Thursday 3 September 2020


THE Scottish Album of the Year awards have turned virtual for September and is delighted to announce the line up. 
This year’s Live at the Longlist event as Free Love, Kinnaris Quintet and Sacred Paws all take to the stage ahead of the exclusive 2020 Longlist reveal. 
Transformed into a virtual event for the first time ever, this year’s Live at the Longlist will be broadcast as a YouTube Premiere from 19:00 BST on Thursday 17th September ( fans from around the world able to watch and discover 2020’s Longlist first, as well as witnessing some extremely special, socially distanced performances from former SAY Awardnominees. Following a record-breaking 362 albums submitted for consideration to The SAY Award in 2020, artists with Eligible Albums includeDeacon Blue, Declan Welsh and the Decadent West, Gerry Cinnamon,  Lewis Capaldi, Mogwai, The Ninth Wave,  Rachel Sermanni, Sacred Paws, The Snuts, Tide Lines, Twin Atlantic and many more. To view all 362 Eligible Albums, visit 
Live at the Longlist gets this year’s campaign underway with the programme having been shot at both Edinburgh’s Summerhall and the city’s most exciting new events space 54EP, where co-hosts Vic Galloway and Nicola Meighan will reveal which twenty albums make up this year’s Longlist. Ensuring music fans find out the highly-anticipated Longlist first, Live at the Longlist is a night to celebrate Scottish music from all corners of the country, spanning genres and styles and uniting fans in these unprecedented times.
SAY Award alumni and Glaswegian duo Free Love return to the virtual Live at the Longlist in 2020, after being Shortlisted in 2019 for their album ‘Luxury Hits’. Known for their exhilarating live shows, Free Love will give fans a taste of their latest mini-album ‘Extreme Dance Anthems’ which sees the band excel in a completely different musical direction than previous records and garnered high praise from the likes of Clash and The List.
 Speaking about their performance Free Love said, “Played some live music for the first time in a long time through a big soundsystem and it was an epiphanic catharsis. We had no idea how much we were missing hearing sound loud and being able to feel the vibrations through the body and move with it and scream and sweat and tune ourselves to rhythm and tonality. You can only really do this at loud volumes as the vibrations need to be felt holistically, not just in your ears. The obvious deficit was an audience to feedback and synergise the NRG but some day we'll be able to do that again. Grateful for this experience which we'll be able to share with you soon..." 
Also Longlisted in 2019 for their debut album ‘Free One’, Kinnaris Quintet join this year’s Live at the Longlist line-up, bringing their combination of Scottish and Irish folk with Bluegrass, Old-Time and Classical to the virtual stage. Taking audiences by storm at festivals around the world, the band’s highly emotive, uplifting sound is a stunning example of the best Scotland’s music scene has to offer.
 Aileen from Kinnaris Quintet said,“What a joy it was to be asked to perform as part of The SAY Award this year! We were so thrilled to have been involved, and it was such a welcome and anticipated performance for us lot who have missed playing music together so much! In recent times it's been a real challenge to stay motivated, given that the music and arts industries have been pushed aside so much. Having had the opportunity to play music again, in front of a small but wonderful crew, filled us with so much happiness and excitement for live music to return, and we're grateful to The SAY Award for giving us that high again. Without the support and enthusiasm of the team behind it all, it would leave music and everyone involved in creating music in a darker place than it currently is. We are dead proud to be a part of it and urge one and all to get behind the award in any way possible!"
 The 2017 SAY Award winners Sacred Pawscomplete the ultimate Live at the Longlist line-up, following the release of their sophomore record ‘Run Around The Sun’ in 2019. Weaving perfect pop melodies with their distinctive style of singing back and forth as if in conversation with each other, culminates in a vibrant, optimistic album from the Glasgow-based duo, making for an extremely special socially distanced performance.
 Sacred Paws said, “Playing live is always such a great release and a source of joy for us - we're not really used to playing for cameras but everyone at The SAY Award made it so much fun that we almost felt like we were at a real gig for a moment! We really hope you enjoy watching as much as we did playing."  
Live at the Longlist will announce which twenty albums make up this year’s Longlist, before being reduced to the Shortlisted ten, with the final winning artist collecting one of the most lucrative prize funds in the UK; a £20,000 cash prize and nine runners up each awarded £1,000. The final award ceremony will take place on Thursday 29th October 2020.
The SAY Award have also announced their commitment to the Keychange pledge in 2020, ensuring the independent judging panel and nominators list set to decide this year’s Longlistand ultimately, the final winner, features a 50:50 gender split for the second year running. Featuring a broad range of influential tastemakers from across the country, the list spans music genres and creative industries, and is an outstanding representation of the Scottish music scene’s diversity and strength. The Scottish Music Industry Association, the team behind The SAY Award, strive to ensure equality and diversity are at the forefront of all they do and their commitment to a 50:50 gender split for the second year running is key to this work.
An integral part of the Scottish music industry, The SAY Award celebrates, promotes and rewards the most outstanding Scottish albums each year. To date, the award has distributed over £232,000 in prize money and championed 160 Longlisted albums across eight previous campaigns.
This year’s Longlist will be decided by 100 impartial nominators, asked to vote for their favourite albums from this year’s Eligible Albums list. With the 2020 campaign seeing a record-breaking 362 Scottish albums submitted, this year’s nominators include a range of journalists, promoters, music retail and live venue staff, festival directors spanning all music genres and styles. This year’s Nominators list will be published on following the announcement of this year’s Longlist.
The 11 judges, chaired by John Williamson, are tasked with listening to the twenty outstanding albums which make up this year’s Longlist to narrow down to a Shortlist of ten. Nine titles will be decided by the esteemed judging panel while the final album will be chosen by music fans in a 72-hour online public vote. At a time of crisis when much of our culture is confined to our borders, for the first time in the award’s history, The SAY Award will feature judges from four selected international territories; building upon and maintaining vital and valued international links for Scottish music.
Returning for its ninth year in 2020, The SAY Award is widely recognised as one of the country’s most reputable and prestigious music initiatives. Coming together to celebrate the passion, value and diversity of Scottish music in 2020, The SAY Award strives to be egalitarian throughout all stages of the campaign, reflected in the fact there is no fee to submit an eligible album for consideration, and digital releases that fulfil the criteria are also deemed eligible. To view the 362 Eligible Albums submitted for consideration this year visit
Developed and produced by the Scottish Music Industry Association (SMIA), the 2020 campaign will be delivered in partnership with Creative Scotland, City of Edinburgh Council, YouTube Music, 54EP, Sweetdram, Culture & Business Fund Scotland via Arts & Business Scotland, PPL, Summerhall, Ticketmaster and new charity partner Music Declares Emergency.

Previous winners of The SAY Award include Auntie Flo ‘Radio Highlife’ (2019), Young Fathers ‘Cocoa Sugar’ (2018), Sacred Paws ‘Strike A Match’ (2017), Anna Meredith ‘Varmints’ (2016), Kathryn Joseph ‘Bones You Have Thrown Me And Blood I’ve Spilled’ (2015), Young Fathers ‘Tape Two’ (2014), RM Hubbert ‘Thirteen Lost & Found’ (2013) and the inaugural winner Bill Wells and Aidan Moffat ‘Everything’s Getting Older’ (2012).