AIM Awards returns as live Roundhouse ceremony with new categories

Annual celebration of independent music to take place on Wednesday 28th September. Revamped categories include Best Independent EP / Mixtape and Music Entrepreneur Of The Year. Nominee submissions open now.

London, 29th March 2022

The AIM Independent Music Awards, the most anticipated night in independent music, is back on Wednesday 28th September, returning as an in-person event at London’s iconic Roundhouse with an exciting array of new and updated categories.

Having shown remarkable resilience throughout the pandemic, 2022 has begun with cautious optimism across the sector, and with live shows returning, there’s no better way to celebrate

than together. Now in its 12th year, the AIM Awards once again looks to honour the leading players of our diverse industry.

With submissions now open, this year’s categories have been freshened up with new additions and updates to the various awards up for grabs. Now totalling 20 accolades, new categories include Music Entrepreneur Of The Year and Best Independent EP / Mixtape, which opens up the Awards to celebrate innovations across the various ways artists are choosing to express themselves. Further recognition of innovation within the independent music landscape is recognised in other changes, with Best Small Label changing its name to Best Boutique Label, and Best Creative Packaging becoming Best Creative Campaign. Most positively, Best Live [Streamed] Act is now Best Live Performer, which includes both online and in-person performances, alongside a slew of returning favourites such as Best Independent Album and One To Watch. Following Paulette Long’s well-deserved inaugural win last year, the Diversity Champion Award will also return.

Submissions are open to all, and free for AIM’s Rightsholder and Distributor members. One To Watch, Best Independent EP / Mixtape, Best Boutique Label, Diversity Champion, Indie Champion and Music Entrepreneur Of The Year are free for anyone to enter.

The deadline for submissions is 11:59pm on Tuesday 26th April 2022. Submissions can be made via

This year’s event follows in the footsteps of 2021’s vibrant virtual ceremony, when Arlo Parks (Transgressive) and ENNY (FAMM) scooped two awards apiece alongside the likes of Elkka (Femme Culture), Fontaines D.C. (Partisan) and Joan Armatrading CBE (BMG), who collected the mighty Outstanding Contribution To Music. There were also some memorable performances utilising augmented-reality, with Tricky (!K7), Working Men’s Club (Heavenly), ENNY and Lava La Rue (Marathon Artists) taking to the stage.

AIM CEO Paul Pacifico said: “While our community still faces numerous challenges, 2022 feels like the year to reflect on the ingenuity and strength shown by everyone to get to this point. I’m particularly excited for us to be able to come together and celebrate in person at such an iconic venue. As ever, the AIM Awards will celebrate the diversity, innovation and ingenuity of everyone in the world of independent music who continue to release the most cutting-edge music in the world, from the artists to the labels and the teams behind them.”

AIM thanks its Annual Platinum Partners, who all return as category sponsors at this year’s AIM Awards: Amazon Music (Innovator Award), Meta (Best Independent Track), Merlin (Outstanding Contribution to Music), PPL (Most Played New Independent Artist), Spotify (Best Independent Album) and YouTube Music (UK Independent Breakthrough). The Annual Platinum Partner’s support helps to make AIM’s annual programming, including the AIM Independent Music Awards, possible.

BBC Music Introducing will also be reprising their sponsorship of the Local Heroes award, which debuted in 2021 and highlighted those who have gone above and beyond to put their area on the map. BBC Radio 6 Music will return as the sponsor of Best [Difficult] Second Album.

Full list of 2022 Award Categories:

Best Boutique Label (FKA Best Small Label)

Independent Champion

Diversity Champion

Music Entrepreneur of the Year (New Category)

UK Independent Breakthrough in association with YouTube Music

International Breakthrough

Best Independent Video

Best Independent Track in association with Meta

Best Independent Remix

Best Independent EP / Mixtape (New Category)

Best Independent Album in association with Spotify

Best [Difficult] Second Album in association with BBC Radio 6 Music

Best Creative Campaign (FKA Best Creative Packaging)

Best Live Performer (FKA Best Live [Streamed] Act)

One To Watch in association with BBC Music Introducing

Innovator Award in association with Amazon Music

Outstanding Contribution To Music in association with Merlin

PPL Award for Most Played New Independent Artist

Best Independent Label

Local Heroes Award in association with BBC Music Introducing


AIM is the not-for-profit trade body exclusively representing the UK’s independent music sector. Our members range from the largest, most respected record labels and associated music businesses in the world to self-releasing artists and the next generation of entrepreneurs in music.