News, Rocktoberfest

Rocktoberfest selections provoke controversy

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By Lindsey May

Ten bands were chosen to perform at Rocktoberfest on Oct. 25, but the selection process was a bit controversial, according to at least one entrant.

The bands or acts chosen for this year’s Rocktoberfest are Take Two, Iron Butterflies, Hopkins 2, Boys Who Cry, Little Dipper, Mya Barber, Anti-Anti Gravity, Sophie and Wesley, Primary Colors and, last but not least, The Good Little Chickens.

These acts were chosen by a board consisting of English teacher Keith Lassiter, English teacher Helen Moran, culinary arts teacher Karen Stribling and the junior class of Student Government Association.

The members of the board wrote down what they thought of each act on a score sheet at the auditions.

“The next day, Courtney [Clevenger], Mrs. Moran, Mrs. Stribling, and I had a meeting to finalize the lineup,” Junior Class Vice President Madison Coombs said.

Before the final cut list was officially announced, however, word got around about which bands would be performing, and which bands would not.
Musician Liam Fineout was particularly upset by both the final list and the entire audition process.

Fineout auditioned in a band called Lights After Dark with fellow members Carter Nelson, Evan Kilby, Nick Pesic and Camden Winger. Their band did not make the final cut.

Fineout sent out an email to members of the board voicing his opinion on the subject. Fineout was upset that in his opinion there was a lack of experienced musicians on the board.

“Another issue I have with this ‘process,’ is this whole ‘recording’ thing you all allowed,” Fineout wrote in his email to the board. “You allowed some bands to record themselves playing their songs and submit it to you. In what topsy-turvy world is that fair at all?

“When you are in the comfort of your own home, with your own equipment, without the peering eyes of your peers, with the ability to just hit `stop’ on your phone when you mess up, you will sound better. There’s no competition.”

Fineout was also disappointed that only 10 bands were chosen to perform out of roughly 20.
“…at Rocktoberfest instead of everyone playing 5 songs, cut it to two or three.” Fineout continued. “…I’m just disappointed by how you guys handled these auditions.

“Yeah, this meant a lot to me and my band. And yeah, this was handled pretty poorly. But there’s still a chance to make things better. Use the suggestions I gave.

“Get people who know about music to help out, they will actually probably be more forgiving then you all were. Make a fair system of performances (either record or do live performances, not one or the other). Take everything into account, not just the singing.

“And remember, this is for fun! This is for students who want to show some guitar/piano/drum playing off to their friends. You don’t want to discourage people from trying out again. And I know me writing this is pointless for my band now. But I think it can help out bands for the future.”

Said Coombs: “I think we have a really talented group of musicians and it’s going to be a great Rocktoberfest.”