MUSIC fans across the world have the chance to be front row at this year’s Scottish Album of the Year (SAY) Award, as the ceremony goes digital for the first time in its history.

The event is usually exclusively reserved for industry-only guests, but Covid-19 restrictions mean anyone will now be able to engage with the festivities via a YouTube Premier broadcast on October 29.

Four up-and-coming artists were revealed as the line-up for the online ceremony on Friday. Happy Spendy, Kapil Seshasayee, Vlure and Zoe Graham will perform for the virtual audience at Edinburgh’s Summerhall before the recipient of the coveted award is announced.

The winner will receive a £20,000 prize fund – one of the most lucrative cash awards in the UK.

Chosen from a shortlist by the 2020 judging panel, which includes big names in music from Edith Bowman to Jack Saunders, the winner will also be presented with a bespoke award created by Glasgow-based designer and architect Rekha Barry.

READ MORE: Scottish Album of the Year announces emerging artists to star in virtual show

This year’s shortlist of 10 – narrowed down from 362 eligible album submissions – includes eight debut albums, which is a first in the history of the award.

It is said the shortlist provides a snapshot of the “strength and diversity” of Scotland’s music scene, as the nominees span a range of genres and styles.

Blanck Mass, Animated Violence Mild; Bossy Love, Me + U; Callum Easter, Here Or Nowhere; Cloth, Cloth; Comfort, Not Passing; Declan Welsh & The Decadent West, Cheaply Bought, Expensively Sold; Erland Cooper, Sule Skerry; The Ninth Wave, Infancy; NOVA, RE-UP; and SHHE, SHHE are the 2020 artists and albums up for selection.

Each shortlisted album has already won a guaranteed minimum prize of £1000 and will receive an exclusively designed art prize.

In another first, this year’s shortlist will be featured in musician Tim Burgess’s Twitter Listening Parties, from October 26 to 28, before the winner is announced the next day.

In a concept which came to life during lockdown, fans will have the opportunity to stream all 10 shortlisted albums alongside Burgess and the artists as they tweet along, sharing memories or insights into making their music. Listeners will also have the opportunity to ask the artists questions.

Previous winners of the SAY Award include Auntie Flo with Radio Highlife in 2019, Young Fathers with Cocoa Sugar the year before and Sacred Paws with Strike A Match in 2017.