Posted by: Nick | October 17, 2008

Squeeze-Bot Wins Vote, Loses Contest

Here is a clip of a post I wrote not too long ago:

“Louisville’s Squeeze-Bot needs our help to send them to the Chicago Bluegrass and Blues Fest.  There is a contest where small bands from around the country vie for a spot in the Festival’s line-up (and $500 bucks).  They are currently in first place, but we need to help keep them there.  You can vote everyday until October 17th (at least do it once).  We wish them luck!”

Well, the votes are in and Squeeze-bot came in first place!  Not only that, they dominated the field by beating the second place finisher by over 200 votes, and the third place finisher by almost 2,000 votes.  I know it is election season and vote counting is so cliche, but wouldn’t you think Squeeze-bot won the contest?  Actually, the answer is “no.”

Festival organizers wrote on their website, “After 15 grueling days of viral voting and myspace pleas, the votes have been tallied and the festival organizers and artists have spoken.”  The comment should actually have read simply, “the festival organizers and artists have spoken” because the winner they chose wasn’t even the second place finisher.  They chose Donnie Biggins, the guy who didn’t even have half the votes that Squeeze-bot had (see results below).

Festival organizers go on to say, “And for fans of Squeeze-Bot, Josh Phillips Folk Festival, Holy Ghost Tent Revival, and Off the Wagon Bluegrass Band, there’s good news around the horizon. Too good to turn down, and a bill too full to add to this year, each of the four fellow top-five finishers have been offered a spot on the 2009 Chicago Bluegrass & Blues Festival lineup.”  Okay, so there is a slight concession prize, but I for one am still a little confused.

Finally, Festival organizers urge us to make sure that Squeeze-bot doesn’t turn down the 2009 invitation to their festival.  What would cause us to ever do such a thing?

RESULTS
Squeeze-bot 3317
Josh Phillips Folk Festival 3078
Donnie Biggins 1334
Holy Ghost Tent Revival 1254
Off The Wagon Bluegrass Band 1004
Tangleweed 881
The Giving Tree Band 617
Zach Pietrini and the Broken Bones 524
Jay Gulotta Band 521
Mild Winter 458

Here is the Festival has to say:

“Thank you to all the bands and fans for participating in this year’s Last Banjo Standing contest. The decision was a tough one and disappointing people was no fun at all. But take a second to congratulate Donnie Biggins, and welcome him to the Main Stage this November

Unexpected to festival organizers, the Chicago Bluegrass & Blues Festival’s “Last Banjo Standing” play-in contest has been a hit. With over 75 bands entered and over 25,000 votes cast, it’s clear that the indie roots music scene is far from dormant. Midwest musicians, don’t fret, as there’s clearly no need to include a DJ Set in your repertoire to move the masses.

After 15 grueling days of viral voting and myspace pleas, the votes have been tallied and the festival organizers and artists have spoken. Donnie Biggins, an unpolished and unapologetic singer/songwriter that swears by the inspiration provided by solitude and a Dylan poster, will be opening up the Chicago Bluegrass & Blues Festival on the Main Stage this November.

Alongside an array of acts far more established and polished, Donnie sang like no one was listening and provided an artist bio that read like a journal entry you’d be embarrassed for your friends to read. While he’s surely not the first songwriter to pen a song about Barak Obama, he might be the first to avoid sounding contrived or trite in doing so.

So without a MySpace page showcasing his talents and a mere handful of public appearances under his belt, it’s hard to say what we can expect come November 22nd. But whatever Donnie has to say that day, you can count on the fact that he’ll mean it.

And for fans of Squeeze-Bot, Josh Phillips Folk Festival, Holy Ghost Tent Revival, and Off the Wagon Bluegrass Band, there’s good news around the horizon. Too good to turn down, and a bill too full to add to this year, each of the four fellow top-five finishers have been offered a spot on the 2009 Chicago Bluegrass & Blues Festival lineup. So if you know them, make sure they don’t turn it down!

Sincerely,

The Chicago Bluegrass & Blues Festival

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Responses

  1. This response from the festival is a disingenuous load of bovine excrement, and places the festival in an extremely poor light. A vote either matters or it doesn’t. If it doesn’t, don’t hold an election.

    Duh.

  2. I don’t understand this at all. Why would anyone want to participate in such a charade?

  3. Louisville is not amused

  4. Yeah, that’s a totally unsatisfying conclusion to two weeks of voting and promoting. Personally, I have been rooting for the Josh Phillips Folk Festival, who put up a great fight.

    The contest rules did say pretty clearly though that the winner would be chosen from the top 5, so the voting wasn’t totally useless. I just thought they’d put more weight on the groups that turned out.

    On the bright side, this contest gave the artists an excellent excuse for rallying support and building a buzz amongst their fans, and getting their name out there.


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