san diego music awards

Show Must Go On: San Diego Music Awards Return in 2021

2017 San Diego Music Awards SDMA (51)
John Hancock

As if San Diego needed any more confirmation -- there are currently more than 100 live shows on the local concert calendar -- the organizers of the San Diego Music Awards have announced a date and location for the 2021 gala / soiree / bash / party / adult-beverage get together.

Showtime for the 30th incarnation of the SDMAs is 7 p.m sharp on Aug. 24. The event will return this year to Humphrey's By the Bay, which has lots of holes on its schedule this summer, due to COVID-19. Yes, that's a Tuesday, but with an August show, "rain-or-shine" doesn't need to be said.

This year's San Diego Music Awards featured live performances by the Redwoods Revue, Vokab Company, Jason Mraz, Planet B and more, with awards going to living legends like "Swami" John Reis. Watch our highlight reel here.

This year's in-person awards are a welcome return after 2020's virtual event, which, let's be fair, ran extremely smoothly, considering all the technical hurdles that had to be overcome. A reminder: R&B chanteuse Rebecca Jade went home with the Artist of the Year statuette, with no artist snagging more that one award. Album of the Year went to the local legends from Switchfoot, for "Native Tongue," and the cool kids from the Frets claimed the Song of the Year honors, with their "Naïve Adolescence" single.

SDMA officials said that, as per, the big winner in 2021 will be the San Diego Music Foundation’s Guitars for Schools program, which over the years has claimed a lion's share of the $647,000 raised and donated since 1991.

And just who, you're asking, are this year's lucky nominees? Well, you'll have to wait till May 2 at 7 p.m., when they'll be revealed via a livestream at the SDMA website. Voting will then be opened to the public on May 15. The public's ballot totals will be weighted equally with selections made by the San Diego Music Academy, "a group of San Diego music industry professionals." Yes, that's a quote from the press release.

Tickets go on sale May 10.

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