Without the generosity of these sponsors, the UKBlues Awards would not take place and so we express our great gratitude to all those who have agreed to offer sponsorship.Their support serves to ensure that the 2021 UKBlues Awards continues to be the premier Awards for the blues in the UK.








Without the generous financial committment of these four sponsors in respect of the 2020 FORM UKBlues Awards despite the fact that the pandemic forced us to limit the Awards ceremony they were sponsoring to a virtual event, the 2021 UKBlues Awards would not be taking place.

We express our profound gratitude to these four companies for supporting the UKBlues Federation, the UKBlues Awards and, therefore, blues in the UK.


Individual Award Category Sponsors :

Blues Artist of the Year – sponsored by Blues In The South

Blues In The South (BITS) was first published in 1987 under the editorship of the Southampton blues musician Bob Pearce.

In Bob’s hands BITS became a key resource to assist venues and musicians in the Southampton area of England to promote their gigs and to find out what was going on in the area. For 16 years Bob, without any payment whatsoever, and occasionally without any sponsorship, produced without fail, a monthly edition of what was then a flyer.

In January 2004, publication of BITS was taken over by Ian McKenzie, a long-time blues enthusiast, Big Bill Broonzy fanatic and occasional blues musician. The immediate plan for BITS “under new management” was to extend the area of its remit all along the south coast of England and later to ‘go on line’.

Since January 2004, BITS has covered the area from Exmouth to Eastbourne and a bit more besides! It is now a multi-page ezine delivered monthly as an easily accessed pdf file. However, the principal aim of BITS remains the same. To promote and bring to public prominence, blues music of all kinds. Since its inception, Blues in the South has reported on blues, gospel, soul, cajun music, zydeco and rock n’ roll and it will continue to do so! The ezine includes gigs, record and concert reviews, news and gossip about the blues and blues-related material.



Blues Instrumentalist of the Year – sponsored by Sarah’s Sussex Blues


A page for all the lovers, venues and players of ‘The Blues’ (with some soul, folk and roots thrown in for good measure) in the Sussex area, to promote themselves and each other!! We are part of the British Blues Archive. 








Blues Band of The Year – sponsored by White Noise Studios

White Noise Rehearsal & Recording Studio is on the outskirts of Weston-super-Mare and has been built with the musician in mind that would like to get their music out there without the high cost of some of the larger studios.

Run by musicians for musicians, we have a purpose built acoustic treated space offering recording, mixing, mastering, post-production, live sound, and video production.  We are also able to band logo design, posters, banners, web sites and any type of marketing either through social media or traditional methods.

Our studios are equipped to handle your project from beginning to end. We have top notch trained musicians at our fingertips, so if your music is lacking that extra edge, we can maximise sound to the fullest.

We have been successfully building another great service since the end of the first lockdown and can offer our clients the chance to not only reach their fans in these strange times, but also walk away with a great live performance for you to use when promoting your music to venues, agents etc!




Emerging Artist of the Year – sponsored by Digital Blues

The first Digital Blues radio show was broadcast on 19th April 2001 and there have been weekly editions of the show in one form or another ever since. For more than six years, there were two weekly editions of Digital Blues providing three hours of entertainment each week. That represented more than 1200 hours of broadcasting in just that six year period!

Since April 2001 there have been well in excess of 1500 editions of Digital Blues in one form or another and the current format which is now aired 16 times a week on 9 stations around the world, celebrated its 550th edition in the week commencing 24th January 2021, bringing listeners a truly eclectic mix of tracks frequently pushing the genre’s boundaries.

And, of course, each week’s episode of Digital Blues is also available on demand on Mixcloud.

Find out more at www.digitalblues.co.uk




Acoustic Blues Act of the Year – sponsored by Goin’ up the Country Blues Club, Worthenbury, North Wales

Goin’ Up The Country Blues Club is located in the village of Worthenbury near Wrexham in north east Wales. It was formerly known as Hooker Blues Club and was founded by Pete Evans in 1997 at Wrexham Rugby Club. It moved to Worthenbury in 2005 which resulted in the name change befitting it’s location.

