IT IS BACK – The Weekender Awards have returned for a second year and have taken things up a notch in the process.

With a ridiculous year of new music from Scotland in mind, two new awards have been included for 2021, bringing the total number of prizes on offer to six.

Both Album of the Year and EP of the Year are up for grabs again this year, along with Music Video of the Year. However, The Weekender has also announced a brand-new category in the shape of Breakthrough Artist of the Year.

Last year’s individual song prize was flooded with entries. And so, for 2021, there will be both Single of the Year and Song of the Year – the former being geared towards tracks released as singles that have a more commercial/charting focus, and the latter catering for more complex compositions that do not always receive the same attention, or songs that which were not released as singles but feature on EPs and albums.

Again, there is no cash prize for the awards, though each will come with an additional bonus, provided through the support of sponsors: Forth Valley College, Party at the Palace, Vibration Festival, The Luna Film Co and Electric Shores.

Iain Smith, editor of The Weekender, said: “I have nothing but respect and admiration for the artists right across the Scottish music scene who, despite a brutal year or so, have continued to create and release truly memorable material.

“Too often, the focus falls upon the already established – with so much raw talent sidestepped. Scotland’s music scene is incredibly diverse, hardworking and infinitely more exciting than many would have us believe.

Alloa and Hillfoots Advertiser: The Weekender has produced a number of issues in the last 12 months, covering the Scottish music sceneThe Weekender has produced a number of issues in the last 12 months, covering the Scottish music scene

“The recognition our grassroots artists currently receive is much less than they deserve. We hope these awards go some way in rectifying that.

“Once again, my sincere thanks go to the sponsors who have once again backed the idea and who are all genuinely keen to support talent in Scotland. I have no doubt they will be able to help propel this year’s winners to another level.”

Entry for the 2021 Weekender Awards is free and open to managers, PR reps, fans, bloggers, journalists and other interested parties to submit on behalf of others. Bands and artists are, of course, more than welcome to enter directly.

Artists can enter as many of the categories as they are eligible for. Those entering more than one award are asked to submit separate emails for each.

The deadline for entries is Saturday, November 13, 2021, at 12noon.

 

The Awards - introducing our sponsors (and prizes)

Alloa and Hillfoots Advertiser: This year's award sponsors are: Forth Valley College, Party at the Palace, Vibration Festival, Electric Shores and The Luna Film Co.This year's award sponsors are: Forth Valley College, Party at the Palace, Vibration Festival, Electric Shores and The Luna Film Co.

Forth Valley College is sponsoring both the Song of the Year Award and Single of the Year Award and will be offering the winners of each a free session to record, mix and master a brand-new track.

Barry Frame, sound production lecturer at FVC, said: “It has just been so incredible to see everything that Scottish bands and Scottish artists have been able to produce in lockdown — so much has been thrown at them and yet they continue to deliver.

“It’s hard not to be blown away with the sheer talent we have to offer, and I am delighted to be able to offer a helping hand in getting more new music out there.

The Weekender Awards always looks to celebrate everything about the Scottish music scene, and I am always happy to do the same. Best of luck to everyone.”

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Party at the Palace will once again be sponsoring the Album of the Year Award and will give the winner the opportunity to open one of the stages at either Party at the Palace in Linlithgow or its sister festival Party at the Park in Perth, in 2022, subject to availability.

John Richardson, co-organiser of Party at the Palace and Party at the Park, said: “It’s been a hell of a year for the music industry in Scotland, but our artists have continued to show why our scene is so incredible.

“Even with all the pressures and restrictions they have faced, there have been so many amazing releases over the last 12 months, and it has all been such a joy to see.

“So, with that in mind, we are thrilled to be sponsoring the Album of the Year Award once again and can’t wait to see the winners join us next year.”

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Electric Shores publicity is sponsoring the EP of the Year Award and is offering the winner a strategic planning meeting, complete with a personally-crafted press release, in support of an upcoming release.

Jenn Nimmo-Smith, MD and founder of Electric Shores Publicity, said: “We are constantly impressed by the wealth of musical talent from across Scotland and have been especially blown away by the resilience shown by artists in the face of the supremely difficult conditions these last 18 months.

“During this time The Weekender has been a shining light in their support of up and coming and established artists, and we are delighted to support The Weekender Awards.

“We look forward to working with the winner of the EP of the Year Award to help them get their music the attention that it deserves."

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Vibration Festival in Falkirk will be sponsoring the inaugural Breakthrough Artist of the Year Award and will be offering the winner a chance to perform on their Breakthrough Stage, subject to availability.

