Rules & Regulations

The Wammie Awards Rules & Regulations

The Wammie Awards is a 35-year-old music awards platform aimed at recognizing the Washington DC Metropolitan Region’s best artists and musicians annually. Continue below to learn more about the upcoming awards season, our awards show platform and the music events we have planned for the celebration!

Learn about the Nominating and Voting Process

The 2022 Wammie Awards

Nominations for The 2022 Wammie Awards open on December 1, 2021, and close on January 31, 2022. The public returns to vote for their favorite nominees to become finalists from January 1 – 31, 2022. Awards are based on music released between January 1 and December 31 of 2021. The 2022 Wammie Awards take place on March 26, 2022. Event logistics and sponsorship opportunities will be shared soon.


Award Categories

See our Full Awards List below:

Music Categories

  • Best A Cappella Artist/Group
  • Best Bluegrass Artist/Group
  • Best Bluegrass Song
  • Best Blues Artist/Group
  • Best Blues Song
  • Best Choral Group
  • Best Choral Song
  • Best Classical Artist/Group
  • Best Classical Song
  • Best Country/Americana Artist/Group
  • Best Country/Americana Album
  • Best Country/Americana Song
  • Best Electronic/Techno Artist/Group
  • Best Folk Artist/Group
  • Best Folk Album
  • Best Folk Song
  • Best Funk Artists/Group
  • Best Funk Song
  • Best Go-Go Artist/Group
  • Best Go-Go Album
  • Best Go-Go Song
  • Best Gospel/Inspirational Artist/Group
  • Best Gospel/Inspirational Album
  • Best Gospel/Inspirational Song
  • Best Hard Rock Artist/Group
  • Best Hard Rock Album
  • Best Hard Rock Song
  • Best Hip-Hop Artist/Group
  • Best Hip-Hop Album
  • Best Hip-Hop Song
  • Best Jazz Artist/Group
  • Best Jazz Album
  • Best Jazz Song
  • Best Latin Artist/Group
  • Best Latin Song
  • Best Pop Artist/Group
  • Best Pop Album
  • Best Pop Song
  • Best Punk Artist/Group
  • Best Punk Album
  • Best Punk Song
  • Best R&B/Soul Artist/Group
  • Best R&B/Soul Album
  • Best R&B/Soul Song
  • Best Rap Artist/Group
  • Best Rap Album
  • Best Rap Song
  • Best Reggae Artist/Group
  • Best Reggae Song
  • Best Rock Artist/Group
  • Best Rock Album
  • Best Rock Song
  • Best World Music Artist/Group
  • Best World Music Song

General Interest Awards

    • Do Good Award:  An individual or organization (artist, musician, band, or institution) that has championed a social cause that benefits the DMV music community as a whole.
    • Educator Award: An individual (artist, musician, or educator) that has made the most noteworthy effort to change the trajectory of a group of students in a music educational capacity.
    • Music Media Award: A media entity, website, platform, or social media account that has excelled in enriching, educating and entertaining via content regional delivery communication methods. (Nominations for individuals without an identified media entity listed will be disqualified.)
    • Advocacy Award: An individual or group that has undertaken undeniable efforts to positively affect legislation and/or policy that positively impacts the regional music community.
    • Best Music Studio: A favorite music recording studio within our regional music community determined by a combined score of DMV resident votes during the public voting period with additional scores from our industry judges. Nominated Music Studios are not allowed to register as sponsors or vendors during the same awards show season they are nominated. Wammie Award Sponsors and/or vendors are not eligible for award nominations.
    • Best Music Venue Award: A favorite music venue, night club or restaurant from within our regional community determined by a combined score of DMV resident votes during the public voting period with additional scores from our industry judges. Nominated Music Venues are not allowed to register as sponsors or vendors during the same awards show season they are nominated. Wammie Awards Sponsors and/or vendors are not eligible for award nominations.

Awards Show Structure

Each awards season recognizes the music and community work from the previous calendar year. Starting each December, the public (including artists/musicians themselves) submit nominations for each award category. In January, the public returns to vote for their favorite nominees. The Top 7 nominees in each category become Finalists. Over 100 regional music industry judges score the finalists. The finalist with the highest scores & public votes wins the award category. (NEW) If there are fewer than 2 nominees in a category, an award will not be issued.


Eligibility Rules

Artist-Nominee Location

To be eligible for a Wammie Award, the artist/group must be based within The MusicianShip’s regional reach in the Washington, D.C. area. Please see the map here that illustrates our eligibility region. Nominations for artists/groups based beyond this region will not be accepted.


