch (in association with BBC Music Introducing) 

Best Live [Streamed] Act – *new for 2021* 

Best Creative Packaging 

Diversity Champion – *new for 2021* 

Indie Champion 

Innovator Award (in association with Amazon Music) 

Outstanding Contribution to Music (in association with Merlin) 

Pioneer Award 

PPL Award for Most Played New Independent Artist