Celebrate independent music at the AIM Awards 2020

The AIM Independent Music Awards 2020 are going online! If anybody said an awards ceremony wasn’t possible in the midst of a pandemic, then AIM weren’t listening. The Association of Independent Music have once again pulled out all the stops to mobilise yet another annual event online and we’re proud to be partnering with them. What’s more, their glittering awards show is absolutely free to attend.

Following the success of AIM House in May – a conference event that, with the support of the British Council, brought music professionals together online from around the world – the AIM team are bringing the twentieth ever AIM Awards straight to your home via the worldwide web. The event would have taken place at London’s Roundhouse.

The AIM Awards 2020 are the UK’s first large scale awards show to go digital, and this virtual setting means there is a great opportunity internationally to come and see great live music from the UK, and celebrate the winners, without having to board a train or plane. So, wherever you are in the world, we say: lovers of independent music everywhere, make a date in your diary for 12 August 2020 and join us and AIM for an online celebration of some of the most exciting music the UK has to offer.


AIM Awards 2020: Essential info

  • The AIM Awards 2020 will take place on 12 August 2020 from 19.00 (UK time)
  • Watch the virtual ceremony from the AIM Awards website – the live stream is being delivered in partnership with SBTV and with support from YouTube
  • Download the AIM Awards app for real-time updates, exclusive content, and more. In the app store search AIM - Official. 
  • Live music from Little Simz and AJ Tracey
  • Live music from fast-rising South London singer, and Selector favourite, Arlo Parks
  • In the UK, AIM are offering you ‘a pub in a box’ and an artisan meal delivered to your door if you place your order before 5 August


AIM Awards 2020: Nominees and winners … so far

Pioneer Award, in association with Evoke

AIM have already announced the winner of this one and it’s one of the most talented and prolific pioneers of UK rap, Little Simz. Simz is a Mercury Prize nominated, MOBO nominated, Ivor Novello nominated powerhouse in UK music and the first UK independent artist to be listed on Forbes’ 30 Under 30.

Innovator Prize, in association with Amazon Music

AJ Tracey is the winner of the Innovator prize this year and will take to the stage again this year after a surprise performance at last year’s AIM Awards. A voice of a generation, his musical versatility and dextrous wordplay has helped lead the way for hip-hop’s mainstream resurgence. With his dedication to making music and building a brand on his own terms, AJ has scored five UK top ten singles to date, including the million-selling, double-Platinum smash ‘Ladbroke Grove’. After selling out two dates at the iconic 10,000 capacity Alexandra Palace in November 2019, AJ has now racked up over a billion streams globally.

Outstanding Contribution To Music Award

Ezra Collective’s Femi Koleoso will lead the tributes for this posthumous award to the late great Tony Allen. Allen’s contribution to drumming and music more widely, rightly places him alongside the twentieth and twenty-first centuries most influential musicians, not least through his work with Fela Kuti. Expect a musical tribute on the night to the great man’s legacy.

Above: when Moses Boyd met Tony Allen as part of Boiler Room's Gateway series with the Guardian, supported by the British Council


Best Live Act, in association with Creative Technology

Following over 19,000 votes, the public has decided this year’s shortlist for the Best Live Act Award in association with Creative Technology, with soulful jazz singer-songwriter and cellist Ayanna Witter-Johnson, British-rock group The Darkness, alt-rock Liverpudlians Red Rum Club, young indie punks The Reytons and heavy metal band Five Finger Death Punch all in the running.

PPL Award for Most Played New Independent Artist

Celebrating success across the airwaves, the shortlist for the PPL Award for Most Played New Independent Artist features critically acclaimed singer-songwriter Freya Ridings, East London rap collective NSG, 2019 AIM Awards International Breakthrough winner Jade Bird, Irish post-punks Fontaines D.C. and grime MC and rapper Jaykae.

Indie Champion Award, in association with MCPS

This year’s Indie Champion Award in association with MCPS will go to IMPALA’s executive chair Helen Smith, acknowledging her incredible work representing the rights of independent musicians across Europe. Since taking the helm in 2007, Helen led IMPALA in helping establish Merlin, launching the Independent Music Publishers Forum and supporting the relaunch of the Worldwide Independent Network. IMPALA successfully lobbied for the adoption of the recent EU copyright directive and most recently established a COVID-19 Task Force to spearhead addressing the crisis' impact on the independent sector. Helen Smith: ‘AIM is where I started out in the independent sector, so this is a very special award to me. I feel very privileged to work in such an inspiring community which is incredibly dynamic and fast moving. AIM is one of the key contributors to IMPALA’s energy and it’s an honour to receive this award.’

More Awards ...

Discover the other categories and nominees over on the AIM Awards website.


Who are AIM?

AIM is the not-for-profit trade body exclusively representing the UK’s independent music sector, which makes up a quarter of the recorded music market. Now in its 20th year, AIM’s members range from the largest, most-respected record labels and associated music businesses in the world to self-releasing artists and the next generation of entrepreneurs in music. AIM promotes and supports this exciting and diverse sector globally and provides a range of services, commercial opportunities and practical help to members, enabling them to innovate, grow and break into new markets.

In 2019, we collaborated with AIM to launch a music trade mission to Russia and create stronger links between the two music industries as part of our UK-Russia Year of Music.