Music Award Requirements

  For the best song, best album, and best artist categories, music must be:

    • Formally & Professionally Recorded During The Proper Awards Year: January 1st – December 31st
    • Nominations must be published on at least (2) two of the following public music streaming platforms:  iTunes, Spotify, Amazon, Tidal, Deezer, SoundCloud & BandCamp.
    • Nominated Albums must contain at least (5) songs.
    • Song & Album genres must match & reflect the genre claimed on the artist/group music streaming platforms.


Music Term Definitions

  • Song: A musical recording, which an artist formally and professionally performed, produced, and released, for public consumption.
  • Album: A compilation of at least five (5) songs that were professionally performed, produced, and released, for public consumption.
  • Artist/Group: An individual or group of individuals who released a song or album, in the eligible award year.



Nomination Rules

  1. Only Washington DC, Virginia, and Maryland residents can nominate artists & vote for finalists for The Wammie Awards. More than one nomination can be submitted, but you cannot nominate the same artist, for the same award, multiple times.
  2. If an artist has nominated a specific genre album, they are not permitted to nominate songs from this album for other genres.
  3. Song, Album & Artist genres must match the genres selected on music streaming platforms.


In anticipation of the annual Voting Period, Nominees are encouraged to share their Wammie Awards nomination(s) across any artistic platform of their choice that reaches their respective fan bases.

The sharing of this information can include verbiage that encourages their fan base to vote for the nominee during our Voting Period. Nominees MAY NOT offer payment, compensation, gifts, or rewards in exchange for Wammie Awards votes. If it has been proven that there has been payment, compensation, gifting, or rewards offered, promised, or delivered in exchange for Wammie Awards votes, the nominee and all subsequent nominations will be disqualified and removed from the Wammie Awards platform.



Determining Finalists

    • If there is a public vote tie for 7th Place (remember the Top 7 Finalists go to judges), then all artists involved in the tie will become Finalists.
    • Only (1) nominated song or album per artist can advance to the finalist round. If there’s more than (1) song or album by an artist in the same award category, the song with the most votes will be chosen to represent that artist in the Final Judging round.
    • NEW – Award categories with only (1) nominee will not be awarded during that particular awards show season.
    • NEW Finalists cannot have the same song or album represented in different genres. Artists can choose their sole genre for each song or album nomination. If not determined by the artist, The Wammie Awards will use the genre designation on music streaming platforms.



Wammies Industry Judges

Each year, over 100 music industry and subject matter experts, which include local musicians, producers, educators, radio hosts, journalists, DJs, and other creative peers who understand, and influence, our region’s music industry participate as our judges. Our Industry Judges donate hours of their time in support of The MusicianShip’s core mission: ‘Changing Lives with Music’. Regional Industry Judges are required to possess a minimum of (5) years of music experience within our Metropolitan Region and must be cleared of any conflicts of interest.


Our Wammies Industry Judges Represent…

The Mayor’s Creative Affairs Office – Blues Alley – Prince George’s Community College – Chevy Chase Arts Academy

School of Rock Alexandria – Howard University – U. St. Music Hall Presents – DC Music Review

American University – DC Legendary Musicians – DC Radio – Catholic University

Duke Ellington School of the Arts – George Mason University – National Symphony Orchestra – Georgetown University

The University of Maryland – Girls Rock! DC – Levine Music – St. Mary’s College of MD – U.S. Army Band – GoWin Media



Awards Show History

From 1982 to 2016, The Wammie Awards were produced and maintained by the Washington Area Music Association (WAMA). WAMA made the difficult decision to dissolve, amidst challenges faced by the organization and leadership. Instead of discontinuing the Wammie Awards, WAMA decided that The Wammies needed a new, mission-aligned home that could preserve this important DC-Area treasure. On March 9, 2018, the WAMA Board adopted a resolution, with the dual intent of dissolving and transferring all remaining assets to The MusicianShip – including the right to produce The Wammie Awards. Many WAMA Board members remain involved today and are on The MusicianShip’s Steering Committee for The Wammie Awards & Wammie Weekend.

The MusicianShip is now in its 4th year of administering and producing The Wammie Awards. Each year, we engage in continued research and discovery of our region’s music industry in order to accurately reflect the genres represented in DC, MD & VA. We have since consolidated our awards list to a manageable amount, focusing on the music genres we found to be hyperactive. We will consider adding more award categories and music genres in the future and welcome the community’s feedback and music experiences. Do you have knowledgeable, regional music industry experience or information to share? Email us today at

The MusicianShip is a DC-based 501(c)(3) that facilitates music lessons, experiences, and opportunities for youth who need us most. In 2020, we will serve over 1,600 youth through after-school programs, summer programs, and master class programs in DC, South Africa, and France. In addition to producing the Wammie Awards, we are also the new home of the DC Funk Parade. Please visit to learn more!

Content updated October 25, 2021