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What you need to know about Rochester’s Local Music Showdown

What you need to know about Rochester’s Local Music Showdown

The recently-launched My Town My Music platform offers a lot of promise for Rochester's music scene. Their forthcoming event is a great example — featuring a lineup of artists chosen by the public.

We recently caught up with Dustin Hart — one of three co-founders of My Town My Music — to find out what you can expect at Rochester's first-ever Local Music Showdown.

Here are excerpts from that interview.

Tell us what you got coming up on Sept. 9.

Rochester’s Local Music Showdown is an all-ages event at the fairgrounds. It’s a battle of the bands style competition featuring five local groups that were voted into the competition by the community via our online voting system. We were thrilled with the variety of entrants we received; it really showed the diversity of the music scene. 

Ultimately, what we want to do is host a party in celebration of local music with a friendly competitive element thrown in for fun. We have The Compadres food truck lined up, along with a beer garden by Grand Rounds Brewing Company

So the bands were selected by the public. How did that process work?

We started with 14 entrants. From there, it was narrowed down to five on our website by our members. The user could listen to samples of music from each artist, read the artist’s bio, and then cast their vote on who they wanted to see perform on September 9. After over 200 votes were cast, this is our lineup:

Does the winner walk away with anything?

They do! The winner takes home $500 cash, a free music video from Wondercloud Media, and two hours of recording time with Carpet Booth Studios.

That said, we plan to send each group home with a little something. We didn’t feel it was right that any performer who puts on a show for us should go home empty-handed. 

My Town My Music is relatively new. What should we know about it?

We are new, but word is spreading! So far, over 130 people have signed up for memberships. They now have the opportunity to vote on what kinds of shows/artists they’d like to see in town. We rely on the community to let us know what music is in demand. It doesn’t necessarily mean the most popular genre will always be our default pick, but it helps us gauge interest levels so we know what size venue/artist to book. It really just helps us make more informed decisions when it comes to planning shows. 

In addition to events, how else can someone get involved?

Coming to the events and showing your support is huge, but signing up for a membership is big for us as well. It lets us know your musical tastes, preferred radio stations, venues you like best, and shows you’ve seen in town or elsewhere. There are paid versions of the memberships, each with their own set of perks, and when people invest in a paid membership, that money goes right into funding our next event. So, if you want to see shows more frequently, a paid membership is the way to go. 

What kind of impact do you hope to have on Rochester's music scene?

We started this with the mindset of bringing in larger acts, and that’s something we’re doing. At the same time, we’ve become much more familiar with the talent Rochester already has to offer. So, we’d love to bring in some bigger artists, but we’ll always have local music open for them as a way of shining the spotlight on our community, and maybe introducing the casual Rochester music fan to a local artist they haven’t seen before. 

Anything else you want to add?

We want our website to become the go-to hub for Rochester music events. Whether you’re grabbing tickets, browsing our Local Artist Directory, or checking out our list of upcoming events, we feel our site can become a useful way to stay hip to what’s happening around town. 

We’re big believers in collaboration. We don’t stick solely to our own events; we help spread the word about free events and those put on by other local promoters. We want to work with others in the community to help strengthen our music scene, because we know no one can do it alone.  

The Local Music Showdown will be held Saturday, Sept. 9 at Graham Park (Olmsted County Fairgrounds). Tickets are $12 each

Med City Beat is a proud sponsor of the Local Music Showdown.

Cover photo: Taylor Obert of Under the Pavilion / William Forsman

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