Dude, vote for my band please?

Ahoy, yes this time we have another guest writer! Everyone,meet Sarah G. Apparently Sarah G is not too happy with the recent phenomenon in the local independent music scene. It's too early to say whether this trend is going to stay long in the scene or whether it will leave a positive impact to the scene we dearly love (we believe so), but Sarah G is giving her 2 cents on this issue. Read on! - A, is for Anomaly


Voting polls. Yes, let’s talk about this shall we? Based on my observation, voting polls are the in thing right now in our scene. Vote for your favorite band if you want to see them perform! It seems that this is a new method that organizers use to select the bands that they want in their show. It has been causing quite a stir in the scene lately; people have mixed opinions on the results and side effects of this method. Obviously this method isn’t anything new. However, it is something that was quite recently introduced to the underground music scene here in Malaysia.

Hye, like la  band itterw untuk opening act Bring Me the Roti John live in KL!

For those of you who are not aware and don’t have a clue what I’m talking about, let me elaborate. This voting trend only started around this year or late last year. It started of being fair enough. When an international band would have a show here, the crowd gets to vote for which band they would like to see as the opening act. Facebook would usually be the chosen medium for the voting to take place. All you have to do is just like the post that is linked to your favorite band, and posts linked to bands with the most likes will win the election. But lately, it has started to become such a trend. Some organizers are even using voting polls to select bands to perform at our ordinary weekly gigs. That has made many of us question the side effects of the whole voting trend and whether or not it is good for our scene in the long run.

Let’s begin by weighing out the pros and cons of this voting trend.. We’ll start with the positives. I think these voting polls are kind of a smart move, because I guess it somehow is the voice of the people. The crowd finally has a voice, and they get to choose which bands they would like to see perform at a certain gig. It’s also good for the organizer because by having the most popular bands performing for their gig, the crowd is sure to turn up. Which also equals to, more profit for the organizers. Plus it seems that this method is really getting a lot of feedback, and I think it’s good that bands are enthusiastic about putting themselves out there and promoting their music. I realize a lot of bands are going around asking for people to vote for their band and I think it is quite motivating if you’re in a band and you know that there are people out there supporting you for your music.

Every vote counts, so don't screw up with shitty performance.

Now let’s look at the negatives. This whole voting thing is quite similar to a popularity contest. It really doesn’t matter if you sound good or if you even deserve it. What it really boils down to is how many friends you have and how willing you are to promote and sell yourself. You can even just ask a bunch of random strangers to vote for you, and your votes will automatically increase. Plus, the crowd will obviously vote for the most popular band, so how are new bands that are just starting out suppose to compete and have their chance? Majority of friends and acquaintances of mine who have been involved in the scene for some time are against this trend. To them, it used to be all about the passion, the music itself and it’s never about the profit or popularity. A friend once told me, we built this scene to break away from the mainstream, but if this trend keeps up, we would just be conforming and might end up just like the industry, similar to American idol or Akademi Fantasia.

Undi anda amat berharga untuk band kami. Tak kenal kami takpa, janji klik LIKE!

This voting trend can potentially cause some damaging side effects to our scene in the long run but I feel that it’s not all negative. It could still be effective in some situations. I don’t have a problem voting for opening acts when an international band has a show here because I obviously want the best band to represent my country but also take into consideration that the nominees should really be deserving. We all want what’s best for our scene, we shouldn’t lose track of what’s important. It’s already bad enough that our scene isn’t that big, and let’s not even talk about the segregation that goes on between us. What I understand, being a part of the scene is about believing in something and having the guts to stand up for it. It’s about having a voice and making yourself heard, regardless of whatever the message might be.

Original article can be found here.

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