San Diego Music Awards to go online for the first time due to coronavirus


The 2020 San Diego Music Awards aren’t going up in smoke, despite being sponsored for the first time by a recreational marijuana dispensary. But the 29th annual awards go live due to the coronavirus pandemic.

On Tuesday, the nonprofit San Diego Music Foundation – under whose auspices the 29-year-old awards are presented – announced this year’s move to a fully virtual format and the launch of the SDMA Nominees COVID Grant program.

The paid event was originally scheduled for March 23 at the House of Blues downtown, before being rescheduled to July 6. The free online edition of the awards show takes place on July 6 at 7 p.m. and can be viewed on, Facebook (@sdmusicawards) and YouTube. A 90-minute edited version will air July 11 at 8 p.m. on Fox TV 5.

“We waited as long as possible, hoping to get direction from the mayor or governor on whether we could do something in the fall. But with social distancing regulations, we’re unlikely to be able to do that, ”San Diego Music Awards founder Kevin Hellman said on Tuesday.

“And given that so many nominees are sitting at home, doing nothing and no way of making money, we just decided that doing a virtual show gives us the opportunity to fundraise. We have created this new grant program so that our nominated musicians can receive funds to help them through these crazy times. ”

With the exception of the Grammy Award-winning band Switchfoot, which had to bow out, the roster is almost identical to the one scheduled to perform in person at House of Blues on July 6. It includes Rebecca Jade and The Cold Fact. , David Maldonado, MDRN HSTRY, Sully, Evan Diamond, The Sleepwalkers and the Lifetime Achievement Award 2020 Richard Livoni, who will perform with the latest edition of The Blitz Brothers.

“Switchfoot has another commitment,” Hellman said. “They can participate in some capacity. But, at this point, we haven’t finalized anything with them. We have added Gregory Page to the lineup.

A majority of the performances will be pre-recorded and filmed in advance at Studio West, which donates its services. But the announcement of the winners in all 23 categories will be live, Hellman said.

“Most likely,” he said, “we’ll have the nominees waiting on Zoom, so we can capture their surprised expressions.”

Tickets, priced between $ 36 and $ 75, will be automatically refunded by, or House of Blues, depending on where they were purchased.

Even without ticketing revenue, Hellman predicted that the now online awards show will be able to raise funds this year. Proceeds will go to the new SDMA Nominees COVID Grant program and the Guitars for Schools program, a long-standing partnership between the foundation and Taylor Guitars of El Cajon, which provides free instruments and instruction to students at public schools in San County. Diego.

Since its inception in 1991, the awards show has raised $ 632,996 for Guitars for Schools, according to Hellman.

“All of our sponsors have stayed with us this year – including Taylor Guitars, Green Flash Brewing and Cutwater Spirits – and the Klover Pot Dispensary is our new title sponsor,” he said.

“So we have this sponsorship money and we expect to receive quite a bit of donations from other companies that have indicated they will contribute. During the virtual broadcast, people will be able to donate online and also during the Fox 5 telecast on July 11. ”

Online voting for this year’s awards took place from January 27 to February 26, with a total of 35,149 votes cast. Nominees for Album of the Year include blink-182, Cattle Decapitation, Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe, Hirie, David Maldonado, Mattson 2 and Switchfoot. Nominees for Artist of the Year include As I Lay Dying, Earthless, The Frights, Rebecca Jade, The Sleepwalkers, Slightly Stoopid and Switchfoot.


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