Category Suggestions: June 29th - July 1st
Nominations: July 2nd - July 30th
Voting: August 6th - September 3rd
Issue: October 1st
How wasn’t I nominated? I don’t understand. But I’m the best! You must hate us.
It’s important to keep in mind that the nominations you’re able to vote on during the voting period are submitted by the PUBLIC. We held a month-long nominations period in July where we accepted more than 40,000 nominations! If you didn't see yourself for a category you *swear* you should be nominated for, it’s only because you didn’t nominate yourself or someone must have forgotten to nominate you. We promise we value your contribution to the community!
When will 2021 nominations begin?
We will hold an open nominations period in the summer of 2021. Check back for additional information next year.
Why don’t you have a specific category? How do you choose the categories?
We hold an open category suggestions period each year and take suggestions for new categories. If you think something should be added next year, just come back to this site for additional information. Category suggestions are typically held in May.
So, the nominations are submitted by the public? Does Creative Loafing choose any awards?
Yes! Best of the Bay is split up into two sets of awards: Readers’ Picks and Critics’ Picks. The Readers’ Picks Awards (what YOU get to vote on) are submitted and voted on by the public; the person/place/business/thing/etc. with the most votes in that specific category walks away with that title for 2020. The Critics’ Pick Awards are curated awards selected by Creative Loafing staff. We do not accept nominations for these awards and, instead, are some of our staff’s favorite things about the Tampa Bay area right now.
How will I know if I win? How will you contact me? I won last year and didn’t know!
After voting ends, we do our best to gather contact information for all winners. We will contact all finalists between Wednesday, September 16th, through Wednesday, September 23rd. All winners will be revealed in the Best of the Bay print and digital issue of Creative Loafing on Thursday, October 1st.
So, if I receive an e-mail that I won, that has to mean I won “Best (fill in the blank)” for the Readers’ Picks, right?!
Fingers crossed, but not necessarily! You could have won a Critics’ Pick, so get excited that you won, and you’ll have to wait until the issue is released to see WHAT you won! Readers’ Pick Winners, along with this year's Critics’ Picks, will be revealed in the Best of the Bay print and digital issue of Creative Loafing on Thursday, October 1st.
Will CL be hosting an Awards Party this year?
In light of the global COVID-19 outbreak, it is with a heavy heart that we have decided not to host our annual Best of the Bay Awards Party. We’re coming up with fun, creative ways we can all celebrate safely, and 2020 finalists will receive an e-mail with updates!