Johannesburg, South Africa: the South African Metal Music Awards organizer, Emalyth, opened the Public Poll today (find it here).
The SAMMA 2021 is a ceremony seeking to recognize extraordinary achievements for the previous year. And what a year it was! Whilst 2020 was a disaster for many bands and artists, it also gave others an opportunity to think out of the box. Therefore, in spite of an unusual and less productive year overall, there is still a lot for the SAMMA to applaud.
SAMMA 2021: Function of the Public Polls
If you’re already familiar with the Public Poll from previous years, you’ll know that this is the third step in a rigorous process, and an important one. This is where the public examines and filters out what the SAMMA Panel of judges has already presented. The Public Poll will narrow down the selections to a Top 5 in each category. The fourth and final step is when the SAMMA Panel gives a final evaluation on the remaining Top 5.
Meet the SAMMA 2021 Panel and the Panel Oath (of personal integrity) here. The SAMMA Panel consists of diverse and unconnected personalities within the local industry, with interchanging members from year to year.
Public Polls: How it works
There are a few changes this year, owing to Covid-19 and shifting circumstances. The SAMMA Organiser, along with the Independent Observer and the SAMMA Panel (all independent bodies) have agreed on some temporary adjustments to the Operations Manual to take into account the bizarre circumstances of 2020. You can view these details in the full document here, or the summarized version here.
Voting also offers a new allowance. In the same way that the SAMMA Panel allows each member to offer 5 nominations, each member of the public will also be allowed a multiple count this year. The rationale is that this approach will reduce the element of personal bias. Voters often vote for bands with whom they are personally familiar and/or loyal; without giving regard for other talent listed. Now, they can extend their voice to include more than only one option in the vote by having secondary opinion too. This approach has been tested in an academic environment and brought very positive results in reducing bias.
Note that you are not obliged to use your full allowance of five votes in any category, nor are you obliged to vote in a category at all; if you are unfamiliar with the contents of the category, skip it and vote in the next one.
SAMMA 2021 Public Polls: open until midnight, Friday 11 June.
Don’t rush your vote if you’re not sure. Take some time to assess your feelings on the talent nominated. You have until Friday to do so. However, also don’t delay if you’re reading this too close to the date. The Public Poll closes at midnight on Friday 11 June, after which the SAMMA Panel must complete the process with a final selection.
The SAMMA 2021 Ceremony, as per Covid-19 and continuously shifting circumstances, has not been given a date as of yet. Stay in touch with social media and press for updates.