Alternative musicians were the big winners of the Eighth Chinese Music Media Awards, symbolizing what organizers say is "the approaching of indie music's spring."
Taiwan pop-rock group Sodagreen won four awards to emerge as the biggest winner, Sina.com.cn reported on Sunday.
The indie band, which first came on the scene in 2004, bagged the awards for Best Group, Best Producer, Best Composer and Best Mandarin Album of the Year for "Incomparable Beauty."
Beijing-based experimental three-piece band Carsick Cars was named Best Rock Artist, an official recognition given to a band that has already gained a reputation in Europe through a series of self-financed tours.
The awards also saw blind folk singer Zhou Yunpeng beat better-known nominee Lin Xi to win the Best Lyricist award. Zhou was also named Best Folk Musician.
A special award honoring musicians' marketing skills was given to indie singer Cao Fang, whose 2007 EP "Farther than the Sky" achieved surprising commercial success after being released online.
"The awards collected by so many alternative musicians on the one hand shows a decline in the popularity of mainstream music; on the other it shows the approaching of indie music's spring," said You Wei, general secretary of the awards committee.
But there were still mainstream artists on the winners' list. They included Taiwan rock star Chang Chen-Yue (Best Mandarin Male Singer), Hong Kong pop stars Karen Mok (Best Mandarin Female Singer) and Eason Chan (Artist of the Year).
The annual Chinese Music Media Awards are organized by mainland newspaper Southern Metropolitan Daily, Hong Kong's Metro Showbiz Radio, as well as some other organizations. Prestigious critics from the mainland, Hong Kong and Taiwan take turns to vote for the best music and musicians of the year.
The ceremony accompanying this year's awards was cancelled to cut costs amid the current global financial crisis.