Nordoff & Robbins launches Northern Music Awards, honours Melanie C with outstanding contribution

Nordoff & Robbins launches Northern Music Awards, honours Melanie C with outstanding contribution

Nordoff & Robbins has launched its Northern Music Awards, supported by Ticketmaster, which will honour artists, festivals, venues and industry figures from across the North of England.

Spice Girl Melanie C is set to receive the Special Recognition award for her outstanding contribution to music, and will perform at the ceremony, with more acts to be announced.Melanie C was honoured at Music Week’s Women In Music Awards in 2022 in the Inspirational Artist category.

The show organised by the music therapy charity will be the first event of its kind to celebrate the Northern music industry, at a time of increasing focus on the region.

It takes place on Thursday, November 30, 2023 at Factory International’s new arts, music and culture space, which has its official opening in October.

The Nordoff & Robbins Northern Music Awards will be hosted by BBC Radio 6 Music presenter Chris Hawkins. It will recognise and celebrate the breadth of musical talent across the North of England, from up-and-coming musicians to established and legendary artists.

Tickets go on sale soon and registration for pre-sale tickets is open now. Money raised will help to fund the opening of a new Nordoff & Robbins dedicated music therapy centre for Greater Manchester, based in Salford.

The new Greater Manchester centre based in Salford, will be a multi-disciplinary music making and therapy space, housing a c recording studio with interactive, accessible music technology throughout, serving the needs of individuals and diverse Northern communities.

A launch event at Band On The Wall in Manchester tonight (April 19) is set to feature Antony Szmierek, Joash, The K’s and The Mysterines (acoustic).

Award categories range from Newcomer Of The Year to Artist Of The Year, Band Of The Year, DJ Of The Year, Maverick In Music and the Northern Music Award. 

Live music venues (small and large) and festivals will also be recognised, with their own individual award categories. A special Music & Culture For Wellbeing award will showcase outstanding and innovative creative arts provision in the North that uses music and culture to support and connect with people that face health, wellbeing and socio-economic challenges.

Supported in 2023 by Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, and City of Salford Mayor, Paul Dennett, the awards will move to a different city in the North each year to shine a light on music from across the region.

Nordoff & Robbins is continuing its close partnerships with the UK music industry, developed since the creation of its annual Silver Clef music awards in 1976. The judging panel for the Northern Music Awards comprisesTicketmaster, SJM Concerts, GigPig, Music Venue Trust, Live Nation, BIMM Institute, Kendal Calling and Sound City Liverpool, as well as BBC Radio 6 Music presenter Chris Hawkins.

The North provides such a rich source of incredible music

Chris Hawkins

Sandra Schembri, CEO, Nordoff & Robbins, said: “We see music as a superpower, so we’re incredibly excited to launch the Nordoff and Robbins Northern Music Awards supported by Ticketmaster in Manchester and can’t wait to honour such a broad range of talent – from artists to venues, festivals and those who’ve really made a difference with music - the event is going to be unmissable. The support of the public, artists and the wider music industry is absolutely vital - all the money raised from ticket sales will enable Nordoff and Robbins to help more people in the North to access music therapy through a fantastic new centre. 

“Music therapy is the act of supporting people to connect and communicate through music who otherwise are unable to; such as those living with autism to dementia, learning difficulties to brain injuries, life-limiting illnesses to mental health issues, grief and trauma. We believe that everyone who needs it should have access to music therapy, because it can, quite simply, transform people’s lives.”

Chris Hawkins, BBC Radio 6 Music presenter and Northern Music Awards host, said: “The North provides such a rich source of incredible music. The diversity and international acclaim of this huge asset needs to be showcased, and that’s just what the Northern Music Awards can do.

“Music and celebration go hand in hand, and we all know celebration is good for the soul. The Awards will shine a light on extraordinary talent; from Salford to Newcastle, Liverpool to Bradford, Manchester to Sheffield and everywhere in between, all whilst inspiring the next generation of artists. It’s about giving the music community in the North a chance to celebrate them too.”

Salford City Mayor Paul Dennett said: "We all know the power of music, whichever genre or period it may be, it has the ability to resonate and really mean something to all of us. The wide-ranging positive impact of music therapy for those most isolated and vulnerable within the community have been well documented. So, I'm extremely glad to be working with Nordoff and Robbins so that our residents here in Salford and indeed right across Greater Manchester will have access to a music therapy facility and the many benefits its services will provide. 

“The music therapy support we're looking to bring to Salford has the potential to truly change the lives of those who need it the most. As a city with a proud musical heritage, it is great to see how music is now being used in such an innovative way and I'm committed to help bring this approach to Salford."


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