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Scotland’s National Music Prize Opens Album Submissions for £20K Prize

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THE SAY AWARD WILL RETURN TO STIRLING THIS OCTOBER

Submit eligible albums & tickets on sale via www.sayaward.com

#SAYaward

Scotland’s national music prize, The Scottish Album of the Year (SAY) Award, has launched for 2024, inviting artists, music fans and labels to submit eligible albums and be in the running for the prestigious prize. Returning to Stirling’s Albert Halls for the third year running, The SAY Award will celebrate the cultural impact and contribution of outstanding Scottish albums, with the winning record awarded a £20,000 prize and the coveted title of Scottish Album of the Year. 

Submit eligible albums for free via www.sayaward.com – submissions close midnight Wednesday 31st July 2024. 

SAY Award | Photo credit: Rory Barnes

The SAY Award Ceremony will return to Stirling’s iconic Albert Halls for the third year in a row, taking place on Thursday 24th October. 2023’s Ceremony saw history made as Young Fathers became the first artist to win The SAY Award for the third time, with the band recently returning to the city to headline their own festival in Stirling City Park at the end of July. Early-bird tickets for 2024’s SAY Award Ceremony are on sale now via www.sayaward.com

In The SAY Award’s thirteenth year, artists, music fans, labels and more will be encouraged to submit eligible albums for free, to be in with the chance of winning. To be considered for 2024’s award, eligible albums must have been released between 1st June 2023 and 31st May 2024. To submit albums, plus view eligibility criteria and guidelines for 2024’s award, visit www.sayaward.com

Previous SAY Award winners include Young Fathers, Kathryn Joseph, Mogwai, Anna Meredith and more, with the past twelve months seeing releases from the likes of The Snuts, Teenage Fanclub, Becky Sikasa, Erland Cooper, Rachel Sermanni and The Jesus and Mary Chain, all of which could be submitted for consideration. Since its inception in 2012, The SAY Award has distributed over £350,000 in prize money to Scottish artists, recognising outstanding albums  across multiple genres. 

The SAY Award winner will receive a £20,000 prize and the prestigious title of Scottish Album of the Year, whilst nine runners up will each receive £1,000, as well as bespoke prizes created by a Stirling-based artist through The SAY Award Design Commission. Accompanying the main album of the year prize, the Modern Scottish Classic Award will recognise an iconic album that still inspires Scottish musicians today, and the Sound of Young Scotland Award – supported by Help Musicians, the Scottish Government’s Youth Music Initiative through Creative Scotland and Youth Music – will recognise a young and emerging artist, providing them with a funding package to support the creation of their debut album. 2023’s Modern Scottish Classic winner was Paolo Nutini’s ‘These Streets’, with Edinburgh-based duo No Windows collecting The Sound of Young Scotland Award

On Thursday 24 October, Scotland’s national music prize will once again see the country’s music industry unite at Stirling’s Albert Halls to celebrate the strength and diversity of Scotland’s musical talent. The SAY Award will form part of a year-long celebration of Stirling’s 900th anniversary, as the city becomes a hub of live events including the recent Stirling Summer Sessions, a special Twin Atlantic show, the inaugural ‘Interesting Things’ music festival, performances from former SAY nominee Becky Sikasa, as well as performances by artists such as Horse, Turin Brakes, Hue and Cry, Huey Morgan from the Fun Lovin’ Criminals and much much more. For more info, visit stirlingevents.org  

The 900th anniversary celebrations also include a series of SAY Award Fringe events at The Tolbooth in the heart of Stirling. The shows will feature special live performances from previous SAY Award nominees who will play the records that saw them nominated for Scotland’s national music prize in full. Stay tuned for the line-up and visit www.stirlingevents.org for more information on Stirling 900. 

