In Madrid last night, at the UFi awards ceremony for independent music, the Mario Pacheco Award for outstanding contribution to independent music in Spain went for the first time to two international organisations.
European independents association IMPALA, and the worldwide network WIN were awarded at the ceremony, with the prize collected by Helen Smith of IMPALA, who also read out a message from the President of WIN, Alison Wenham.
Ubane Uzin of Basque label Gaztelupeko Hotsak and President of UFi addressed the audience with a rousing speech about what independent labels can achieve by uniting and the issues they face such as YouTube, before concluding:
“Independent labels are investors who gives the vast majority of all new music a chance to be heard. Our rights as workers, as well as the rights of musicians whose works we put at the disposal of music lovers, also include the right to say no, without just compensation. And both IMPALA and WIN are here to help us to defend these basic human rights. And this is why, this year, we are awarding the Prize named after our founder, Mario Pacheco, to these two organisations.”
(Please see the full speech here)
Helen Smith, Executive Chair, IMPALA said: “On behalf of the board of IMPALA and all of our members, thank you. It is a privilege to receive this award, not least because it is in honour of the late Mario Pacheco who was the very first recipient of IMPALA’s own first outstanding contribution award. The legacy of individuals like Mario is more important today than ever before and UFi’s role in the collective effort at a European and international level is crucial, so thank you UFi. We only need to look at the events of the past two weeks to see that the independent sector is dealing with concerns which are bigger and bigger, and at the same time more and more local. We will seek to harness the power of other disruptive players and work together so that music fans can access all the great music our artists create. That is the ultimate goal we all work towards and this UFi award is dedicated to all independent artists – our raison d’être.”
Alison Wenham, President of WIN added this message: “On behalf of WIN and the global independent music industry we thank you very much for this very unexpected and special award. Working together we can all make a real difference, and we thank our Spanish colleagues for their tireless work to ensure the Spanish independent industry continues to flourish. Long live UFi!!”