2) Use it as a vehicle to honor the entire music community.
A way to acknowledge and honor more than just styles of music (like the Grammys) or individual musicianship (like interest/instrument specific magazines) or similar...but instead to recognize and honor everyone from the industry side (studios, retail shops, venues, management companies, repair shops, etc) to styles and individual excellence and, of course, music lovers. In a word, the entire music community, not one small part of it.
This is why we have an industry section, a performance section, a style section, and a special section.
--- Industry looks to honor venues, recording studios, retail shops, and more.
--- Performance looks to honor individual instrumental excellence (best vocalist, guitarist, brass, percussion, and the like).
--- Style looks to honor music genres, like folk, rock, jazz, blues, classical, and so forth.
--- Specials looks to honor a variety of individuals & facets in the field, from community service to lifetime achievement.
This is also reflected in our voting process. That is, 50% of nominees are via voting by the public. 50% via pro panel decision. Winners are determined by votes from nominees only.
There are several reasons for this, but among them is the acknowledgement of the AUDIENCE as a crucial factor in the success of musicians and the entire music scene.
See full story.