In that time the club has featured most of the big names of the UK blues scene but it has gained a name for presenting many of the biggest names from the USA scene by also being able to use the larger village hall at nearby Overton on Dee, a magnificent former old rural cinema.

Alongside the club gigs, 23 blues festivals have also been organised, the profits of which were donated to rural groups, charities and organisations and also resulted in defibrillators being made available for the local villages.

With the majority of the gigs in Worthenbury being acoustic ones, the club is delighted to sponsor the award for the Acoustic Blues Act of the Year.



Jules Fothergil Young Blues Artist of the Year – sponsored by the Terry & Lesley Marshall




International Blues Artist of the Year – sponsored by Blues Matters!

Blues Matters! is now 22 years young, available in print (International distribution), digital and as an App around the world. Hailed as the leading International Blues publication. The recipient of the Blues Foundation recognition in Print Media category, inducted into the NY Blues Hall of Fame as publication as well as it’s Founder/Publisher for his work. Also three times in succession winner of EBA European Blues Publication of The Year category.

This glorious magazine is in full colour over its’ 132 pages packed with informative interviews, features and reviews of CDs, DVDs, gigs and festivals. It also introduces a section on new acts.

Easy to subscribe online at www.bluesmatters.com or by phone: 00-44-(0)1778-393082  where our Subs managers will assist you wherever you are. You can also now pay by Direct Debit.

The neat A5 size allows easy bookcase filing for reference and punches way beyond the size in content and passion for its subject matter………..all because, as our sub title (Our Name Says It All!) says – Blues Matters!



Blues Based Festival or event – Live or Virtual – of the Year – sponsored by the Darlington R’n’B Club

Darlington R’n’B Club was formed in May 1995 by a small group of blues enthusiasts who decided to do something themselves due to a lack of live rhythm & blues music in Darlington. A committee of six people run the R n B Club on a voluntary basis and give up a lot of their spare time for the Club to function.

The R’n’B Club held their events at Darlington Arts Centre for the first seventeen years until it closed in July 2012 and are now based at The Forum Music Centre in Borough Road, Darlington. The Forum Music Centre is the place to be for live music in Darlington, as a not-for-profit Community Benefit Society (Registered as a Mutual with the FCA). The Forum offers Live music, recording studios and even academic courses for music and arts, so it is a perfect match for Darlington R’n’B Club as a great place for great music.

We know from talking to bands that we have a great reputation on the R’n’B circuit for putting on good gigs and looking after their requirements.

We enjoy promoting live Rhythm ‘n’ Blues events in Darlington, which also includes our annual Darlington Market Square Blues Festival every September, so until it stops being enjoyable, we’ll continue for as long as possible!





Blues Album of the Year – sponsored by The Colourblind Blues Show

The Colourblind Blues Show is a weekly Blues Radio Show broadcast (Sundays 7-9pm) on Radio Gwendolen 1287AM (from the studios of Leicester Community Radio) and on line at www.1287.co.uk.


The show is presented by Mark ‘Haff’ Haughan, a colour blind design teacher, hence the show’s name (and his bizarre range of neck ties!)


Haff plays a diverse range of music, covering the whole blues genre.

Along with playing great music, Haff aims to inform and educate listeners by providing background stories and additional information on the tracks being played.


Haff is keen to promote local artists, both more and less well known and local blues festivals. Oh, and he has an impressive collection of guitars. You can never have too many, right?







Blues ‘Unsung Hero’ Award – sponsored by UKBlues



UKBlues (The UKBlues Federation) is very pleased to be sponsoring the Unsung Hero Award in the 2021 UKBlues Awards as it offers an opportunity to salute and to celebrate those individuals who work tirelessly behind the scenes to support and promote blues whether it be by managing a band (bands), running a venue or a festival, driving bands about the place, providing promotion to venues, events and festivals through websites or on social media, publishing blogs, other online media or physical media and so on. The list is almost endless and could even include the members of the UKBlues board!!

