Life isn't fair. We all know that. But sometimes, that unfair slice of life being thrust in our faces deserves to have some attention drawn to it.
I know my blog isn't might and powerful. I know my blog won't make much of an impact on the situation I'm going to share with you. But I still think the story needs to be told and shared.
I have a friend at work. Her name is Heather. Heather has a son, Dean, and he has a band. Shiny Penny and the Critical Shoes. They rock. They do covers but also do their own stuff. Check out this cover of Adele's Rolling In The Deep.
Milwaukee has this big concert every year- Summerfest. They had this big contest called "Land the Big Gig." Shiny Penny entered the contest and was consistently showing in the top 10. The boys had concerts, went to local businesses with a laptop and asked people to listen to their music and then register and vote for them. Family and friends promoted the contest on Facebook and through email. I, personally, gave my 5 votes per day to Shiny Penny.
The day came when the contest results were supposed to be posted. And Shiny Penny and the Critical Shoes was listed FIRST! Whooohooooo!!!! A well deserved WIN!
Until 15 minutes go by, the page is refreshed, and suddenly a different name appears in first. Not even like the second place spot went to first and we have a new 3rd place spot. Nope- a band not in the top 3 before is now in the first spot.
Now, my friend Heather's son Dean has been contacting the people in charge of this "contest." And they've given him the run around. And he finally talked to someone who told him that it was believed that the band had cheated and created fraudulent email accounts to rig the voting. You might recall that these boys spent their time promoting this Summerfest event and this contest in their community by going to local businesses and asking people to vote for them. So yes, there were multiple accounts voting from similar IP addresses. But all were valid accounts from valid people who validly voted for a local band.
It's a bunch of crap.
It's one thing if maybe Shiny Penny just didn't get enough votes. There were a lot of bands who entered this contest who just didn't get the votes. That's just life and hopefully you learn from it and move on.
But Shiny Penny worked for those votes, had concerts for those votes, worked with the community for every single one of those votes.
And the "powers that be" at Milwaukee's 45th annual Summerfest have opted to stomp all over that hard work by lying to this young man, by not contacting him when everything first went down, by refusing to give him an apology or rescind the false accusations they have made.
It's a bunch of crap.
Shiny Penny and the Critical Shoes should be at that contest at Summerfest. Period. They earned the votes, they have the support of their fans and their community.
So what are they supposed to do now? How do you pick yourself up from having the biggest opportunity of your career unfairly yanked away from you?
I had no plans to go to Summerfest, I had no intention of promoting Summerfest, I hadn't even heard of Summerfest until Shiny Penny introduced me. I know that my little old voice holds no power over this slice of the industry.
I just think it's a damn shame that something that could be a really positive experience, a really powerful opportunity, is actually just a sham.