AMERICANAFEST UK 2021
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UK AmericanaFest will be virtual in 2021. Although the AMA-UK board members realised that the coronavirus pandemic would make it impossible to host the event across venues in Hackney as they had very successfully for the past 5 years, they recognised more than ever the need to stay connected, for artists to enjoy vital showcase opportunities and for the community to celebrate the success of its award winners, all of which inspired the decision to proceed online. The Awards and showcases will be viewable across all devices and platforms via a unique UK AmericanaFest website.
"AmericanaFest UK is the ultimate celebration of Americana music in the UK and, in our sixth year, taking our programme online for the first time, we will also welcome a host of international names from Australia, Canada, and the US Our line-up is one of the best yet, with two nights of showcases , culminating in our ever-popular UK Americana Music Awards on 28 January 2021.
Throughout the shared trauma of the 2020 pandemic, the creative sector has been incredible in the way they helped keep others' spirits high with their music. The Board of the AMA-UK is determined to create an event to bring us all together again. Even if we can't travel and be in the same room, we can still gather in the same space online to celebrate those artists who have been brave enough to release music in recent months or used their platform for good causes.
I am very excited for the event and also very humbled by the support and generosity of the music community during these times. I, for one, cannot wait to see everyone at AmericanaFest 2021."
Stevie Smith CEO AMA-UK
The Awards show itself will be preceded by two evenings of showcases, featuring exciting international partners including Prince Edward Island, Thirty Tigers, Canadian Independent Music Association, North Carolina Music Export, Sounds Australia and Loose Music from the UK.
The special award recipients are: Elvis Costello for the AMA-UK 2021 Lifetime Achievement Award, Mavis Staples for the International Lifetime Achievement Award, Christine McVie for the Trailblazer Award, Steve Earle for the International Trailblazer Award and the Songwriter Legacy Award, specially created this year for the late John Prine, in celebration of the legendary US singer-songwriter's life and work.
Speaking of her award, Christine McVie said: "My humble thanks to the UK Americana Awards for their generous acknowledgment of my music! So thrilled at this stage of my life that I am remembered. It's been my privilege to make so many people happy, so again, thank you very much, it means a lot to me."
Mavis Staples commented: "I'm so honored to receive the International Lifetime Achievement Award from the Americana Music Association UK. I think it's so important to have an association advocating for Roots Music in the UK, so to receive this award is really special. From Union Chapel to Glastonbury, some of my favorite places to sing are in the UK. I even recorded my last live album, Live in London, at Union Chapel! So, thank you. The UK holds a special place in my heart so to receive this Lifetime Achievement from the Americana Music Association UK really means a lot to me."
For the full awards nominations list head over to theamauk.org
As part of this year's activities, AMA-UK along with charity partners Help Musicians, is focussing on mental health and wellbeing, with a new set of aims to include inclusivity and diversity. They are signed up to Keychange and will continue to have a 50:50 gender balance across everything they do. After the success of their two songwriting workshops hosted with Hackney Council Culture team, working firstly with elders and then the Windrush generation, AMA-UK is delighted to be hosting a third songwriting workshop, this time with NHS workers.
More details about the showcase lineup to be announced soon!
Presented by The Americana Music Association UK.