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Photo Cred: Dan Bassini


On June 8th, 2017 , hundreds of indie artists and their independent record companies joined together in NYC for the Libera Awards presented by the American Association of Independent Music (A2IM) at the PlayStation Theater in NYC.

The 6th annual awards started off with guests, whom were welcomed into the venue and were given the opportunity to pose on the red carpet. Guests were greeted by the ever present photogs before they were given access to the venue. Following the red carpet, you were invited to enjoy some pre-ceremony libations and photo booth fun!

Photo Cred: A2IM

Members were then ushered into the gorgeous theater to find out who won, enjoy special musical performances and to dinner. With amazing nominees like the late Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings, Run the Jewels, Bonobo, etc., the excitement was felt throughout the room as it is during any awards show. Ted Leo from Ted Leo and the Pharmacists was the host and facilitated the show, with 19 awards and special guest presenters.

This award ceremony has grown in the 6 years of its creation, adding many potential labels and artists. The name is only fitting, Libera, coming from Latin meaning freedom/independence/liberty. The ceremony allowed many in the music industry to come together to celebrate one another. Many winners were announced for their formidable work whether up close and center or from behind the scenes.

Here are the list of winners!

Best Live Act
Radiohead (XL Recordings)

Marketing Genius
The xx, I See You (Young Turks)

Best Sync Usage
Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings, “Lincoln MKZ Spot” (Daptone Records)

Breakthrough Artist
Whitney, Light Upon the Lake (Secretly Canadian)

Creative Packaging
Thundercat, Drunk (Brainfeeder)

Best Blues/Jazz/R&B Album
Charles Bradley, Changes (Daptone Records)

Best Classical/World Album
Tinariwen, Elwan (Anti-)

Independent Champion

Best Country/Americana/Folk Album
Margo Price, Midwest Farmers Daughter (Third Man Records)

Best Dance/Electronica Album
Bonobo, Migration (Ninja Tune)

Independent Icon
Nick Lowe

A2IM Lifetime Achievement Award
Ani DiFranco (Righteous Babe Records)

Video of the Year
DJ Shadow feat. Run The Jewels, “Nobody Speak” (Mass Appeal Records)

Video of the Year – Fan Vote
Radiohead, “Daydreaming” (XL Recordings)

Best Metal/Hard Rock Album
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard, Nonagon Infinity (ATO Records)

Best Rap/Hip-Hop Album
Run the Jewels, Run the Jewels 3 (Run the Jewels, Inc.)

Label of the Year (<5 employees)
Triple Crown Records

Label of the Year (6+ employees)

Album of the Year
Angel Olsen, MY WOMAN (Jagjaguwar)

Of the winners, many of the record executives were there to accept the awards for the artists they have been working with. Run the Jewels submitted a video presentation of thanks for all to see. The group whom have been in the industry for over two decades in many ways was humbled to be awarded with such prestige. Attendees were also blessed by live performances by Ani Difranco, Nick Lowe, Twin Peaks, Nick Hakim and finally the amazing Talib Kweli.

The ceremony was also sponsored by the following organizations, many of whom are influential in the independent music community: The Orchard, Spotify, YouTube, Nielsen, ADA (Alternative Distribution Alliance), Caroline, DISCO, FUGA, INgrooves, Kickstarter, Fox Rothschild LLP and The PlayStation Theater. It was a grand event; with growth in the industry, the Libera Awards allowed for independent artists to flourish.

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