MAIN AWARDS CRITERIA:

New Female Artist of the Year
New Male Artist of the Year
New Duo or Group of the Year
This award is presented to an individual artist, group or duo who gains initial fame or significantly greater recognition during the promotion of a debut or sophomore album within the eligibility period.

The artist must have released a single that reached the Top 40 on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs or the Country Aircheck (Mediabase) charts. Any albums self-released through an independent label the artist owns and operates may not be counted as a debut or sophomore album, unless it produces a Top 40 single reported by Billboard’s Hot Country Songs or Country Aircheck (Mediabase) charts. The nominees shall be determined by a nomination ballot(s) and are subject to the approval of the Board. The winner shall be determined by a vote of the ACM professional membership.

Any artist who served or is currently serving as a lead member of a duo or group is not eligible for individual category recognition. Additionally, any artist who has gained initial fame as a solo artist or as part of a duo or group in another genre is not eligible in these categories.

An artist may be a nominee two times in a three-year period. Once an artist releases the lead single from a third studio album, they will no longer be eligible in this category. If an artist is a winner in the New Female Artist /New Male Artist/New Duo or Group (or any respective previously named) category their first year on a ballot, they will not be eligible in any New Artist categories again. Any artist who has previously won the award for Entertainer, Female Artist, Male Artist, Duo or Group of the Year (or any respective previously named category) is ineligible for a New Artist nomination.

Album of the Year
An album is defined as a unified released body of work with a minimum of either seven (7) full-length musical works and/or thirty (30) minutes in length. The nominees shall be determined by a nomination ballot(s) and are subject to the approval of the Board. The winner shall be determined by a vote of the ACM professional membership.

An album is considered released on the first available date that the material can be possessed by a consumer via a purchase in its entirety and/or streamed legally in its entirety by a royalty-generating service. If the album was released during the two (2) prior eligibility periods, but achieved its highest charting position on the Billboard Top Country Albums Chart during the eligibility period, it is eligible unless it has appeared on a final ACM ballot in this category.

To be eligible, a minimum of 51% of the standard edition of the album must contain recordings that have not been previously released by the artist prior to thirty (30) days from the album’s release date. “Best Of” and “Greatest Hits” albums are ineligible.

Only the standard edition of an album may be submitted for eligibility, as determined by the record company. Once an album is nominated in the final round, it may not be nominated in alternate configurations for future voting.

Single of the Year
Any single released and achieving a Top 20 charted position on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs or Country Aircheck (Mediabase) charts during the eligibility period is eligible. If the single was released prior to the eligibility period, but achieved its highest Top 20 charted position during the eligibility period, it is eligible unless it has appeared on a final ACM ballot in this category.

The nominees shall be determined by a nomination ballot(s) and are subject to the approval of the Board. The winner shall be determined by a vote of the ACM professional membership.

Video of the Year
This award is presented to the producer, director and artist performing on an outstanding country music video broadcast online or on television released during the eligibility period. Emphasis shall be placed on creativity, production, visual appeal and impact on consumers and the country music industry. Other factors to be considered include, but are not limited to, success of any recording for which the video was made at radio and consumption and success on any digital platform where the video is broadcast. The nominees shall be determined by a nomination ballot(s) and are subject to the approval of the Board. The winner shall be determined by a vote of the ACM professional membership. If the video was released prior to the eligibility period, but achieved its biggest impact during the eligibility period, it is eligible unless it has appeared on a final ACM ballot in this category.

Music Event of the Year*
Any music event released and achieving a Top 50 charted position in Billboard’s Hot Country Songs or Country Aircheck (Mediabase) charts during the eligibility period is eligible. If the music event single was released prior to the eligibility period, but achieved its highest Top 50 charted position during the eligibility period, it is eligible unless it has appeared on a final ACM ballot in this category. To be eligible, the music event must be a collaboration between two or more artists who do not normally perform together and are all credited on the album track listing. The nominees shall be determined by a nomination ballot(s) and are subject to the approval of the Board. The winner shall be determined by a vote of the ACM professional membership.

*In the event that the Board determines that there are not enough nominees in this category in any particular year, this category may not be awarded.

INDUSTRY AWARDS CRITERIA:

Casino of the Year

  • Theater
  • This award is presented to an outstanding theater or showroom within a casino selected by a Professional Panel of judges. The panel will submit five (5) nominees, which will be placed on the ballot once approved by the Board. The casino theater or showroom must have bought or promoted at least five (5) country concerts/dates during the eligibility period, be in good standing with all agents and help promote country ticket sales. The winner from the previous year is ineligible for a consecutive nomination in this category.
  • Arena
  • This award is presented to an outstanding arena or amphitheater within a casino selected by a Professional Panel of judges. The panel will submit five (5) nominees, which will be placed on the ballot once approved by the Board. The casino arena or amphitheater must have bought or promoted at least four (4) country concerts/dates during the eligibility period, be in good standing with all agents and help promote country ticket sales. The winner from the previous year is ineligible for a consecutive nomination in this category.

Festival of the Year
This award is presented to an outstanding country music festival where artist(s) received market value compensation for their performance, selected by a Professional Panel of judges. The panel will submit five (5) nominees, which will be placed on the ballot once approved by the Board. The festival must have taken place over two (2) or more consecutive days, included a minimum of ten (10) acts, with at least ninety percent (90%) of headlining acts classed in the country genre, occurred during the eligibility period, and be in good standing with all professional vendors and help promote country ticket sales. The winner from the previous year is ineligible for a consecutive nomination in this category.

