Spain’s indie label body the Independent Phonographic Union (UFI) is holding the country’s first independent music award with the support of MySpace, public music network Radio 3, and online alternative music magazine MondoSonoro.com.
The 45 members of the UFI can propose candidates in 26 categories from April 20 to May 15. Winners will be announced on June 21, which is European Music Day, an annual cultural event. Awards will be voted for online by fans after an UFI committee selects five finalists for each category, while a professional jury will select winners in technical categories.
“When we created UFI in 2003, we knew our unavoidable obligation was to liven things up and do what we can to see that popular and unpopular music made in Spain can be heard loud and clear in all its variety,” says UFI founding president Mario Pacheco, who is also founder and director of 30-year-old indie label Nuevos Medios.
He said the UFI awards seek to consolidate and spread independent creative activity, promote cultural diversity, discover new musical talent, and bring music and its creative process closer to the general public.
“The reality is that an indie music label is a place where a handful of music lovers meet, and an association of indie labels is the same but multiplied by 50,” Pacheco adds. “In other words, our potential is enormous. Whatever happens, the UFI awards are here to stay because 80% of new releases [in Spain] are independent.”