New York, NY: A2IM’s 2016 Libera Awards, which recognize excellence across a broad swath of categories within the independent music community, will be held on Thursday, June 16, 2016 in New York City at Manhattan Center’s Grand Ballroom (cap. 1,200). Since A2IM’s inaugural Liberas at (Le) Poisson Rouge, the show has doubled in size each year, and is now a force to be reckoned with in the music awards pantheon. This year will feature more live performances and an optional seated dinner. The Liberas form the capstone of A2IM’s Indie Week, and is the biggest award show for independents by independents.
The 2016 finalists for the fifth annual Liberas celebrate the continued strength of the independent community, commercially and culturally, from chart toppers such as Alabama Shakes and All Time Low, to breakout artists like Courtney Barnett (Grammy Best New Artist Nominee) and Kamasi Washington. Leading the label nominees this year are ATO, with eight nominations, and Sub Pop & 4AD, with seven nominations each. Alabama Shakes (ATO) and Kamasi Washington (Brainfeeder) top the artist nominees with five and four nominations respectively. Winners will be selected by voting members of A2IM.
Year after year, the Liberas draw a VIP crowd of label executives from around the globe representing every genre imaginable, and this year is no different, with awards and honorees showcasing the breadth and diversity of talent within the Independent label sector. Last years’ winners included Run the Jewels (“Groundbreaking Album” and “Marketing Genius,”) and Sturgill Simpson (“Breakthrough Artist” and “Heritage Album”).
Also announced are sponsorship partnerships with SoundExchange, ADA, AtoZ Media, Caroline, Fox Rothschild LLP, FUGA, INgrooves, Kickstarter, MC Events, The Orchard, Pandora, Publicide.com, Silva Screen Music / SO Recordings / SBMC Inc., and YouTube/ Google Play Music.
SoundExchange will serve as the Libera’s Presenter Sponsor. “SoundExchange is honored to play a key role with the independent music community every day, and in particular with the upcoming Libera Awards,” said Michael Huppe, President & CEO of SoundExchange. “We look forward to celebrating the achievements of independent labels, artists and all those that contribute to the success in this vibrant music marketplace.”
Presenting sponsors for the Video of the Year Award are YouTube and Google Play. “YouTube and Google Play celebrate the work of independent artists, whose contributions enrich and expand our platforms, inspiring fan engagement across a worldwide audience,” said Ted Kartzman, Independent Music Partner Management, Google. “It is a privilege to sponsor the Video of the Year category for the Libera Awards and spotlight the inspiring talent that has emerged this year.”
Caroline also returns as a sponsor this year, presenting the Marketing Genius Award. “Caroline is proud to sponsor the A2IM Libera Awards that recognize excellence in the independent music community,” said Piero Giramonti, Co-General Manager of Caroline Records. “The best and brightest artists of the future are developed by the passion, commitment, taste, and expertise of our indie colleagues, where artistry and quality are the most important foundations of our business. It is an honor and a privilege to be in a position to support the awards and the critically important work that everyone is doing for the future of music.”
Pieter Van Rijn, CEO of FUGA, sponsoring partner of the Independent Champion award added: “We’re delighted to be a part of the A2IM Libera Awards this year and proud to be sponsoring the Independent Champion category. It’s important to honor those who are committed to ensuring independent music gets the exposure it deserves and who strive for a level playing field for independents.”
Label of the Year (<5 employees) will be presented by The Orchard. “The indie sector is vibrant, unique, exciting, and innovative,” said Colleen Theis, Chief Operating Officer at The Orchard. “There’s no place we’d rather be than side by side with our labels and artists, delivering on our mission to provide world class sales, marketing and technology so they can achieve their dreams. The Orchard lives and breathes independent music, and we’ve sponsored the Liberas since the beginning, because it’s important to recognize and applaud success.”
Eliah Seton, President of ADA Worldwide, sponsoring partner of the Label of the Year (6+ employees) award added: “Indies put the artist and their music first – they are the lifeblood of our industry. A2IM exists to support them in that endeavor, and ADA Worldwide is honored to play a role in that effort.”
INgrooves will sponsor the Groundbreaking Album of the Year Award. “At INgrooves, supporting the independent music community is at the core of what we do,” said Amy Dietz, INgrooves’ Executive Vice President. “The indies continue to show their strength and relevance in the marketplace and the Libera awards are a celebration of all the fantastic music coming from this creative group. It’s been an amazing year and we are excited to partner with A2IM, once again, for this event!”
Kickstarter will sponsor Best Live Act award. “Kickstarter is thrilled to be a partner with the 2016 A2IM Libera Awards” added Molly Neuman, Head of Music, Kickstarter. “The artists, labels and individuals the Liberas will be honoring represent the same values of independence and creativity so crucial to Kickstarter’s mission of helping bring creative projects to life.”
“Independent labels and musicians are essential partners to Pandora, and have been since the start,” added Lars Murray, SVP Music Makers Group, Pandora. “It’s only natural for Pandora to sponsor The Libera Awards again this year and work with A2IM and its members to honor the best in independent music.”
Read press release here.