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The 2020 Americana Honors & Awards Have Been Canceled

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Written by Chris Parton
The 2020 Americana Honors & Awards Have Been Canceled
NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE - SEPTEMBER 11: (L-R) Tanya Tucker presents an award to Brandi Carlile onstage during the 2019 Americana Honors & Awards at Ryman Auditorium on September 11, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Terry Wyatt/Getty Images for Americana Music Association)

Yet another music awards show has been forced to concede that it’s just not happening in 2020, with the Americana Music Association’s Honors & Awards ceremony announcing their official cancelation.

Originally planned for September 16 in Nashville’s historic Ryman Auditorium, the roots music celebration had high hopes that its early fall date meant COVID-19 would be under control — at least enough for a live show without audience numbers. But that is not yet the case, as the Ryman is still in the early stages of bringing shows back (Scotty McCreery played to 125 socially distanced fans earlier this month), and all other awards shows have gone virtual.

In a letter to Association supporters September 11, Executive Director Jed Hilly said they held out as long as possible, but “despite all our hope, logistical wrangling and passion,” the show will not go on as planned.

“We’ve carefully evaluated safety measures both with an audience and without. It is our conclusion that if just one person walked out of the Ryman with COVID-19, we would not be able to forgive ourselves,” Hilly wrote. “We are making new plans to celebrate the nominees and to proclaim the winners later this fall, and we hope to have details on that shortly with an official announcement date soon.”

Brandi Carlile was named the Americana Association’s Artist of the Year in 2019, and for two years before that it was the late John Prine, who died from COVID-19 in the pandemic’s early stages. Carlile and Prine were once again in the running for the award this year, along with Brittany Howard, Tanya Tucker and Yola.

Hilly went on to ask for the support of Americana Association’s digital conference, Thriving Roots: A Virtual Community Music Conference, which is replacing the cancelled AmericanaFest 2020 from September 16-18.  

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🤩And there’s more! 🤩 We’re less than a week out from #ThrivingRoots, so we couldn’t leave you hanging. We’ve added some first-rate surprise additions to the virtual conference schedule! Don’t miss: • #TheLumineers and renowned filmmaker #MNightShyamalan discussing retaining creative control of your art • A premiere screening + a rare appearance by #LindaRonstadt to discuss the new documentary “Linda and the Mockingbirds,” which follows her as she returns to her father’s hometown in Mexico • #KathleenEdwards speaking about her new album and her return to music • #BrandyClark, #LeeAnnWomack and #TanyaTucker diving into their careers and the similarities and differences of the Americana and country music worlds, presented by #ChangetheConversation • @rhiannongiddens joining @tajmahalblues to take a look at “Music is a Healing Voice” These are just some of the 65+ discussions, panels and music events we have going on during #ThrivingRoots, Sept 16-18. Buy your pass at the link in our bio!

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