The Boston Music Awards will be an online event for 2020

Photo: John Hutchings for Vanyaland

With Labor Day weekend here, it’s suddenly Boston Music Awards season — and with its arrival comes word that this year’s edition will be an online event. That means no in-person December festivities at The House of Blues, like in prior years.

The news, while not terribly surprising, was confirmed this morning (September 4) by BMAs parent company Redefined. It was included in an email to members of the awards show’s nomination committee, in which nomination ballots were officially sent out.

“Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 Boston Music Awards will look a little different,” says Redefined’s Paul Armstrong (annual disclosure: Armstrong is also the publisher and co-founder of this website). “We’re continuing to monitor state guidelines for any changes that may allow a large in-person event, but the health and safety of our guests is something we’d never put at risk. With that said, there will be no in-person celebration this year. I’m gutted and sincerely apologize for this disappointing news.”


The BMAs will go on, however. The 2020 nominees will be announced on September 25, at which time public voting will commence. Voting ends on November 1, and the 2020 edition will be hosted digitally on the BMAs’ website and social media on December 11.  

“Like you, I’ve missed live music more than I can put into words,” adds Armstrong. “However, the spirit displayed by our music community — even under terrible conditions — has provided me with hope and I believe more than ever in the future of Boston music. With that in mind, I believe it’s as important as ever to celebrate our scene. Even if it is online.”

At last year’s BMAs, two artists led the way: Dorchester rapper Cousin Stizz took home Artist of the Year, Hip-Hop Artist of the Year, and Video of the Year (for “Trying To Find My Next Thrill”), while Carlisle alt-pop phenom Clairo scored Album of the Year (for Immunity), and Pop Artist of the Year. Beyond that duo, no other band or artist took home more than a single award across nearly 40 categories.


Get the full winners here, and revisit our gallery below.