In 2017, there were twenty Red Bull Elektropedia Awards categories: Artist of the Year, Best Producer, Best Live Act, Best Song, Best Remix, Best Album, Best Festival, Best Party, Best (Really Big) Party, Best Label, Best Video, Nightlife Photographer, Best Radio, Best Media, Breakthrough (DJ/Artist) & Breakthrough (Club/Festival/Party), Most Promising Artist, Belgian Club Top 30 and Belgian DJ Top 100. There are no changes in the number of categories this year.
In addition, the Marc Meulemans Award will once again honour the designer(s) of the year’s best artwork. The award is named after the legendary Belgian graphic designer Marc Meulemans.
The Chase Award honours the year’s best upcoming hip hop, soul and/or R&B act. Nominations are decided upon by a special jury – handpicked by the music platform Chase.
All of the above awards are determined by public vote and by the members of the Red Bull Elektropedia Awards Academy.
The 2018 Red Bull Elektropedia Awards cover everything that happened (or was released) between October 1, 2018 and September 30, 2018.
Every year, an unspecified number of Lifetime Achievement Awards are presented to individuals in recognition of their significant contribution to the Belgian electronic music or club scene and to musicians who have sold a considerable amount of black gold. The recipients are decided upon by Red Bull Elektropedia.
Past Red Bull Elektropedia Vanguard Awards winners include Rudy Victor Ackaert (Teknoville, 10 Days Off, Culture Club); Arbeid Adelt; Philip De Liser (10 Days Off); Carl de Moncharline (Who’s Who’s Land, The Wood); Peter Decuypere (Fifty-Five, Fuse, I Love Techno); Geert Deblaere, Hessel Tieter, Lieven Van den Broeck & Jan Vanneste (N.E.W.S); CJ Bolland; Stephen & David Dewaele (Soulwax, 2ManyDJs); Bernard Dobbeleer (Radio 21); Maurice Engelen (Antler-Subway, Lords of Acid, Praga Khan); Fly & Marnik Braeckevelt (Bonzai); Front 242; Herman Gillis (Sherman Filterbank); Mathias Kerckhof & Leo Bruynoghe (Kozzmozz); Marc Meulemans; Mo & Benoelie (The Glimmers); José Pascual & Frie Verhelst (USA Import); Eric Rozen (Out Soon); Yves Smolders (Versuz), Eric Smout (10 Days Off); Telex; The Neon Judgement; Stefaan Vandenberghe (T-Quest, Dr. Lektroluv, N.E.W.S.); Jan Van Biesen (Studio Brussel); and Renaat Vandepapeliere & Sabine Maes (R&S); Jean-Marie Cannie, Frederic Vanmol en Frank Van Biesen (FruityLoops), André Brasseur, Michel Lambot & Kenny Gates (PIAS) and Yves Deruyter.
A category rundown:
- BEST SONG: A song is eligible in this category if it’s an itty-bitty electronic and one of the composers is Belgian (even if the other twenty composers are Vietnamese).
- BEST REMIX: It’s about the remix, stupid – not about the original song. So when a song is written by a French artist but the remix is produced by a Belgian artist, that remix is eligible for this category. A song by a Belgian artist remixed by an American artist is not eligible.
- BEST ALBUM: Any Belgian release that contains a minimum of five new songs (excluding remixes) is eligible for this category, regardless of whether it’s officially called an album, EP or compilation.
- ARTIST OF THE YEAR: Any Belgian musician, producer or band that has made at least one song, remix or album, or has played his/its own material live once, is eligible for this category. There is, however, no long list to choose from for this category. Nominations will be based on the nominations in the other categories and the amount of buzz they created in their respective scenes.
- BEST PRODUCER: Anyone who has produced at least one song or remix is eligible for this category. This category is not open to bands, unless all members are credited as the producer of a certain song or remix.
- BREAKTHROUGH (ARTIST/PRODUCER/DJ/MC): Any artist, producer, DJ or MC who has seen his/her reputation grow significantly over the course of the past twelve months and has not been nominated in any other category in the past, is eligible for this category.
