Skip to Content
10 October 2018

Q Awards 2018 Announces Winner of the First Ever Fender Play™ Award






– – #QAwards –

Q Magazine, the UK’s greatest music magazine, in coalition with Fender has today revealed Biffy Clyro’s Simon Neil as the first ever recipient of the Fender Play Award at this year’s Q Awards 2018 in association with Absolute Radio.

The Fender Play Award is an all-new accolade at The Q Awards to celebrate an artist at the forefront of guitar music today – using their fretted instruments to drive true musical innovation and inspiring wannabe rock stars everywhere to pick up a guitar and have a go for themselves.

The Q Award is named after Fender’s digital tool Fender Play, the complete learning subscription app for guitar, bass and ukulele, providing access to aspiring and beginner players. Fender Play is in a class of its own, as it allows anybody to pick up an instrument, choose a musical genre and learn to play their favourite songs within minutes. Members can track their progress in real time, learn at their own pace and automatically bookmark where they left off.

Simon Neil will take home this year’s inaugral Fender Play Award after more than twenty years of music making with Biffy Clro and delivering some monumental guitar-driven albums. This year, the band reshaped their most famous works for a special acoustic MTV Unplugged album and tour – a demonstration of Neil’s true versatility as a player.

Andy Mooney, Fender CEO, commented: “Simon Neil represents the very definition of a contemporary guitar hero – someone who’s equally at ease playing his road worn Strat on a major arena stage as he is playing an intimate acoustic set to Biffy Clyro’s devoted fan base. Simon’s guitar is part of him and fundamental to how he composes in-studio and performs live. The Fender Play Q Award has been created to honour musicians like Simon who continue to push the creative limits of guitar driven music and inspire all of us to pick one up and begin our own musical journey. We are proud to celebrate his achievements at the Q Awards, where guitar legends have been celebrated in all of their glory for nearly three decades.”

The Q Awards, now in their 28th year, is one of the most prestigious and anticipated nights on the music calendar. Following the massive success of the awards’ new format in 2016 and 2017, the Q Awards will again feature a very special intimate post-awards gig. This year, the already sold-out show will see two top British acts take to the stage – London’s Wolf Alice and Bristol’s IDLES, who have both seen vast amounts of success over the last 12 months. The awards and gig will take place on Wednesday, 17 October at Camden’s Roundhouse.

Ted Kessler, Editor of Q Magazine commented: “Biffy Clyro are one of rock’s most compelling groups and Q has been there every step of the way as they’ve turned into one of the UK’s biggest bands. At their core is Simon Neil, a frontman who possesses the perfect blend of raw emotion and rock’n’roll charisma, the sort of figurehead who inspires the next generation to pick up a guitar. We’re very excited that Simon is the first recipient of our inaugural Fender Play award, a prize that will be reserved for only the most trailblazing talents in modern guitar music.”

Public voting has now closed

  • Q Breakthrough Act presented by Red Stripe
  • Q Best Track presented by Firestone
  • Q Best Album
  • Q Best Live Act presented by The Cavern Club
  • Q Best Solo Artist
  • Q Best Act In The World Today presented by Rocksteady Music School
  • Q Best Festival/Event presented by Pretty Green Clothing

Full list of nominees as follows:

Q Breakthrough Act presented by Red Stripe

Amyl & The Sniffers

Goat Girl

Tom Grennan

The Magic Gang


Bugzy Malone



Nadine Shah

Jorja Smith

Rejjie Snow


Q Best Track presented by Firestone

Love It If We Made It – The 1975

This Is America – Childish Gambino

Girlfriend – Christine & The Queens

The Man – Goat Girl

Make Me Feel – Janelle Monae

Bells & Circles – Underworld & Iggy Pop 


Q Best Album

Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino – Arctic Monkeys

Hunter – Anna Calvi

Who Built The Moon? – Noel Gallagher 

Joy As An Act Of Resistance – IDLES

Marauder – Interpol

I’m All Ears – Let’s Eat Grandma


Q Best Live Act presented by The Cavern Club

David Byrne

Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds

Liam Gallagher

Stefflon Don

Taylor Swift

Wolf Alice


Q Best Solo Artist presented by Absolute Radio

Christine & The Queens


Noel Gallagher

Janelle Monae

Ed Sheeran



Q Best Act In The World Today presented by Rocksteady Music School

The 1975

Arctic Monkeys

Florence & The Machine

Kendrick Lamar

St Vincent

Paul Weller


Q Best Festival/Event presented by Pretty Green Clothing

All Points East

British Summertime 

Isle Of Wight Festival

Latitude Festival

RIZE Festival

Spotify Presents: Who We Be


Notes to editors

2017 winners

Q Best Breakthrough Act Presented by Red Stripe – Rag’n’Bone Man

Q Best Live Act Presented by The Cavern Club – Liam Gallagher

Q Maverick Presented by the Roundhouse – Viv Albertine

Q Innovation In Sound Presented by Flare Audio – Wiley

Q Best Film Presented by Pretty Green – Bunch Of Kunst (Sleaford Mods)