Without these people whose work is rarely recognised, rarely marked, rarely celebrated and who generally give generously of their own time and own resources seeking no reward other than the satisfaction of having helped, having supported this wonderful genre we call the Blues, the blues in the UK would be very much the poorer.

UKBlues is proud to support and promote blues throughout the UK and to be the organisers of the UKBlues Awards, the UKBlues Challenge and the UKBlues Fuse initiative.

Find out more including how you can support our work by joining us at www.ukblues.org



Most Inspirational Online Performance of the Year

Most Innovative Use of Virtual Media of the Year

both categories jointly sponsored by Hohner distributed by Sutherland Trading for the UK & Ireland 


A lot has happened since Matthias Hohner founded his company in Trossingen, Germany in 1857. HOHNER became the market leader in harmonicas and accordions with a worldwide network of artists through consistent dedication to quality. Our instruments have strongly influenced the development of the Blues, become a vital part of Folk music traditions around the world, played a significant role in the ongoing evolution of Jazz and found their place on the Classical concert stage. Today we continue to develop new instruments and improve existing ones. Always with the intention to enable everyone, everywhere to Enjoy music. 


With over 164 years of technical expertise, a sympathetic ear for our customers, and countless collaborations with musicians and teachers, we have continuously improved our craft – and will continue to do so.

Most of our harmonicas and accordions are still manufactured in Trossingen, our hometown and world headquarters. Combining modern production technology with traditional handiwork, our skilled staff produce high-quality instruments for worldwide distribution. And since most of us are musicians ourselves, we understand and share your expectations.

Our in-house Research & Development department is staffed by highly skilled specialists for free reed instruments and is dedicated to setting and maintaining the highest standards of quality. In close cooperation with leading musicians, endorsees and teachers from around the world, we continually conceptualize new instruments and improve existing ones.

We at Hohner are proud of our craft, our quality standards, and the longevity of our instruments. We will continue to manufacture high-quality instruments that allow people worldwide to Enjoy music.


Internet:    www.playhohner.com

YouTube:  www.youtube.com/user/HohnerHMI

Facebook: www.facebook.com/HohnerMusic

Instagram: www.instagram.com/playhohner/




Sutherland Trading can trace back its origins as one of the UK’s leading musical instrument distributors as far as the 1930s, thanks to a long standing relationship with Hohner, a brand that is globally renowned for the manufacture of harmonicas and accordions. 

In the late 1940s, M Hohner Ltd was established in the UK to become the exclusive importer and distributor of Hohner musical instruments. It traded from a number of locations in the London area for almost four decades before relocating to the site that Sutherland Trading now occupies at Bedwas, near Caerphilly, in 1987.

Sutherland Trading, an independent company, was born out of M Hohner Ltd in 2001 and, whilst continuing to distribute Hohner, now represents a number of key product lines that have become synonymous with quality and value for money within the music industry.

Internet : www.sutherlandtrading.com


Dave Raven Blues Based Broadcaster of the Year – in partnership with Access The Arts

Access The Arts is an organisation which endeavours to break down barriers to learning and experiencing all aspects of Creative Arts. We are passionate about making music, dance and drama accessible for all, regardless of age or ability.

Although we specialise in bringing music to the Deaf community, in the form of Signing Choirs, workshops and presentations, we do not limit ourselves to any single type of Disability. We assess your needs on an individual basis to bring you an experience which is specially catered to your requirements.

Our work within the differently abled community is our cornerstone, teaming up with various Arts charities such as Music 4 The Many, Music And The Deaf and The Amber Trust, along with consulting on Youth Projects and Community Outreach around the country.

Amy-Rose Atkinson is the Deaf musician at the helm of our mission, and alongside our consultants and supporters, we are successfully able to deliver tailor made sessions to suit every budding artist.