- MOST PROMISING ARTIST: Every year, the Red Bull Elektropedia Awards Academy Board selects one to three upcoming artists who they believe to be on the verge of a breakthrough.
- BEST LIVE ACT: Anyone who has played live at a noteworthy venue is eligible for this category. The Red Bull Elektropedia Awards Academy Board decides on the noteworthiness of parties.
- BEST FESTIVAL: Any (partly) electronic music event spread over at least two days or at least three stages can be considered a festival.
- BEST PARTY: Any (partly) electronic music event that took place at least once over the course of the past twelve months.
- BREAKTHROUGH (PARTY/FESTIVAL/CLUB): Any (partly) electronic music festival, party or club that has seen its reputation grow significantly over the course of the past twelve months and has not been nominated in any other category in the past, is eligible for this category.
- BEST MEDIA: Any TV show, TV station, newspaper, magazine, website, blog, etc. partly dedicated to nightlife and/or electronic music is eligible for this category.
- BEST RADIO: Any radio show, radio station or podcast partly dedicated to nightlife and/or electronic music is eligible for this category.
- BEST LABEL: For a label to be eligible, it must be owned by a Belgian party and must have released at least one track by a Belgian producer or artist over the course of the past twelve months.
- BEST VIDEO: Any video produced for a Belgian artist, DJ, club, party or festival is eligible for this category.
- NIGHTLIFE PHOTOGRAPHER: Any Belgian photographer who has taken photographs, in a professional manner, at a noteworthy party over the course of the past twelve months, is eligible for this category. The Red Bull Elektropedia Awards Academy Board decides on the noteworthiness of parties.
- MARC MEULEMANS AWARD: This category awards the best in graphic design, related to nightlife or an electronic music release (artwork, flyers, T-shirts, etcetera).
- CHASE AWARD: This category awards the best up-and-coming artist in hip hop, soul and/or R&B.
- BELGIAN DJ TOP 100: Anyone who has spun records (or MP3s) at a noteworthy party is eligible for this category. The Red Bull Elektropedia Awards Academy Board decides on the noteworthiness of parties.
- BELGIAN CLUB TOP 30: Any (partly) electronic music venue, which has been open four consecutive weeks over the course of the past twelve months, can be considered a club.
Every year, Red Bull Elektropedia handpicks a jury of – give or take – one hundred industry professionals. They are called the Red Bull Elektropedia Awards Academy (RBEAA). About ten members of the RBEAA are subsequently appointed to the Red Bull Elektropedia Awards Academy Board (RBEAAB).
Membership of the RBEAA and RBEAAB is limited to three consecutive years.
- STEP 1: On October 1, 2018, Belgian labels, clubs, producers, DJs, etcetera are sent an exhaustive list of songs, albums, remixes, parties, festivals, … which were released or took place between October 1, 2017 and September 30, 2018. Everyone is given ample time to add names/titles to the list.
- STEP 2: On October 19, 2018, all members of the RBEAA will be asked to nominate three names/titles in at least eight categories. Single votes will not be registered – three nominations are required, in no particular order. Votes of members who fail to meet the minimum number of categories will be annulled.
- STEP 3: On October 27, 2018, the votes of the RBEAA will result in a top twenty per category. The first seven names/titles will automatically be nominated. To safeguard both quality and diversity, members of the RBEAAB will subsequently be given the task to settle on the remaining three nominations in each category. They will be presented with the full top twenty, from which they get to choose three additional names/titles during a debate.
- STEP 4: From October 29 until November 4, 2018, everyone – including you – will be able to vote for his or her two favourites in as many categories as he or she likes. We feel that asking people to pick two winners will make for a more balanced result. The public vote will account for 50% of the final result. The other 50% are votes from the RBEAA, who will be asked to choose two favourites in at least nine categories.
- On November 13, 2018, the winners in each category – numbers one, two and three – will be announced during a ceremony at Flagey in Brussels.