Notes for the voting panel


In 2016 we introduced a small but successful change to the voting process. Whereas in previous years we’d asked you to just make a straightforward selection in each category, we now like you to indicate which one on your list is your No.1 favourite. This gains it a bonus point, and helps separate out some of the close placings we have sometimes experienced at the top end.


In this section, it’s strictly NEW albums by single artists (soloists, groups or projects) only.

One clarification: Where a newly recorded and released album brings together a number of collaborating artists in a special project that has common musicians and producer across all tracks, it should be included in this New Albums section with the project title as the artist name. Good past examples would have been the Buena Vista Social Club, first Imagined Village album or Songs Of Separation project. This does NOT apply to newly recorded compilations where each track is clearly from a different artist/ production source.

In this section you can nominate up to six albums and please select one of those as your No.1 favourite.

Because we were forced to drop our previous Best Packaged Album category due to the increasing habit of parsimonious labels only sending out slip-cased CDRs or streaming links, please bear in mind quality packaging when nominating.


In this section it’s any form of compilation – old music or new – by genre or artist, any re-issues or first-time issues of older recordings (even when including some new material), local licences in any territory of albums which have appeared elsewhere in previous years, any remix albums, and all “various artist” compilations (whether new or re-issue).

In this section you can nominate up to four albums and please select one of those as your No.1 favourite. Again, please bear in mind quality packaging when nominating.


Please restrict your nominations to the areas of music that we cover in fRoots – folk, roots and world music. As a simple guide, that’s music from the U.K. or anywhere in the world, however ancient or modern, that has its roots in cultural tradition(s). Everybody likes other sorts of music as well (be it rock, jazz, electronica, hip hop, classical etc.), but that’s not what these awards are for. A vote for something irrelevant is a wasted vote, and nobody loves a show-off!

In the case of record label persons, artist managers/agents, PR people or musicians, good taste (and the Editor) forbids you from voting for your own products. Meaning you’re not allowed to, OK? There’s a dispensation for employees of distributors where your company does not own the nominated label, but don’t overdo it! Live music promoters may vote for artists they have booked.

Albums should have been first issued since November 2017 – check the package for the P date. Click here for the lists of CDs we received for review in that period, to remind you of many albums which came out up to a month ago, but of course you can also vote for any CDs which came out since then or that we didn’t receive. Sometimes that even alerts us to music we should be chasing.

There have been past cases where CDs came out at the very end of the qualifying year and, having received one or two votes, were thus disqualified from consideration in the following year when most people first heard them. We now adopt a more flexible approach. An album released in the last few months of a year can be voted for in the following year if it did not receive sufficient votes to be listed in the placings. Click here for last year’s published placings.

In the case of staggered release dates (for example, where an album is released in Europe and some time later in the USA), the first release date decides the only year in which the album qualifies for inclusion as a new release.

We don’t need your nominations placed in order of choice – they will be listed alphabetically by us, and all awarded one point each, except for the one marked as your favourite which will receive two points. If you are able to list alphabetically by artist surname or group name, it really helps us and is much appreciated. In the Compilations section, Various Artists albums will be listed alphabetically under V by album title.

We need your answers back here by the cutoff midnight GMT on FRIDAY NOVEMBER 9th, but please make it earlier if at all possible as it greatly helps our processing the data. VOTE EARLY!

IMPORTANT! Please note the *LABEL* as well as the artist and title.