In my view, the success and validity of this awards program hinges on YOU.
That is, we all mistrust both pure popularity contests.....from local radio-sponsored band battles where the nominees are the bands who get the most on-line votes from fans and winners are chosen by body-count at show time, to the national programs like People's Choice and American Musical Awards.
Similarly, we have a certain disdain for a select committee of "experts", where we envision a meeting in the dark in some backroom after midnight....the way the Academy Awards and the Grammy Awards are done (though these expert panels can range from 4 or 5 members to, say, the 20,000 or so voting members of NARAS [once it passes muster of 150 experts], in the case of the Grammys).
We don't even particularly like the hybrids, like popular TV shows where the experts select the survivors and the public votes each week, or some similar model.
So what are WE going to do at the Lexington Music Awards?
Well, it will likely change over the first few years as we tweak the model, but the basic idea is that to nominate, we employ the opinions of mostly Lexington-area music pros....from musicians to venue owners/managers to music store employees to media (print, broadcast, web) to members of arts organizations to music educators (both institutional and independent) and the like.
As I write this (on a break working on the actual ballot), there are over 50 non-facebook individuals communicating with me and a facebook group of over 500 people weighing in at various points...all of whom are our nominating committee. A committee I had taken to calling "chaos committee" because of the mix of music pros and music fans.
With luck, we'll end up with at least 500 ballots weighing in on WHO should be our nominees in our 31 categories. With luck, we'll have musicians from everty style voting on the styles they know best so we have a ballot of 3 nominees in each category that truly are the cream of the crop.
Then we'll talk about our rather special voting process.
Come along for the ride! Help make this the best awards program in the country!