While the annual International Bluegrass Music Awards honor musicians who are at the top of their game, usually with several years or even decades of success behind them, the IBMA’s Momentum Awards seek to recognize artists and other industry professionals who are just getting started. Nominations for the awards can come from recommendations from the IBMA membership, including regional bluegrass associations and other artists, but are mainly solicited via an online nomination process. This year’s nomination period comes to an end May 31, and the IBMA is encouraging folks to get their nominations in before it’s too late!
The awards are divided into performance and industry categories, allowing everyone from top vocalists to festival organizers to journalists to be acknowledged. Performance awards are given to one band, one vocalist, and three instrumentalists. The Industry Involvement Award is given to a person whose primary contributions fall on the business side of bluegrass (media, design, sound engineering, publicists, agents, association leaders, etc.), while one up-and-coming festival, event, or venue is also recognized. A Mentor Award is also presented each year to someone within the bluegrass world who has made a significant impact on younger professionals like those honored by the other Momentum Awards.
Nominations should be made using the online form available from the IBMA website. Those nominating both artists and industry professionals should be prepared to upload or link to examples of the nominees’ work.