The first-ever Northern Music Awards – all the winners on a night where the region proved why it’s the best

An evening for every Northerner and music lover to revel in and a reminder of just how wonderful it is up here.

Danny Jones Danny Jones - 24th April 2024

Last night finally saw the inaugural Northern Music Awards take place at the iconic Albert Hall, a night celebrating everything we know and love about the North: we love our music and we’re bloody good at it, and we also know how to have a knees up better than anyone.

The landmark awards ceremony, put on by music therapy charity Nordoff and Robbins and backed by dozens of local, national and global brands (including our lovely selves here at The Manc) has been 18 months in the making and faced plenty of obstacles, but nothing us Northerners couldn’t overcome.

More importantly, it was well worth the wait. Hosted by BBC Radio 6 Music presenter and passionate Nordoff and Robbins ambassador, Chris Hawkins, the night was packed not only with handing out shiny gongs but moving speeches, live performances from some big acts and a great ol’ boogie at the end.

From digs about Co-op Live not quite being ready and jabs at the government, HS2 and investment in Northern infrastructure when an award-winner couldn’t make it on time, to Gary Neville telling City fans to “f*ck off” and Andy Burham giving a rousing speech about why the North is top banana, it had it all.

So who picked up what at the first-ever NMAs for 2024?


The winners of the very first Northern Music Awards

Although a few acts recognised on the night had to phone in, the overall turnout was incredible, with speeches and a stunning stripped-down performance by Liam Fray, household names like Simon Rimmer helping hand out the gorgeously floral and abstract trophies, it was a truly special night at Albert Hall.

It was also wonderful to see how many people were getting involved with Nordoff and Robbins’ charity raffle and silent auction, with all the proceeds going straight back into helping the non-profit carry out its heartwarming work across the country.


But let’s get into who took home the bit of bronze, shall we?

  • Music and Culture for Wellbeing: Dance Syndrome – Lancashire
  • Inspirational Venue of the Year (under 500 cap): Brudenell Social Club – Leeds
  • Inspirational Venue of the Year (under 2000 cap): Band on the Wall – Manchester
  • Festival of the Year: Beat-Herder – Lancashire
  • Industry Icon Award: Michael Adex – Manchester
  • Newcomer of the Year: English Teacher – Leeds
  • DJ of the Year: DJ Paulette – Manchester
  • Breakthrough Act of the Year: The K’s – Earlestown
  • Artist of the Year: Louis Tomlinson – Doncaster
  • Band of the Year: The Courteeners – Manchester
  • Music Moment of the Year: Aitch, Glastonbury – Manchester
  • Disruptor in Music: The Reytons – Rotherham
  • Northern Icon Award: Lisa Stansfield – Manchester
  • Special Recognition Award: Melanie C – Merseyside
  • LiveNation’s Northern Music Award: Tim Burgess – Salford

Congratulations to all of the winners – so well deserved and all spoke so well about why a dedicated Northern Music Awards matters, embodying exactly why we love it so much up here.

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Host Hawkins said it perfectly on the night, these posh dos could take place at who knows where in the future just so long as the only rule is: “insert Northern town or city here“. It was an honour to kick off the Northern Music Awards here in Manchester but we’ll happily big up our Northern cousins any day.


As he reminded us by expertly reeling off a lengthy list of the iconic names to have come out of not just 0161 but the North in general – he even managed to make it rhyme, for the most part – it’d be greedy try and keep it all to ourselves when there are so many other top-tier venues that deserve spotlighting.

Who knows, maybe it’ll head Yorkshire way and our friends over at The Hoot will help take on that difficult second album in 2025.

Regardless, we’ll remember the legend that is Lisa Stansfield still not even breaking a sweat as she got the Albert Hall up on its feet forever and we cannot wait for next year, wherever it may be.

The queen signing things off in style.

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Featured Images — The Manc Group