31 March 2022

The AIM Independent Music Awards, the most anticipated night in independent music, is back on Wednesday 28th September, returning as an in-person event at London’s iconic Roundhouse with an exciting array of new and updated categories.

Having shown remarkable resilience throughout the pandemic, 2022 has begun with cautious optimism across the sector, and with live shows returning, there’s no better way to celebrate than together. Now in its 12th year, the AIM Awards once again looks to honour the leading players of our diverse industry.

With submissions now open, this year’s categories have been freshened up with new additions and updates to the various awards on offer. Now totalling 20 accolades, new categories include Music Entrepreneur Of The Year and Best Independent EP & Mixtape, which opens up the Awards to even more rising talent. Meanwhile, Best Small Label changes to Best Boutique Label, Best Creative Packaging becomes Best Creative Campaign and, most positively, Best Live [Streamed] Act reverts back to Best Live Performer, alongside a slew of returning favourites such as Best Independent Album and One To Watch. 2021’s brand new Diversity Champion Award will also return, following Paulette Long’s well-deserved win last year.

Submissions are open to all, and free for AIM’s rightsholder and independent distributor members. One To Watch, Best Independent EP / Mixtape, Best Boutique Label, Diversity Champion, Indie Champion and Music Entrepreneur Of The Year are free for anyone to enter.

The deadline for submissions is midnight on Tuesday 26th April 2022. Submissions can be made via

AIM members will need their Member ID to make a submission, you can find this on the ‘Dashboard’ once you login into the AIM website. If you have any questions please email

This year’s event follows in the footsteps of 2021’s vibrant virtual ceremony, when Arlo Parks and ENNY scooped two awards apiece alongside the likes of Elkka, Fontaines D.C. and Joan Armatrading CBE, who collected the mighty Outstanding Contribution To Music. There were also some memorable performances utilising augment-reality, with Tricky, Working Men’s Club, ENNY and Lava La Rue taking to the stage.

AIM CEO Paul Pacifico said: “While our community still faces numerous challenges, 2022 feels like the year to reflect on the ingenuity and strength shown by everyone to get to this point. I’m particularly excited for us to be able to come together and celebrate in person at such an iconic venue. As ever, the AIM Awards will celebrate the innovation and ingenuity of everyone in the world of independent music who continue to release the most cutting-edge music in the world, from the artists to the labels and the teams behind them.”

AIM thanks its Annual Platinum Partners, who all return as category sponsors at this year’s AIM Awards: Amazon Music (Innovator Award), Meta (Best Independent Track), Merlin (Outstanding Contribution to Music), PPL (Most Played New Independent Artist), Spotify (Best Independent Album) and YouTube Music (UK Independent Breakthrough). The Annual Platinum Partner’s support helps to make AIM’s annual programming, including the AIM Independent Music Awards, possible.

BBC Music Introducing will also be reprising their sponsorship of the Local Heroes award, which debuted in 2021 and highlighted those who have gone above and beyond to put their area on the map.

Full list of 2022 Award Categories:

– Best Boutique Label (FKA Best Small Label)
– Independent Champion (FKA Indie Champion)
– Diversity Champion
– Music Entrepreneur of the Year (New Category)
– UK Independent Breakthrough in association with YouTube Music
– International Breakthrough
– Best Independent Video
– Best Independent Track in association with Meta
– Best Independent Remix
– Best Independent EP / Mixtape (New Category)
– Best Independent Album in association with Spotify
– Best [Difficult] Second Album
– Best Creative Campaign (FKA Best Creative Packaging)
– Best Live Performer (FKA Best Live [Streamed] Act)
– One To Watch in association with BBC Music Introducing
– Innovator Award in association with Amazon Music
– Outstanding Contribution To Music in association with Merlin
– PPL Award for Most Played New Independent Artist in association with PPL
– Best Independent Label
– Local Hero Award in association with BBC Music Introducing