The 2020 Americana Music Awards Postponed

Jason Isbell warming up for the 2018 Americana Music Awards

The 2020 Americana Music Awards will not be happening on Wednesday, September 16th at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville as initially planned. Though the American Music Association had already cancelled their annual AmericanaFest for September months ago, the organization was hoping to move forward with the awards at the Ryman in some capacity, and announced nominees for the awards in June. However citing COVID-19 concerns they have decided to postpone the awards for now.

Saving Country Music has also learned that the AMA was hoping to tape the awards without an audience at The Ryman to air at a future date. But funding fell through to be able to put a proper production together.

“Despite all our hope, logistical wrangling and passion, we have concluded that it would not be safe to conduct the Americana Honors & Awards at the wonderful and historic Ryman Auditorium next Wednesday, September 16, 2020,” says Americana Executive Director Jed Hilly. “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. 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.”

The postponement comes after a bottleneck was created in Nashville-based awards shows after the ACMs announced their rescheduled show originally planned for April would move from Las Vegas to Nashville, would occur on September 16th as well, and also announced the Ryman Auditorium as one of the venues that would be utilized for the presentation. The ACMs later clarified the performances at the Ryman would be taped before broadcast and would not interfere with the Americana event, but the two events on the same night only blocks away had some locals concerned about logistical nightmares.

Though Nashville is still under restrictions on live events, the Ryman Auditorium just announced this week they will be doubling their in-person capacity to 250 socially distanced audience members as part of the venue’s online streaming concert series. The Ryman reopened their doors on August 14th for regular Friday night performances.

Though AmericanFest and now The Americana Music Awards have been postponed, the organization is moving forward next week with their “Thriving Roots” conference, which will include dozens of panels and online performances. For more information on Thriving Roots, CLICK HERE.

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