A public-voted awards event for rock and metal endorsed by some of the biggest names in the industry was launched today.

The Heavy Music Awards opened today (March 1) and will take place in London on Thursday August 24.

The first wave of confirmed judges features several of the most influential figures from across the heavy music landscape, including Andy Copping (Live Nation / Download Festival), Paul Ryan (UTA), Tom Taaffe (UTA), Julie Weir (Music For Nations), Sharon Richardson (Factory) and Danny Corr (Roadrunner Records), with more set to be announced in the coming weeks.

Following the selection of finalists by the judges, May 22 will see public voting open across 11 categories including Best Album, Best UK Band, Best International Band and Best Festival.

“The heavy music community has proven over the years that it has one of the most loyal and supportive fan bases,” said Live Nation’s Andy Copping, the man behind Download Festival.

He added: “To see an awards that hands the voting power back to the fans is only a good thing in my books.”

Danny Corr, Senior Marketing Manager at Roadrunner Records and responsible for releases from the likes of Slipknot, Trivium, Marmozets and Creeper, said: “With the industry unsure about where its future lies, heavy music is still incredibly strong both in terms of recorded form and live.

“From huge artists returning with massive success to a brilliant slew of new music and breaking acts we are a scene in particularly good health. So it’s great to have a new set of awards celebrating all the parts of our genre and its achievements.”

Andy Pritchard, from organisers The Heavy Group, described the HMAs as “a significant endorsement of the strength of the heavy music scene in 2017.”

He said: “Curated by a collective of music industry professionals – all of them without exception fans of music first and foremost – the Heavy Music Awards will provide an entirely independent vehicle to democratically crown the best of the year in heavy music.

“The panel of respected and knowledgable individuals from across the industry – including managers, labels, promoters, booking agents, publicists, podcasters and more – make their picks for the year, then the public vote to decide the overall winners.

“Thanks to the unwavering dedication of many millions of fans and industry professionals, and the hard work and innovation of artists across the world, the heavy music scene has never been more vibrant and exciting. The scene as a whole is truly greater than the sum of its parts. The HMAs celebrates this to represent the year’s best across the entire heavy music spectrum.”

Recognising the rich history of heavy music, the HMAs will also see the launch of the Heavy Music Hall of Fame, and The H – a community award recognising inspiring achievement by an individual, group or organisation.

More details about the HMAs can be found at heavymusicawards.com

THE JUDGING PANEL (as of March 1 2017)

Justin Arcangel (5B Artist Management)
Terry Bezer (That’s Not Metal)
Satvir Bhamra (Warner Music UK)
Dante Bonutto (Spinefarm Records)
Andy Copping (Live Nation / Download Festival)
Danny Corr (Roadrunner Records)
Ian Dickinson (Roadrunner Records)
Adam Foster (5B Artist Management)
George Garner (Music Week)
Adam Gregory (Bloodstock Festival)
Mike Herbrik (Warner Music Norway)
Vicky Hungerford (Bloodstock Festival)
Stephen Hill (That’s Not Metal)
Warul Islam (Communion)
Michelle Kerr (Cosa Nostra)
Sophie K (Freelance)
Sarah Lees (Snapper Music)
Abbie Marshall (Ramblin’ Man Fair)
Mark Palmer (Nuclear Blast Records)
Sharon Richardson (Factory)
Paul Ryan (UTA)
Andy Saiker (The Firepit / Warner Music UK)
Kirsten Sprinks (Cosa Nostra)
Tom Taaffe (UTA)
Oli Walkers (AC Promotions)
Julie Weir (Music For Nations)


Best Album
Best UK Band
Best International Band
Best Live Band
Best Breakthrough Band
Best Festival
Best Venue
Best Album Artwork
Best Producer
Best Photographer
The H
Heavy Music Hall of Fame