The 2016 ballot was released this morning, and voting is now open to the public. This year's slate of nominees, determined over the past several weeks by a nomination committee of roughly 400 voters around New England, is one of its largest in the awards' 29 year history, with the category count enlarged to 33 (from 29) and the number of each nominees in those categories expanded to six (from five).
Leading the charge on this year's ballot are the six nominees across multiple genres for Artist of the Year: Cousin Stizz, Marissa Nadler, Michael Christmas, Palehound, PVRIS, and The Ballroom Thieves. The entries in Album/EP of the Year include Bearstronaut (Telecoast), Cousin Stizz (Monda), Julie Rhodes (Bound to Meet the Devil), Reks (The Greatest X), The Hotelier (Goodness), and Worshipper (Shadow Hymns). New Artist of the Year features Animal Flag, Julie Rhodes, Lady Pills, Salem Wolves, Token, and Weakened Friends.
See the full ballot below. (Note: ￼Nominated material must have been released and available to download or buy between September 20, 2015, through September 19, 2016.)
Among the new categories this year are Session Musician of the Year, Best Live Intimate Music Venue, Best Music Photo of the Year, and Live Production Engineer of the Year.
While voting is open to the public for the next few weeks, this year's awards will be handed out December 8 at the House of Blues in Boston, an open-to-the-public party that will feature performances by more than 10 nominated artists and DJs. This year's BMAs are also the first under the new ownership of Redefined (disclosure: Redefined is co-owner of Vanyaland, and its CEO, Paul Armstrong, is our website’s co-founder).