Determining Wammie Winners
Starting in December, the public (including artists/musicians themselves) submit nominations for each award category. In January, the public votes for their favorite nominees. The Top 7 nominees in each category become Finalists. Over 50 regional music industry judges score the finalists in each award category. The finalist with the highest score wins the award category. If there are no nominees in a category, we will not issue an award.
Each awards season is recognizing music from the previous calendar year. Example: The 2021 Virtual Wammie Awards recognizes music released in 2020.
Artist-Nominee Location: To be eligible for a Wammie Award, the artist(s)/musician(s) must be based within the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. Please see the map here that illustrates our eligibility region. If a nominee is based beyond the highlighted region, they are ineligible to be nominated.
Music Award Requirements: For the best song, best album, and best artist categories, music must be:
- Formally and Professionally Recorded
- Released During The Proper Awards Year: January 1st – December 31st
- Widely Distributed: While we want artists’ music to be enjoyed locally, in order to raise the profile of DC-area music, we want to encourage our creative community to strive for publishing music that can be consumed globally. Nominations must be published on at least (2) two of the following public music streaming platforms: iTunes, Spotify, Amazon, Tidal, Deezer, SoundCloud and BandCamp. (YouTube Releases are not currently considered for The Wammie Awards.)
Music Term Definitions:
- Song: A song is a musical recording, which an artist formally and professionally performed, produced, and released, for public consumption.
- Album: An album is a compilation of at least five (5) songs that were professionally performed, produced and released, for public consumption.
- Artist/Group: An artist/group is an individual or group of individuals who released a song or album, in the eligible award year.
Only Washington DC, Virginia, and Maryland residents may nominate artists and vote for finalists within The Wammie Awards platform. More than one nomination can be submitted for our award categories, but you cannot nominate the same artist, for the same award, multiple times (Ex: Joe Public can submit Band J, Band K, and Band L for the Best Rock Album Category. However, Joe Public cannot submit Band J three times for the Best Rock Album Category. Once Band J is nominated once, there is no need to nominate them again.)
- If there is a tie of public votes for 7th Place (remember the Top 7 Finalists go to judges), then all artists involved in the tie for 7th place will continue on to become Finalists.
- Only (1) 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.
Our Regional Industry Judges
Each year, between 50 – 75 music industry and subject matter experts, which include local musicians, producers, educators, radio hosts, journalists, DJ’s, 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.
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 third 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 hyper-active. 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 hello@wammiesDC.org.
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 TheMusicianShip.org to learn more!