Q Best Track Presented by Flare Audio – Kasabian – You’re In Love With A Psycho

Q Inspiration Award Presented by Three – Manic Street Preachers

Q Best Album Presented by The Box Plus Network  – Gorillaz – Humanz

Q Best Solo Artist – Stormzy

Q Gibson Les Paul Award – Kelley Deal

Q Best Act In The World Today Presented by Buster + Punch  – Ed Sheeran

Q Icon presented by BMW UK – Liam Gallagher

About Q

With Q’s online presence, an interactive tablet edition, hugely influential social media activity, as well as live events including The Making Of nights and, of course, the world-famous annual Q Awards at The Roundhouse, Q is not just the World’s Greatest Music magazine – it also widely shapes musical taste, action and debate beyond its pages too.

About Bauer Media:

Bauer Media UK reaches over 25 million UK consumers through a portfolio of world-class, multi-platform media and entertainment brands including heat, Kiss, Grazia, Empire, MOJO, TV Choice, Take a Break, Bella, Magic and Absolute Radio. It creates and curates entertaining media content that audiences love whenever, wherever and however they want through a multi-channel strategy and a focus on product excellence and audience insight. The result is an exciting array of influential brands, content and talent which provide compelling and engaging advertising opportunities with valuable audiences for UK commercial partners. Bauer Media UK is part of the Bauer Media Group, one of the world’s largest privately owned media businesses with media assets all over the globe.

About Absolute Radio:

Absolute Radio is a national radio station where ‘Real Music Matters’, wrapped up with lashings of personality and mischief from presenters including Frank Skinner, Jason Manford and Dave Berry who have the freedom to say what they think and tell it like it is. Absolute Radio also has a network of digital decade brands; Absolute Radio 60s, Absolute Radio 70s, Absolute 80s, Absolute Radio 90s, Absolute Radio 00s and Absolute Classic Rock.

Listen to Absolute Radio on 105.8FM in London and the South-East, 105.2FM in the West Midlands, nationally on DAB or 1215AM, online, via the official mobile app digital TV or voice-activated device. For more information log on to 

About Fender Musical Instruments Corporation:

Since 1946, Fender has revolutionised music and culture as one of the world’s leading musical instrument manufacturers, marketers and distributors. Fender Musical Instruments Corporation (FMIC), whose portfolio of brands includes Fender®, Squier®, Gretsch® guitars, Jackson®, EVH® and Charvel®, follows a player-centric approach to crafting the highest quality instruments and musical solutions across genres. FMIC is dedicated to unlocking the power of music through electric and acoustic guitars, amplifiers, pro audio, accessories and digital products that inspire and enable musical expression at every stage, from beginners to history-making legends.  

About Fender Digital:

Established in 2015, Fender Digital is a wholly owned division of Fender Musical Instruments Corporation (FMIC) dedicated to connecting a legacy brand with a new digital ecosystem of products and interactive experiences designed to accompany players, across genres, at every stage of their musical journey. Building on the iconic Fender name, Fender Digital designs and develops apps, websites, platforms and tools to complement Fender electric and acoustic guitars, amplifiers and pro-audio gear to inspire players through a 360-degree musical experience. Since its inception, Fender Digital has introduced Fender Tune™ and Fender Tone™ for iOS and Android; Fender Play™ for iPhone®, iPad®, Android™ and Desktop; relaunched with a refreshed product experience; and created Fender Connect™ offering a platform for users to store their personalized information from Fender Digital platforms in one place, providing a universally connected experience.

Learn more about Fender Play at

Latest News

16 May 2024

Bauer Media Audio UK ‘Hits’ new highs, with 24m weekly listeners

Read More
14 May 2024

Mentos and KISS Fresh celebrate fresh talent with new Corner Shop Drop series

Read More
13 May 2024

Absolute Radio teams up with Fun Kids Radio for Bedtime Story – featuring Jason Manford

Read More
10 May 2024

The Music That Made Me returns to Jazz FM for Season 5

Read More