Introducing the ‘Libbies,’ an Awards Show for Indie Artists

It’s not that indies aren’t winning at the Grammys  they are, in a huge way.

But it always happens with Rihanna and Katy Perry dancing on the stage.  Which is probably part of the inspiration for the ‘Libbies,’ a just-announced awards show dedicated to independent artists and labels.  Libbies, short for the Libera Awards, is being put together by A2IM, with a maiden voyage slated for June of this year.

They always talk about the first, humble event, so here’s A2IM’s.  The inaugural Libbies event is happening at Le Poisson Rouge in New York on June 21st, a cap-off to Indie Week 2012.  Submissions, nominations, and awards will all be kept within the indie family, with A2IM picking the winners.  And, these are some of the early awards, as tipped by the group: Road Warrior of the Year (for the most engaged, hardest working independent artist); Indie Light Bulb Award (for the most innovative marketing campaign for an indie artist); and Indie Label of the Year.

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Also check out:  “54 Artists That Somehow Never Won a Grammy…

Already, A2IM is asking indie labels to make submissions.  But the nomination committee seems like a shadowy ensemble.  “The submissions will be pared down to final nominees in each category by a secret panel of indie experts that will include the most knowledgeable tastemakers, programmers, and professional supporters of independent music,” A2IM announced. “Winners will be voted upon by all A2IM members and announced live at the June event.”

Sounds like a recipe for controversy, but that’s for later.  Also for later is the question of whether winners (and nominees) will feel a lift after the showcase, which is certainly the case for the larger-than-life Grammys.  Right now, there’s some healthy indie fervor in the air.

“This is our chance to celebrate the risk-takers of the music industry — the independent labels — and the amazing people we all work with every day, from music supervisors to designers. We want to honor the people who do great work with independent artists, as well as our artists themselves.”

Portia Sabin, Kill Rock Stars President and A2IM Board Member

13 Responses

  1. Visitor


    I hope it gains the traction it deserves.

    There’s alot of “less commercial” music that’s just incredible.. i hope this event will shine a light into this talent pool.

  2. A2IM

    Thanks for the mention, Paul.

    We hope, as you write, that nominees and winners get an uplift but our first goal is really just to offer something fun for everyone to participate in and a chance for independents (artists, labels and those solutions & service providers who support indies) to shine a much deserved spotlight onto our community’s success stories.

    As for the “secret expert nominating panelists”…again, we hope people have some fun with this. The identities of the nominating committee members are secret because we wanted to keep politics out of this – for instance, we don’t want people to be lobbied for their consideration or vote. But you can “guess” who the nominating votes are going to come from by taking a look at the A2IM member company list.

    Anyway, everyone’s welcome and A2IM will soon be sending out a “call for submissions” to get this started.

    Thanks again.

    • Jeff Robinson

      While it’s unlikely A2IM took any of this into account, it is a good thing they are approaching an ‘outside-the-system’ awards program. However, without the legitimacy of membership (NARAS to GRAMMYs), it’s not clear how A2IM is putting together or whether they’ll pull it off. Is is only indie labels that pay a percentage of their profits to A2IM annually that can submit? How does that affect an independent artist who ISN’T paying?

      Much needs to be sussed out before this is a win for independent music.

  3. fight for music

    What about awards for production, dynamics e.t.c.?

    It would be a great way to educate society about audio quality.

    • indie-goat

      there are already tech awards given for engineering, mastering, etc.

  4. Visitor

    I think it needs to pick up those categories the Grammy’s tossed out this past year. And we seriously need an awards show that highlights music not designed by a marketing plan.

  5. Mike Errico

    Worked for the Jammies. Arguably a better party. If you’re into hackey sack and stuff. Not a knock. Just saying.

  6. earbits

    Does an artist have to be on a label to be considered? And, does a label have to be an A2IM member to be considered?

  7. K1

    Great idea, as the indie artist and label community need this, bad! However, it’s put on by the wrong group, as I’m sure the panel (in some capacity) consists of their members and industry relations who say who wins (this is an old system that needs to be burnt to the ground). It might make more sense if all 3 U.S. PROs put their heads together and had the fans vote … get the festivals involved so fans can vote at these events. Create apps for artists themselves to cross-promote at their shows and in social media. Sponsors would love to put down some big bucks if they can get their brand on event and social media marketing, especially if it’s interactive and international (patent pending, haha). The PROs have a huge network already in place for this … even though it’s full of red tape too, but gotta start somewhere and somewhere fast … not sure who else can pull this weight.

  8. an exec...

    this is very cool… is time that indie labels and artists were able to really celebrate what they do….and yes….from humble beginnings often grows amazing events…this is clearly destined to be one of those things….it will be exciting to see what sponsors have the vision to become involved with this now… will be interesting to see who embraces this now….and who poopoo’s it….only to embarce it later…..this is what being indie is all about….carving out our own place in the world….and truly…..very happy that the labels will be able to see all their hard work pay off with votes from their peers…..rock on A2IM…..glad you are taking the chance….!