IBMA announces criteria for new Awards submissions

The International Bluegrass Music Association has announced details on the two newest IBMA Awards, Photographer of the Year and Music Video of the Year, both of which will be awarded for the first time in 2024. These are categories that members have petitioned the board to adopt for some time, but organizations like this often work slowly, especially with volunteer leadership.

Photographer of the Year will be part of the Industry Awards, given to professionals who work in the bluegrass industry, behind the scenes, or outside the performance category.

IBMA offers these criteria:

This award recognizes a photographer for outstanding work and service to bluegrass music. Candidates must have been active and their accomplishments evident within the eligibility period. Photographers will be judged by their technical abilities; visual artistry and aesthetics; use of technology, ambient and artificial lighting, and sceneries or landscapes; quality and/or quantity; and success in presenting bluegrass music to the public through quality photography.

Required Materials to submit

  • Candidate name 
  • Contact information 
  • Photographic samples via website links (minimum of 6 photographs) from within the eligibility period 
  • Explanation of the photographer’s impact on bluegrass music during the eligibility period

Supplemental Material

  • List of other qualifications 
  • Letters of recommendation (3 max) 
  • Website links (photographers website, portfolio, etc.)

Like all of the Industry Awards, self-nomination is encouraged. Nomination forms will be provided online by the organization in the coming weeks. Special select committees of professionals in each award category choose both the nominees and winners of these honors

For the Music Video of the Year, the award will be given within the IBMA Bluegrass Music Awards proper, announced and distributed in a gala awards show during World of Bluegrass each year. Nominees and winners are selected by a vote of the professional membership across multiple ballots.

Criteria supplied by IBMA include:

This award recognizes a music video that was first commercially released or received significant viewership within the eligibility period. The music video must be a short form performance of a single song, instrumental, or medley, and must be either a studio production or professionally captured live performance. Any music video that has reached the final ballot for this award in previous years is ineligible. The award recognizes the featured artist(s), songwriter(s), producer(s), videographer(s), and record label.

The eligibility for all of the IBMA Awards this year is April 1, 2023 through March 31, 2024.

These new categories should see some heated competition, and will surely recognize some extremely talented people in the bluegrass community.

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.