Lots of bands think they’re just on the verge of busting out of their local bar-band circuit, quitting their day jobs and becoming the next big thing. In Oregon, the Eugene Weekly is hoping to help one lucky band do just that.
For the past 15 weeks, the paper has been running The Next Big Thing contest, which is looking for the best hit single produced and written in the area. The contest website, which was recently closed to new entries, now features 150 original songs, according to Bill Shreve, the Weekly‘s director of advertising and marketing.
“The response from this contest was overwhelming,” he says, “with more than 100,000 pageviews, 10,000 unique visitors to the site, and more than 25,000 votes cast.”
Shreve adds that the contest generated a little revenue for the paper as well: “Between co-sponsorships and entry fees to the contest, we generated over $13,000.”
Sixteen finalists, who will be chosen by a combination of popular vote and recommendations from local industry pros, will appear on a compilation CD that will be locally distributed. There will be one winner, who will take home cash, CD duplication services, free recording time, two billboards for promotion and graphic design work.
The five top vote-getters will play at the paper’s annual Best of Eugene Awards Show, with the winner being announced that evening.