The Upstate Music Awards were created to honor musicians and bands making original music, as well as the producers, studio engineers, photographers, videographers, and visual artists who work with them. All contestants must live and work within the 864 area code. This means nominees will only be eligible if they live in the following counties: Abbeville, Anderson, Cherokee, Greenville, Greenwood, Laurens, McCormick, Newberry, Oconee, Pickens, Saluda, Spartanburg, Union, and York.
NOTE: Musical artists must perform 75% or more original material to participate in the Upstate Music Awards; cover/variety bands are not eligible.
Nominations Open – Thursday, November 11th, 2021
Nominations Close – Monday, December 20th, 2021
Voting Begins – Monday, January 3rd, 2022
Voting Ends – Monday, January 21st, 2022
Finalists Announced – Early February 2022
Categories and Rules:
Artist of the Year — The committee will select the Artist of the Year based on both fan response and the artist’s overall musical contributions in 2020. This category is closed during the nomination and voting period.
Best Album — Eligible to artists that released a new album of 75% or more original material in 2021. For our purposes, an “Album” is at least eight tracks OR longer than twenty five minutes.
Best EP — Eligible to artists that released a new EP of 75% or more original material in 2021. For our purposes, an “EP” cannot be more than seven tracks OR longer than twenty five minutes.
Best Single — Eligible to artists that released a new original single in 2021.
Best Music Video — Eligible to artists that released a music video of an original song — either performance or scripted — in 2021. This award will recognize the artist, director, and / or production company.
Best Live Act — Eligible to acts that have performed locally at least once in 2021. For our purposes, “locally” refers to shows within the 864 area code.
Best New Artist — Eligible to new artists that began recording or performing original music in 2021.
Best Solo Artist — Eligible to recording or performing solo artists that released new original music and/or played a show in 2021. For our purposes, a “Solo Artist” is defined as one person.
Best Duo / Group — Eligible to recording or performing groups that released new original music and/or played a show in 2021. For our purposes, a “Duo / Group” is defined as two or more members.
Best Collaboration — Eligible to artists that released an original collaboration in 2021. For our purposes, a “Collaboration” refers to a recording by two or more local artists that don’t frequently work together.
Best Studio Producer / Engineer — Eligible to studio producers and engineers that worked on an original local release in 2021. For our purposes, a “local release” refers to music from an artist based in the 864 area.
Best Album Art / Visual Design — Eligible to artists credited with single / EP / album artwork, show promo, stage design, or any other visually creative pieces for music in 2021.
Best Music Photographer — Eligible to photographers who captured footage in 2021 of a local artist performing on stage, or a shoot for their press kit / social media pages.
864 Award — Eligible to Upstate artists, residents, and local music supporters that demonstrate outstanding activism, philanthropy, ingenuity, character, and compassion for our music scene. THE REASON FOR THE NOMINATION MUST BE INCLUDED OR IT WILL NOT BE CONSIDERED.