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Gazette Music Awards return to OKC

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It’s been a full presidential term since the last time we held the Gazette Music Awards. So in this election year, after much caucusing, we’ve decided the time is right to bring back the Woody Awards.

Music fans might remember 2012 as the year Carly Rae Jepsen gave us her number or Gotye — somebody that we used to know — ruled the radio. Locally, the year brought us memorable releases from Parker Millsap and Michael Rose (Palisade) and John Fullbright (From the Ground Up).

After a four-year hiatus, why is 2016 the year we bring back the Gazette Music Awards? The better question is, Why not?

“We predict a hearty lineup of music festivals in 2016, including Metro Music Fest and Norman Music Festival,” said Jennifer Chancellor, Oklahoma Gazette editor-in-chief. “Plus, with the Academy of Contemporary Music at the University of Central Oklahoma (ACM@UCO) in the heart of downtown and the number of new and well-established metro music venues across the metro, Gazette Music Awards gives fans, festivals and music lovers a heads-up on what’s happening with local music through spring and summer.”

As one reality show figurehead-turned-presidential candidate might say, “Let’s make music great again!” or rather, let’s shed light on all the great music across the metro.

The Gazette is dedicated to bolstering its thorough music coverage and recognizing individuals who contribute to our notably vibrant soundscape.

Nominating a local artist for a Woody Award gives music fans the chance to thank the musicians and songwriters who give us so much. Claiming a prize also exposes artists and groups to audiences that might have been unaware of where to find certain types of music locally.

The awards help guide and define the local music scene and future Gazette coverage. Know a band people should be paying closer attention to? Put it on our radar. Your vote matters.

Rapper Jabee with his Woody, left, at the Soundcheck Parth held at Dan McGuiness Pub in Moore, 3-7-2007. - MARK HANCOCK
  • Mark Hancock
  • Rapper Jabee with his Woody, left, at the Soundcheck Parth held at Dan McGuiness Pub in Moore, 3-7-2007.

“We love local music, and supporting the scene is our mission,” Chancellor said. “We also love getting feedback from our readers. Like our annual Best of OKC contest, Gazette Music Awards is reader-driven.”

Metal Shop performs at the Soundcheck Party, held at Dan McGuiness Pub in Moore, 3-7-2007. - MARK HANCOCK
  • Mark Hancock
  • Metal Shop performs at the Soundcheck Party, held at Dan McGuiness Pub in Moore, 3-7-2007.

She added that Oklahoma Gazette has long been the region’s only locally owned, independent source for arts and entertainment news.

Yes, readers already have a lot of voting to think about (Republican and Democratic primaries are March 1!), but thankfully, Gazette Music Awards voting is much simpler than showing up to the election booth on a Tuesday. We promise there’s no requirement to show your ID or any registration card. No purchase is necessary, either.

Instead, readers can find a ballot printed in the March 2 and 9 issues. A completed ballot may be mailed to our office at 3701 N. Shartel Ave. Readers can also vote online through midnight March 15 at okgazette.com. Please, one ballot vote per reader.

Winners and awards will be presented at a venue and time yet to be announced. Winners also will be named in Oklahoma Gazette’s April 6 issue, which will include an expanded music section.

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As much as we’d like to see it happen, there are no debates or town hall discussions set up between bands to determine winners. And while we doubt anyone will form a coalition or political action committee and create slick “message” ads to state their case, general campaigning is encouraged.

With 24 categories for musical acts, venues, festivals and musical storefronts, there is room to recognize every type of sound found in the state.

Here, there are no electoral colleges, split delegates or hanging chads. Those who receive the most votes become proud owners of a coveted Woody Award. It’s that simple.

Gazette Music Awards sponsors include Oklahoma Film & Music Office, Bricktown Association, Woody Guthrie Center and Cory's Audio Visual.

Print headline: Sound election, Your voice and your vote usher in the return of Gazette Music Awards and shine a spotlight on local music.

Editor's note: The online version of this story was updated Feb. 25, 2016, to clarify event sponsors.

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