The 2020 Americana Honors & Awards will not take place on Sept. 16 as originally planned. The Americana Music Association has postponed its annual awards ceremony to a to-be-determined date, the organization announced on Friday (Sept. 11).

A morning email from Jed Hilly, executive director of the Americana Music Association, announced the late-in-the-game postponement of the awards show, which generally takes place at the Ryman Auditorium early in the week of the annual AmericanaFest. However, "despite all our hope, logistical wrangling and passion, we have concluded that it would not be safe to conduct the Americana Honors & Awards at the wonderful and historic Ryman Auditorium next Wednesday, September 16, 2020," Hilly writes.

A Sept. 1 update to Davidson County, Tenn.'s novel coronavirus pandemic guidelines allows Nashville venues to host events at a maximum of 1/3 capacity or 125 people, whichever is less. The Ryman Auditorium, which began a Friday night Live at the Ryman concert series without an audience during pandemic-related shutdowns, welcomed 125 people for the series' first show with fans that night. On Sept. 11, a crowd of 250 will be allowed for the week's performance.

Despite the go-ahead from both the county and the Ryman, the Americana Music Association has decided that the awards show is not worth the risk.

"We've carefully evaluated safety measures both with an audience and without," Hilly adds. "It is our conclusion that if just one person walked out of the Ryman with COVID-19, we would not be able to forgive ourselves."

Hilly reports that the Americana Music Association is reworking its plans for an event celebrating the 2020 Americana Honors & Awards nominees and winners. Details are forthcoming.

The week-long AmericanaFest conference and music festival in Nashville has been canceled for 2020 and replaced with a digital event. Thriving Roots: A Virtual Community Music Conference is set for Sept. 16-18 and will feature panels, performances and networking opportunities, all online. Visit for more information.

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