The most prestigious night in Scotland’s music calendar returns to Paisley this week as the town hosts the Scottish Album of the Year Award 2018 ceremony.

The SAY Award – the most coveted music prize in Scotland – takes place in Paisley Town Hall for a third consecutive year on Thursday 6 September.

Internationally acclaimed musicians, industry experts and some of Scotland’s most exciting musical talent will gather at the glittering ceremony in Paisley to celebrate the breadth and diversity of the nation’s music scene.

The winning album will be decided on the night by a panel of judges from across creative industries and will receive a £20,000 cash prize provided by Creative Scotland.

Beginning in May, the process saw almost 300 public submissions whittled down to a Longlist of 20 albums, chosen by a panel of 100 expert nominators.

This was further reduced to a Shortlist of 10 albums; one of which was chosen by the public through a 72-hour online vote and the other 9 chosen by an independent panel of judges.

Each Shortlisted artist will receive £1,000 and will also be presented with a distinctive textile art prize created by Paisley designer and SAY Design Commission 2018 winner Geri Donnelly – owner of Obsidian Ore.

Geri has been working with Renfrewshire Council’s InCube business incubator scheme which provides funding and support to local, creative businesses with a range of specialist workshops, mentoring, networking and access to office space.

The SAY Award started in 2012 and is organised by the Scottish Music Industry Association (SMIA).

Sacred Paws were crowned SAY Award winners at last year’s ceremony for their debut album Strike a Match – and Anna Meredith claimed the prize at Paisley Town Hall in 2016 for her album Varmints.

Other previous winners include Kathryn Joseph, Young Fathers, RM Hubbert and Aidan Moffat and Bill Wells.

Robert Kilpatrick, General Manager at SMIA, said: “We’re delighted to be returning to Paisley Town Hall for this year’s SAY Award ceremony. The town has been a fantastic and much-loved home to the award since 2016, and the support from Renfrewshire Council and the Paisley Is team highlights their commitment to the continued value of music and the arts in Scotland.

“We look forward to what will be another incredibly special night celebrating the strength and diversity of Scotland’s musical landscape.”

Louisa Mahon, Head of Marketing, Communications and Events at Renfrewshire Council, said: “Paisley is a town with music at its core and we’re absolutely delighted to be hosting the SAY Award once again.

“It’s fantastic that SMIA has chosen Paisley as the location for the SAY Award ceremony for the past three years and shows the extent to which Paisley is now regarded as one of Scotland’s centres of cultural excellence.

“We can’t wait to welcome the country’s music industry back for what’s sure to be another memorable night in Paisley Town Hall.

You can watch the SAY Award 2018 Ceremony live at sayaward.com from 20:05 on Thursday, 6 September.

You can keep the conversation going online by using #SAYaward to tell us who you think deserves the coveted title of ‘Scottish Album of the Year’, as well as the £20,000 first prize.

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