Awards Information

How do the Awards work?


Entries in the 49th Country Music Awards of Australia are for material released during the current eligibility period.  This eligibility period is 1 October through to 30 September each year, unless otherwise advised.

Entry in the Awards opened on Friday 28 August 2020, and closed at 5pm on Thursday 1st October 2020.  Entries were accepted for country music audio and video recordings by artists or songwriters who are citizens or permanent residents of Australia or New Zealand.  Artists entering in these Awards are required to be current financial members of the CMAA (apply HERE).


There is a three-phase judging system: first phase is our Integrity Round (five categories:  Alt Country Album of the Year, Traditional Country Album of the Year, Contemporary Country Album of the Year, Bush Ballad of the Year, and Bluegrass Recording of the Year), and this round determines whether the entry complies with the criteria in each of those categories.  We have expert panels to determine eligibility in each of these categories.  If an entry is considered by a majority of our specialist Integrity Panel Judges for that category to not fall within the guidelines and criteria, the artist is contacted and provided with the opportunity to either select another category in which to transfer to, or withdraw that entry.

Our VIP Round of judging is the second phase.  Our VIP Judges are carefully selected from the industry including artists, record companies, media, broadcasters, and other industry professionals.  Our VIP Judges determine the top five (5) Finalists in each category.

The top 5 Finalists in each category are announced online on Thursday 19th November 2020 (further information to be advised).

The final round of judging is undertaken by current financial CMAA Professional Members and the VIP judging panel, who vote to determine the winners in each of the voted categories.

Over 600 separate pieces of recorded product and over 150 individual nominations generally feature in each year’s Awards.

The winners are announced at the gala Toyota Golden Guitar Awards presentation in Tamworth in January 2021.

If you’re considering entering in the 2022 Toyota Golden Guitar Awards, you will be required to read and accept all terms and conditions contained in our 2022 Golden Guitar Awards Handbook (to be published mid-year in 2022).   If you have any specific questions, please do not hesitate to contact our office. For your information, we provide a copy of the 2021 Golden Guitar awards Handbook for your consideration, but strongly advise that you obtain the up-to-date version once it is published next year.  Please use the 2021 Handbook as a guide only, as there may be minor or significant changes to rules from year to year.


DOWNLOAD the 49th Country Music Awards of Australia Handbook (required for entry) HERE.


The CMAA are partnered with Award Force, the industry leading online awards management system to provide our nomination and judging Award process that delivers the best, most advanced, thorough, secure and reliable Award experience available, anywhere in the world!