Hey Virgin Festival Decision Makers - Ditch Book the Band
It's got to go. In theory, maybe it's not a terrible idea. You embrace the Internet, have a direct connection with the fans and give a chance to an up-and-coming act. But in practice you end up with a band like this year's winner, Hollywood Undead. Never heard of them? But with "their blend of hip-hop, pop, metal, and screamo, these masked L.A. natives attracted over 400,000 fans on MySpace, topping the site's music charts for weeks." How could you have missed them?
Who exactly benefits from this? Not the Virgin Festival, which now has to tarnish its pretty good name by giving stage time to this band. Oh yeah, this band that has never played a show before. Bob Dylan! Kanye West! Nine Inch Nails! Lil Wayne! And ... the debut performance by some tools from California who make Insane Clown Posse sound like the Beatles and won this contest because their "fans" have nothing better to do but sit on the computer and vote for them!
This is a danger when you rely on Internet voting. Internet voters are even more incompetent than those in Palm Beach County. It's how Corey Hart beat out David Wright, it's how "The Dark Knight" is hailed as the best movie ever (better than "Corky Romano"!!!) and it's how Hollywood Undead became the band that will kick off the second day of Virgin Festival. This is a band that exists only on the Internet, so of course they will be able to mobilize their Internet fans to vote for them. Bands have "devoted Internet followings" for a reason. Namely, the band is beyond terrible and it must harbor some sort of community to make itself relevant. Not that the alternatives were much better, mind you. When We Are Scientists is the best choice, you know you're in trouble.
Are any of the people who for voted Hollywood Undead actually going to shell out the big bucks to see the band in a few weekends? Of course not. That would be about six weeks of allowance for most of those kids. The festival will make no extra money on this. If people see Hollywood Undead as the only late addition to the lineup that will not make them want to buy a ticket if they were on the fence.
Only Hollywood Undead comes out ahead.
So next year, book an additional band from the start, give an extra half hour to a headliner, get the Oriole bird to do an interpretive dance to "Metal Machine Music." Just do anything but give the MySpace morons a chance to make everyone involved look foolish.
By David Malitz |
July 24, 2008; 10:29 AM ET
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