Huge line-up of acts and nominees announced for first-ever Northern Music Awards

The inaugural awards will take place in Manchester, with an amazing line-up of northern talent performing.

Daisy Jackson Daisy Jackson - 15th February 2024

The Nordoff and Robbins Northern Music Awards have confirmed nominees, line-up and more information about the inaugural event this year.

The huge awards will bring together and celebrate the biggest northern names in music, all while raising vital funds for a state-of-the-art music therapy for Greater Manchester.

Today, the Northern Music Awards has announced that Courteeners’ Liam Fray will perform a short and special live acoustic set at the event in April.

Also taking to the stage at the Albert Hall in Manchester will be the legendary Lisa Stansfield with a stripped-back set – the Rochdale legend will be crowned Northern Icon.

The stage will be welcoming Warrington’s rising stars The K’s, up-and-coming Leeds quartet English Teacher, and spoken word, indie hip hop artist Antony Szmierek, who is to open the awards with a specially commissioned piece about the power of music therapy.


This inaugural event, supported by Ticketmaster and Live Nation, will be held in Manchester, with the Northern Music Awards then choosing a different northern host city for each subsequent event.

This very first event is taking place at Albert Hall on Tuesday 23 April, with tickets on sale to the public today here.


Nordoff and Robbins is the UK’s largest music charity and hopes that the event will be an essential fundraiser, as well as kickstarting a new chapter celebrating the breadth of talent across the north of England.

As well as performing, Liam Fray may revisit the stage later in the evening – Courteeners are shortlisted for Band of the Year, along with Blossoms and Sheffield’s Bring Me The Horizon.

Antony Szmierek, Mica Millar, and indie/post-punk Leeds rising stars English Teacher are among the acts shortlisted for the Best Newcomer Award.


Spice Girl Melanie C will receive the Special Recognition Award for her outstanding contribution to music. Singer songwriter Sam Fender, from Newcastle, Rotherham’s Self Esteem and Louis Tomlinson, born in Doncaster, are shortlisted for Artist of the Year, sponsored by Ticketmaster.

DJ of the Year sees Liverpool’s Paige Tomlinson, Burnley’s DJ Woody, Djinn and DJ Paulette – both from Manchester – all in the running.

Deserving winners in categories championing the entire industry from artist to event to venue, will receive a specially commissioned award designed by Lancashire-born contemporary British artist Thomas Wolski.

Nadra Shah, director of engagement and communications at Nordoff and Robbins, said: “The Northern Music Awards aims to celebrate the massive musical talent that continues to come out of this region and will be held annually in different Northern cities.

“We want to honour the enormous success of established artists such as the award winning and multi-million album selling Lisa Stansfield – but also spotlight emerging musicians who may not yet be recognised at a national level.


“We really want to support and help to grow the eco system of Northern musicians whilst shining a light on the transformative work we do with music therapy to connect with some of the region’s most isolated communities.

“In 2024 we’re celebrating 20 years of providing essential music therapy in Greater Manchester and we’re excited that this show will support our vision to open a brand new centre – helped by the money raised from these awards.”

Melanie C
Melanie C. Credit: Publicity picture

Liam Fray said: “It’s a huge honour to be performing at the first Northern Music Awards, not only to help celebrate the incredible music talent that continues to come out of the North, but to raise awareness of the work Nordoff and Robbins does with music therapy, using the power of music to help people connect and communicate.”

Lisa Stansfield said: “Music and singing are in my blood as much as being a proud Mancunian, so to be named Northern Icon at the first ever Northern Music Awards is an immense privilege.

“I’m incredibly proud to support Nordoff and Robbins to raise money for a new music therapy centre for the people of Greater Manchester. The benefits of music therapy are simply life changing, helping children and adults who are otherwise isolated to break through barriers and find a connection.”


The new Nordoff and Robbins music therapy centre, supported by The Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, and City of Salford Mayor, Paul Dennett, will be a ‘multi-disciplinary music making and therapy space, housing a high spec recording studio with interactive, accessible music technology throughout, serving the needs of individuals and diverse Northern communities’.

Andy Burnham visiting a Nordoff & Robbins centre. Credit: Elspeth Moore
Andy Burnham visiting a Nordoff & Robbins centre. Credit: Elspeth Moore

Andy Burnham said: “I’m delighted to be helping to bring these inaugural awards to the North – and what better city to launch in than Manchester? Historically, Northern music has always been a cut above, especially the music from working class communities. There is a strong, talented, and passionate musical heritage here that deserves to be celebrated.”

The judging panel comprises industry heavyweights including Ticketmaster, SJM Concerts, Music Venue Trust, Live Nation, and Kendall Calling, as well as BBC Radio 6 Music presenter Chris Hawkins, who will host the April event.

Find out more about the Northern Music Awards and music therapy at

The full list of nominees for the 2024 Nordoff and Robbins Northern Music Awards

Special Recognition Award, Sponsored by SJM Concerts


Melanie C

Northern Icon

Lisa Stansfield

Northern Music Award 2024, Sponsored by Live Nation



Newcomer of the Year, Sponsored by PizzaExpress Live

  • Antony Szmierek
  • English Teacher
  • The Goa Express
  • Mica Millar
  • OneDa
  • Otis Mensah
  • The Pale White
  • Phoebe Green
  • Pip Millett
  • Seb Lowe

Disruptor Award, Sponsored by Notion Magazine


Breakthrough Act of the Year, Sponsored by PPL

  • The Mysterines
  • Crawlers
  • The K’s

Artist of the Year Sponsored, by Ticketmaster

  • Sam Fender
  • Louis Tomlinson
  • Self Esteem

Band of the Year, Sponsored by ASM Global

  • Blossoms
  • Courteeners
  • Bring Me the Horizon

DJ of the Year, Sponsored by

  • Paige Tomlinson
  • DJ Woody
  • Djinn
  • DJ Paulette

Favourite Festival of the Year, Sponsored by The Manc

(Longlist – winner chosen by the public)

  • Beatherder, Lancashire
  • Bluedot, Cheshire
  • Confessional, Blackburn
  • Creamfields North
  • Deer Shed, Yorkshire
  • Get Together, Sheffield
  • Highest Point, Lancaster
  • Kendal Calling, Cumbria
  • Leeds Festival
  • Lindisfarne Northumberland
  • Long Division, Wakefield
  • Lytham Festival
  • Manchester Pride
  • Moovin, Stockport
  • Neighbourhood, Warrington
  • Parklife, Manchester
  • Right to Roam, Bolton
  • Sounds Of The Other City, Salford
  • Sound City Liverpool
  • TramLines, Sheffield

Inspirational Venue of the Year (under 500), Sponsored by Skiddle

  • Brudenell Social Club – Leeds
  • Future Yard – Birkenhead
  • Night and Day – Manchester
  • Trades – Hebden Bridge
  • Yes – Manchester

Inspirational Venue of the Year (under 2,000), Sponsored by Skiddle

  • Albert Hall – Manchester
  • Band on the Wall – Manchester
  • Barbican – York
  • City Hall – Newcastle
  • New Century Hall – Manchester

Music Moment of the Year, Sponsored by Raymond Weil

TBA on the night

Industry Icon, Sponsored by Tysers Live

Michael Adex, NQ


Music and Culture for Wellbeing Award, Supported by the Greater Manchester Combined Authority

TBA on the night

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