After a huge comeback in 2020 and a one-year hiatus due to the pandemic, our Awards will return to London’s O2 Academy Brixton on Wednesday, March 2, 2022 to celebrate the best in music and entertainment from around the globe. Tickets to the event are on sale now and available here.
Sponsored by leading social music creation platform BandLab, the night will see epic performances, big-name guests and some pretty unpredictable moments as we honour the music, films, TV and video games that shaped pop culture over the past year.
The BandLab NME Awards 2022 will also see the introduction of award categories specific to Asia, following 2020’s Australian categories and furthering NME’s global reach with dedicated editions in Australia and Asia.
With many more names to be announced over the coming weeks, today we can confirm that Sam Fender, Griff and Rina Sawayama will all be gracing the hallowed Brixton stage on the night, while Halsey will be at the show to accept the Innovation Award.
Off the back of their acclaimed 2021 album ‘If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power‘ – which NME described as “a defiant artistic statement” – pop sensation Halsey will be recognised as a trailblazing artist who pushes musical boundaries and speaks her truth as she continues to raise the bar by merging music, fashion, art and film.
Speaking to NME for their forthcoming Big Read story, due out this Friday, Halsey said: “The BandLab NME Awards 2022 seems more about a celebration of a bunch of people who are contemporaries rooting each other on. I don’t get many opportunities to celebrate with my peers and look around and be like, ‘Wow, this was a great year for music’ and that’s why we do this – we love it, y’know?”
Following performances at NME Awards 2020 from the likes of The 1975, FKA Twigs, AJ Tracey, Yungblud, Beabadoobee, Slowthai and Mura Masa, fans can look forward to another stacked roster of live sets.
Sam Fender will be bringing a taste of his Number One album ‘Seventeen Going Under‘ – praised by NME as “a wiser, weightier record stuffed with sax-soaked rock epics that touch on life and death, love and heartbreak, rage and regret” – as well as his thrilling stage presence for a barnstorming live performance on the night.
Meanwhile, the BBC Sound Of and NME 100 alum Griff will be on the O2 Academy Brixton stage to give fans a taste of the future following her “flawless” debut mixtape ‘One Foot In Front Of The Other’.
The genre-bending, game-changing sensation that is Rina Sawayama will also be following up on her recent “dazzling” five-star tour with a live set at the BandLab NME Awards 2022. Reviewing her 2020 debut album ‘SAWAYAMA‘, NME hailed it as “an expansive musical account of her personal history, all bolstered by her impressive experimental songwriting”.
“I can’t wait to perform at the BandLab NME Awards next year,” she said. “It’s such an honour to be asked and I am beyond excited.”
NME has today also announced that Music Venue Trust will be the official charity partner of the BandLab NME Awards 2022, continuing NME’s long-standing relationship and work with the charity. Created in 2014 to protect, secure and improve the UK’s vital grassroots music venues, Music Venue Trust represents over 900 venues across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
The charity’s #SaveOurVenues campaign was instrumental in pushing the UK government into action to save gig spaces during the pandemic, as well as raising millions of pounds and preventing over 400 venues from being lost forever – though the work still continues.
Holly Bishop, Chief Operating & Commercial Officer at NME Networks, said: “In February 2020, as we sat back in the usual post-NME Awards haze, we had no idea that ours was to be one of the closing events of the year. What followed was one of the toughest times our industry, and our generation, has had to face.
“After a 12-month hiatus, it feels extra special to return to our Brixton home in March 2022 with an event that promises to be everything but predictable. We have an incredible line-up, an exciting title sponsor in BandLab – the global game-changer in music creation and a brand that shares NME’s commitment to emerging talent – alongside a host of other partners that share our mission to make 2022 the most memorable Awards in NME’s history.”
A full list of nominations, including the coveted Godlike Genius award, and more live performances will be announced in the coming months.
For tickets and more information on the BandLab NME Awards 2022, visit here.