Scottish Album of the Year Award returns for 2020

Scottish Album of the Year Award returns for 2020

credit: Stevie Kyle

Scotland's national music prize calls for album submissions and goes digital for the first time

The Scottish Album of the Year Award is back for 2020, officially launching at 8am on Wed 1 Jul with a call for eligible albums to be submitted by midnight on Fri 31 Jul. As Scotland's national music prize, the prestigious award is now in its ninth year of celebrating the passion, talent and diversity that exists within the Scottish music scene, with previous winners including Auntie Flo (2019), Young Fathers (2018), Sacred Paws (2017) and Anna Meredith (2016).

As a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the campaign will be going virtual this year for the first time. The scheduled live events will be moved online, meaning music fans from all over the country can get involved at every stage, from submission process to the final ceremony. But to further boost the visibility of music in Scotland at this difficult time, the team have confirmed that this year's award will feature judges from four selected international territories for the first time, with the goal of bettering and maintaining these vital links beyond Scotland.

As the music industry on the whole remains in a precarious position due to the lasting effects of lockdown and continued lack of government intervention, celebrations like the SAY Award that honour the hard work and achievements of musicians are more important than ever, and it is hoped that this year's SAY Award will offer a chance to bring the community closer together.

Artists, labels and music fans are invited to submit eligible Scottish albums released between 1 Apr 2019 and 31 May to sayaward.com. With no fee required to submit an album and digital releases also deemed eligible, the process remains as fair and egalitarian at all stages as possible.

Robert Kilpatrick, General Manager of the Scottish Music Industry Association (SMIA) says: 'Never more than now is it important we celebrate Scottish music. By celebrating, we promote its visibility, highlight its value, develop audiences and stimulate opportunity at a time it's never been needed more. The SAY Award campaign has been re-imagined for 2020 and has been designed to help mitigate some of the key challenges our industry faces. Thanks to our partners continued support, we can continue to champion outstanding Scottish music. We hope you join us, and best of luck to all eligible albums.'

Auntie Flo, winner of the 2019 SAY Award, said: 'The Scottish music scene is world renowned and the SAY Award does a great job of highlighting its breadth of talent. Winning The SAY Award was proof that artists who are properly independent, that work across diverse cultural boundaries and between different scenes and genres can be rewarded for their efforts. I hope my winning inspires an even more diverse range of submissions this year.'

The winner of the SAY Award will collect a £20,000 cash prize, while nine runners-up will each be awarded £1000. After the submissions are collected, 100 impartial 'nominators' – chosen from sectors including journalism, broadcast and radio, music retail and live music venues from across Scotland – will consider the titles from the SAY Award's Eligible Albums list, nominating their five favourite albums and ranking them in order of preference. The SMIA then assigns a score to each title in a nominator's top 5, before announcing the 20 highest scoring albums as the SAY Award Longlist for 2020. The shortlist will then take that list down to 10 albums, one chosen by music fans via a 72-hour online public vote and the nine others chosen by an independent judging panel.

To submit albums and to view eligibility criteria and guidelines for the 2020 SAY Award, visit sayaward.com.

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