To determine the finalists for this year's Westword Music Awards, we asked over 200 of the state’s music experts, ranging from talent buyers to studio owners to fans, to nominate their favorite hometown acts. The results were overwhelming, with more than 800 bands and artists receiving votes. The 213 finalists from that nominating process are listed here. Vote for your favorite band or artist in each category from now until June 21!

Every answer is automatically saved, but may be changed up until the close of the poll, at which time all saved answers are submitted for counting.

We held the first Westword Music Awards 21 years ago, in 1995. There were 55 nominees on the ballot that year, including such enduring names as Slim Cessna’s Auto Club, Ron Miles and Tim O’Brien. There was a lot of great music being made in Colorado then, just as there is now. This year, we asked over 200 of the state’s music experts, ranging from talent buyers to studio owners to fans, to nominate their favorite hometown acts. The results were overwhelming, with more than 800 bands and artists receiving votes.

The 213 finalists from that nominating process are listed here. We’ve separated them by genre, but read those designations with caution: Most musicians find influence across many sonic aisles these days. A jazz artist might incorporate hip-hop; a rock band might borrow from Beethoven. So our categories, like the Awards themselves, are meant to be a starting point. Be sure to vote for your favorites here! 

Because there are so many deserving musicians in this state, we’ve also limited this year's ballot to bands and artists who have not been repeatedly recognized in the past. That said, we would be remiss if we didn't pay tribute to our scene’s mainstays and most popular acts, which is why you’ll also find a group of Westword Music Icons listed here. To qualify, an act must be currently active and must have been nominated at least four times in the past five years.

A live showcase has always been part of the Westword Music Awards. That first year, 31 of the 55 nominees played on stages throughout LoDo. And on Saturday, June 20, more than 100 of the bands and artists featured in this space (along with a few out-of-town guests, including Flume, the Black Angels and MisterWives) will play on a dozen stages in the Golden Triangle. Tickets are on sale now. We look forward to celebrating Colorado’s endlessly rewarding music scene with you! And now, the 2015 Westword Music Award Nominees:

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