Andy Ure, co-founder of the festival, said: “We are delighted to be sponsoring the inaugural Breakthrough Artist of the Year Award – unearthing new music has long been a passion of ours, and a huge part of what makes Vibration what it is.

“Having witnessed so many new bands come through over the last year or so, we know this category will be littered with emerging talent. We can’t wait to work with the winner in the near future.”

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The Luna Film Co. is sponsoring Music Video of the Year and will offer the winner a free social content package, which includes the shooting of a promo video, a bespoke photoshoot and tailored Instagram stories, which will help the artist promote their latest tour or release.

Samuel O’Neill, founder of Luna, said: “We are delighted to support The Weekender Awards this year and we wish the best of luck to everyone who is entering, I can’t wait to see what has been created."

"If you've got stories to write songs, you've got stories to tell online. We can’t wait to see what the winner wants to create with us.

“Even if you don’t win a Weekender Award, you’ve released new music. That’s a win in itself. Show the world who you are, they’re watching.”

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The Criteria - Introducing the rules

Alloa and Hillfoots Advertiser: Last year's winners: Dictator, The Vegan Leather, The Ninth Wave and st.martiins picked up awards in 2020Last year's winners: Dictator, The Vegan Leather, The Ninth Wave and st.martiins picked up awards in 2020

For any and all material to be considered, it must:-

  • Have been released for purchase, streaming or viewing between November 14, 2020, and November 13, 2021.
  • Have been created by a Scottish artist, a band with at least half of its members identifying as Scots, or bands/artist who have chosen the Scottish music scene as their base of operations and have been located in Scotland for the past two years.

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For an album to be considered, it must satisfy the initial entry criteria and:-

  • Be at least eight tracks long at any duration, or at least 30 minutes long with any number of full-length tracks (intros, outros and bridging tracks will not count toward the minimum)
  • Must not have been released in some format previously
  • Must not be a compilation album or a live album

ENTER NOW

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For an EP to be considered, it must satisfy the initial entry criteria and:- 

  • Feature at least three full-length tracks. Intros/outros, track commentary and songs of less than one minute will not count toward the three-track minimum
  • Can be an EP consisting of previously released singles, so long as no track appears on another EP or album from the same artist previously

ENTER NOW

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For a song to be considered, it must satisfy the initial entry criteria and:-

  • Must not be cover of another artist's track
  • May have been released in the past, so long as there is a material difference between the two releases – including a change from acoustic to full band or vice versa; a re-recording of the original track with significant alterations (both versions must be submitted). A remix of a track from another artist will not be considered.

Note: The Single of the Year Award covers songs that were released as standalone tracks. The Song of the Year Award is to recognise songs that are more complex and expressive and could be from EPs and Albums, so long as they have not been released as singles. Some songs will be eligible for both awards and can be entered in both categories.

ENTER NOW

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For a music video to be considered, it must satisfy the initial entry criteria and:-

  • Must be a full video to accompany the full version of the song.
  • Must not be a lyric video or standard graphic video, though consideration will be given to unusual concepts in this area
  • Can be videos for songs that were/will be released a month either side of the stated release period (therefore, between October 14, 2020, and December 13, 2021), so long as the video itself was released between November 14, 2020, and November 13, 2021.

ENTER NOW

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For breakthrough artist entries to be considered, they must satisfy the initial entry criteria and:-

  • Have released a debut single, EP or album between November 14, 2020, and November 13, 2021

ENTER NOW

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NOTE: The Weekender reserves the right to move entries to different categories

 

How to enter - Introducing yourself


Email submissions to iain.smith@newsquest.co.uk containing the following information:

  • Name of the band/artist
  • Contact details for the band/artist (email address or phone number)
  • Category entered – please send separate emails for different categories
  • Link to entry material (Spotify, Bandcamp, YouTube, etc.)

Alloa and Hillfoots Advertiser: Reminder: There is no fee for entering The Weekender AwardsReminder: There is no fee for entering The Weekender Awards

Further information

All entries are FREE - no payment will be accepted.

A supporting statement is not necessary; however, The Weekender is ALWAYS keen to hear stories from bands and artists.

Entries can be submitted by anyone: PR reps, bands, other bands, venue owners and even fans, bloggers, journalists and other interested parties – so long as the entry details are completed.

The deadline for all entries is Saturday, November 13, 2021, at 12noon.

A shortlist will be compiled and released in the next edition of The Weekender magazine - provisionally due for release on Wednesday, December 1. Winners of all six awards will be announced in late December.