The 2020 Americana Honors and Awards have been postponed amid concerns over the Covid-19 pandemic. The ceremony was originally set to take place September 16th with a live event at the Ryman Auditorium and will instead be held at a later, yet-to-be-announced date.
In a statement, Americana Music Association executive director Jed Hilly says, “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.”
In other years, the Awards are typically a centerpiece of a week-long conference and festival, with numerous business-related panels and nightly performances at several local venues. With touring indefinitely paused, AmericanaFest transformed this year into Thriving Roots, a virtual conference taking place September 16th to 18th. Presentations include Brandi Carlile in conversation with Yola, Emmylou Harris speaking with Ken Burns, and the Black Pumas discussing artistic development.
Nominees for the 2020 Americana Honors and Awards were announced in June, with the Highwomen, Brittany Howard, and Tanya Tucker appearing in several categories. Other artists with multiple nominations include Nathaniel Rateliff, Drive-By Truckers, Black Pumas, and Aubrie Sellers.
The Ryman Auditorium, meanwhile, hasn’t gone unused. In August, the venue launched the streaming series “Live at the Ryman“, which just hosted its first audience of 125 guests for Scotty McCreery’s September 4th performance. On Friday, when Brett Young performs, that number will be doubled to 250.