A seventh annual new-bands contest that helped bring attention (and money) to Baby Shel, Black Diet, 4onthefloor, Carroll, Spyder Baybie and 2013 runners-up Bad Bad Hats and Audio Perm, the Are You Local? competition will live on in 2016 – with a few new twists.
The event is now a Star Tribune-branded event in lieu of former sponsor Vita.mn, which the Strib owned but shut down last year after buying the more ensconced and slightly more smutty alt-weekly newspaper City Pages.
More important, the contest has been rejiggered into a two-part event that starts with a live battle of the bands at 7th Street Entry on Feb. 20. Whoever wins the live throwdown will then play the bigger Are You Local? concert at First Avenue on March 11 with other, well-known local acts to be announced. The winner also gets a slot in the First Avenue/Star Tribune-sponsored party at the South by Southwest Music Conference in Austin, Texas, on March 18, along with a travel stipend.
Most important of all, the public gets to vote on which acts will make it into that initial live competition at the Entry on Feb. 20. You can now listen to tracks from the competitors who are already in the contest and vote on your favorites soon, Feb. 1-4. If you’re in a band and you're beyond awesome, more submissions are being taken through Jan. 28. Per the rules, you don't have to be an entirely new act, just a "yet-to-be-discovered" act. Sorry, Slug, you're out.
Here are the past winners of Are You Local? for reference. A pretty damn good track record, really.
- 2015: Baby Shel
- 2014: Black Diet
- 2013: Carroll
- 2012: Prissy Clerks
- 2011: The 4onthefloor
- 2010: Bight Club (featuring Jeremy “Spyder Baybie” Nutzman)