Nominations for the fourth annual Gold Coast Music Awards will open Wednesday 17 January and when they do, there’ll be a brand new category in the mix.

In 2018, judges will review eight categories to help unearth the City’s very best talent, recognise their achievements and celebrate Gold Coast’s burgeoning live music scene.

The new category will focus on live performance and is open to live, original acts based within the City that performed live shows here and in other locations.

Chloe Popa, co-founder of the awards (and of this here magazine) said the category was an important addition to the existing format.

“The award will recognise a consistent body of work,” she said. “That is, the winner will be an artist who consistently performs live to a high standard.”

The new category, sponsored by NightQuarter brings the total number of categories for 2018 to eight. Chloe Popa said all categories are judged by an independent panel of industry experts.

“Introducing the Album of the Year category last year resulted in some incredibly strong nominations,” Chloe said. “And we’re expecting exactly the same thing to happen for Live Act of the Year and indeed, across all eight categories.”

Nominations open 17 January and close 2 March with winners announced at a gala ceremony on the beach at Surfers Paradise on Thursday 3 May. Last year Gold Coast Music Awards formed a partnership with Surfers Paradise Alliance which saw the event move from Burleigh Brewing to the new venue.

“It really is the perfect backdrop to an awards event like this,” Chloe said. “We’re super excited to be calling Surfers Paradise home until the year 2020 and we’re just thrilled that Surfers Paradise Alliance is so committed to helping grow the local scene.”

Gold Coast Music Award categories for 2018 are: Album of the year, Artist of the year, Breakout artist of the year, Event of the Year, Live Act of the Year, Song of the Year, Venue of the Year and Video of the Year. There is no fee to nominate and a bunch of Gold Coast bookers use the awards as a tool for discovering new talent.

Nominations open 17 January at gcmusicawards.com. The full suite of sponsors for the 2018 awards will also be revealed at that time.

IMAGE (c) Dan Maynard Photography