By Angela Smith
Local bands are irreplaceably important to the music industry. Of course, every single band started out as a local band. Some scenes tend to be more popular than others, but they all deserve attention and love.
One city that truly appreciates local bands is Denver, Colorado. The Mile High City is home to the top rated alternative station KTCL Channel 933, and boy, are they supportive of local bands. One of their major events for the year is their local band contest called Hometown for the Holidays, also known as Hometown for short.
Hometown is the local contest king. It’s an entire process. Local bands from the Denver metro area enter and compete for radio play, recording time, money and the opportunity to open 933’s winter show Not So Silent Night. The bands that enter are narrowed down to a Top 10 songs which receive radio play and get voted on by listeners. The three songs with the most votes are able to play the free live show generally hosted in mid-December. It is at this show that the winners of the voted portion of the contest are announced, and the live portion is voted on.
Hometown really is special for the city of Denver and, as far as the bands that compete, some bands that have won in the past have gone on to have a fair amount of success. My personal favourite of these bands is 888, a two-piece (former three-piece) band. 888’s hit song “Critical Mistakes” helped win the band both the voted and live portions of the contest. 888 has gone on to be played on radio stations nationwide and was on Alt Nation’s Advanced Placement tour. Their success, kick-started by this contest, has only continued to grow; the band has played major music festivals such as Bottlerock in Napa, California and Lollapalooza in Chicago.
While not every band who wins a local band contest such as this one will go on to have this amount of success, supporting local music is incredibly important. Who knows, maybe the artist in last place turns out to be your new favorite! I have only been following Channel 933 for the last year or so, but between their two contests throughout the year I have found so many bands that I looked forward to seeing. These local bands helped make moving from the Bay Area in California, another area with a great local music scene, to the Denver area, so much easier. Support your local artists. Remember everyone is from somewhere, and that little local band you love so much might just blow up and become an international star.