Fair/Rodeo of the Year
This award is presented to an outstanding fair/rodeo where artist(s) received market value compensation for their performance, selected by a Professional Panel of judges. The panel will submit five (5) nominees, which will be placed on the ballot once approved by the Board. The fair/rodeo must have included a minimum of one (1) country music artist as a headliner, occurred during the eligibility period, and be in good standing with all professional vendors and help promote country ticket sales. The winner from the previous year is ineligible for a consecutive nomination in this category.

Club of the Year
This award is presented to an outstanding country music club, selected by a Professional Panel of judges. The panel will submit five (5) nominees, which will be placed on the ballot once approved by the Board. The club must have bought or promoted at least ten (10) country concerts/dates during the eligibility period, be in good standing with all agents and help promote country ticket sales. The winner from the previous year is ineligible for a consecutive nomination in this category.

Theater of the Year
This award is presented to an outstanding theater or performing arts center, not associated with a casino, selected by a Professional Panel of judges. The panel will submit five (5) nominees, which will be placed on the ballot once approved by the Board. The theater/performing arts center must have bought or promoted at least ten (10) country concerts/dates during the eligibility period, be in good standing with all agents and help promote country ticket sales. The winner from the previous year is ineligible for a consecutive nomination in this category.

Outdoor Venue of the Year
This award is presented to an outstanding outdoor venue, not associated with a casino, selected by a Professional Panel of judges. The panel will submit five (5) nominees, which will be placed on the ballot once approved by the Board. The outdoor venue must have bought or promoted at least five (5) country concerts/dates during the eligibility period, be in good standing with all agents and help promote country ticket sales. The winner from the previous year is ineligible for a consecutive nomination in this category.

Arena of the Year
This award is presented to an outstanding indoor arena, not associated with a casino, selected by a Professional Panel of judges. The panel will submit five (5) nominees, which will be placed on the ballot once approved by the Board. The arena must have bought or promoted at least five (5) country concerts/dates during the eligibility period, be in good standing with all agents and help promote country ticket sales. The winner from the previous year is ineligible for a consecutive nomination in this category.

Don Romeo Talent Buyer of the Year
This award is presented to an outstanding talent buyer, selected by a Professional Panel of judges. The panel will submit five (5) nominees, which will be placed on the ballot once approved by the Board. The buyer must have bought at least fifteen (15) country concerts/dates during the eligibility period, be in good standing with all agents and help promote country ticket sales. The winner from the previous year is ineligible for a consecutive nomination in this category.

Promoter of the Year
This award is presented to an outstanding promoter, selected by a Professional Panel of judges. The panel will submit five (5) nominees, which will be placed on the ballot once approved by the Board. The promoter must have promoted at least fifteen (15) country concerts/dates during the eligibility period, be in good standing with all agents and help promote country ticket sales. The winner from the previous year is ineligible for a consecutive nomination in this category.

RADIO AWARDS CRITERIA:

ON-AIR PERSONALITY OF THE YEAR
This award is presented to an outstanding Country Music On-Air Radio Personality who best represents the country music genre, as selected by a Professional Panel of Judges approved by the ACM Officers.

The Professional Panel shall evaluate submissions from the current eligibility period based on the Personality’s body of work, as represented in an aircheck (maximum length of 5 minutes), and an essay (maximum length of 500 words) defining the Personality’s unique brand, demonstrating impact on audience and exemplifying artist discovery.

Principal personalities must be together for eight (8) consecutive months and still be working at the submitting station by the submission deadline. Personalities are only eligible to enter for one Station within one category (Major Market, Large Market, Medium Market or Small Market) and must be in the largest market in which they are eligible. The prior year Winner is ineligible for a consecutive nomination in this category.

Entries will be judged using market size consideration based on Arbitron markets:
1-25 Major
26-50 Large
51-100 Medium
101+ Small.
International stations will be placed in categories based on metro population.

NATIONAL ON-AIR PERSONALITY OF THE YEAR
This award is presented to an outstanding National Country Music On-Air (terrestrial, satellite or internet) Radio Personality who best represents the country music genre, selected by a Professional Panel of Judges approved by the ACM Officers.

The Professional Panel shall evaluate submissions from the current eligibility period based on the Personality’s body of work, as represented in an aircheck (maximum length of 5 minutes), and an essay (maximum length of 500 words) defining the Personality’s unique brand, demonstrating impact on audience and exemplifying artist discovery.

Entrants must demonstrate they air in a minimum of ten markets with a minimum of 32 shows airing during the submission period. Principal personalities must be together for eight (8) consecutive months and still be working at the submitting station by the submission deadline. The prior year Winner is ineligible for a consecutive nomination in this category.

RADIO STATION OF THE YEAR
This award is presented to an outstanding Country Music Radio Station who best represents the country music genre, selected by a Professional Panel of judges, approved by the ACM Officers.

The Professional Panel shall evaluate submissions from the current eligibility period based on the Station’s body of work, as represented in an aircheck (maximum length of 5 minutes), and an essay (maximum length of 500 words) defining the Station’s unique brand, demonstrating impact on audience and exemplifying artist discovery. Judges shall consider daypart market share/in-market rank. The prior year Winner is ineligible for a consecutive nomination in this category.

Entries will be judged using market size consideration based on Arbitron markets:
1-25 Major
26-50 Large
51-100 Medium
101+ Small.
International stations will be placed in categories based on metro population.


For more details on Awards Category Guidelines and Policy, please click HERE
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