SAY Award 2023 winners Young Fathers | Photo credit: Cameron Brisbane

Robert Kilpatrick, CEO and Creative Director of the Scottish Music Industry Association (SMIA) said, “Scottish music is the soundtrack and stories of our lives. As we commence our thirteenth year delivering Scotland’s national music prize, the SMIA remains firmly committed to celebrating and championing music as an invaluable expression of our cultural identity; amplifying its diverse narratives to enrich society and drive audience development.

“The last few years have been difficult for the cultural sector, with soaring costs, strains on public funding and economic pressures across the board. Thanks to the support of our partners, today marks the start of a 4-month celebration of Scotland’s word-class recorded output. We look forward to immersing ourselves in this year’s eligible albums, and to returning to Stirling’s Albert Halls on Thursday 24 October for 2024’s SAY Award Ceremony. It will undoubtedly be another incredible night to remember, and I hope many of you can join us.”

Stirling Council Leader, Cllr Chris Kane said, “We’re incredibly proud to be welcoming The Scottish Album of the Year Award ceremony back to Stirling for the third consecutive year as the city marks its 900th anniversary.

“Following the success of the events held in 2022 and 2023 at our beautiful Albert Halls venue, we can’t wait to welcome back artists and visitors to celebrate the very best in new Scottish music and showcase everything Stirling has to offer. 

“Fresh from the success of Stirling Summer Sessions festival and Twin Atlantic selling out the Tolbooth Stirling in a matter of minutes last week, Stirling continues to show it’s a top-class events location with a vibrant music and creative scene in its 900th year.”

The SAY Award Design Commission has also opened expressions of interest – meaning artists and makers based in the Stirling Council area can register interest to create bespoke prizes for this year’s award winners and nominees; highlighting the enduring links between music, art and design in Scotland. The commissioned artist will be tasked with designing awards with sustainability at the forefront. 

Once all eligible albums have been collated for The SAY Award, 100 impartial ‘Nominators’, chosen from sectors including journalism, music retail and music venues across Scotland, nominate and rank their five favourite albums in order of preference. The SMIA assigns a score to each title in a Nominator’s Top 5, before announcing the 20 highest scoring albums as The SAY Award Longlist.

The Longlist will then be whittled down to a Shortlist of 10 albums, one of which will be chosen by music fans via a 72-hour online public vote. The remaining nine albums will be chosen by The SAY Award judging panel, before judges then choose the winning album, exclusively announced at 2024’s ceremony. 

The SAY Award is a Scottish Music Industry Association (SMIA) production. The SAY Award 2024 is delivered in partnership with Creative Scotland, Stirling Council, Stirling Alive with Culture, Seabass Vinyl, Ticketmaster, Help Musicians, HMV, FOPP, PPL, the Scottish Government’s Youth Music Initiative, Youth Music and Music Declares Emergency. 

The SAY Awards charity partner is once again Scotland’s national children’s and young people’s mental health charity, Tiny Changes, set up in memory of Frightened Rabbit frontman Scott Hutchison to help young minds feel better. 

Now in its thirteenth year, previous winners of The SAY Award include; Young Fathers ‘Heavy Heavy’ (2023), Fergus McCreadie ‘Forest Floor’ (2022), Mogwai ‘As The Love Continues‘ (2021), Nova ‘Re-Up’ (2020), Auntie Flo ‘Radio Highlife’ (2019), Young Fathers ‘Cocoa Sugar’ (2018), Sacred Paws ‘Strike A Match’ (2017), Anna Meredith ‘Varmints’ (2016), Kathryn Joseph ‘Bones You Have Thrown Me And Blood I’ve Spilled’ (2015), Young Fathers ‘Tape Two’ (2014), RM Hubbert ‘Thirteen Lost & Found’ (2013) and the inaugural winner Bill Wells and Aidan Moffat ‘Everything’s Getting Older’ (2012).

Early-bird SAY Award Ceremony tickets on sale now via www.sayaward.com 

£18 + booking fee.

Don’t miss The SAY Award 2024 news – follow the award on social media across Twitter @SAYaward, Instagram @sayaward, Facebook @SAYaward and TikTok @thesayaward

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