MusicFestNW hooks up with Sonicbids, charges Portland bands to apply to play

MusicFestNW Sonicbids Portland bands have to pay a third party, Sonicbids, to apply for a slot at this year's MusicFestNW [this may have been the case last year too.] You'd think after the debacle with the CMJ conference where folks paid Sonicbids to enter the lottery and apparently no one from CMJ bothered to listen to the bands' submitted songs, that MusicFestNW would not make Portland's bands jump through such a ridiculous hoop… here's but one lament from the CMJ application process – “Apart from the fact that we are now open to a bunch of spam, it has also brought to my attention that Sonicbids has collected the $45 fee from at least 670 bands ($30,450) knowing full well that you could never accommodate all of the bands.” Here's the full story from GhostMedia.

And here's what I wrote about this year's SXSW conference and those companies who try and sell bands and musicians the snake oil. “One five minute trek through the trade show proved to me everything that I already know – the cornerstone of this conference and the business upon the back of which the music conference was originally founded, the recorded music industry, is being swept aside by a tsunami of technological advancement – that's not hyperbole by the way, no the hyperbole lies with the companies who are promising to be the saviors of the music business by helping you, the musician, make a living making music – if you are willing to take the snake oil that's being sold…

Let's call them the www.we-can-save-your-career.coms. Here's a list of just a few of the companies promising untold riches or something to bands and musicians (add .com to the end of each name here..) SongNumbers, Myxer, ArtistXite, BandFarm, mTraks, SonicBids (the one I dislike the most), Muzu, Gydget, ArtistForce (SonicBids part 2), aaahhh the list goes on and on.” Full post here. And Benjy who works for Sonicbids left his comments about SXSW here.

So the question is – will MusicFestNW be transparent about the number of available slots for local bands and musicians or not? If not you will never know how many bands have applied for however many limited slots are available. Sonicbids will continue taking applications regardless of the number of slots available – It's a lottery – good luck, someone's going to get rich… Here's the “opportunity” link. You have to become a member. MusicfestNW 2008/Sonicbids Combo Package: Cost $12.95 (US) Transparency is a major force on the internet so it's time for Sonicbids to open up the doors to the “opportunities” that they offer bands and musicians so they can make an educated decision before applying and paying good money. It's the right thing to do.

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5 Responses to MusicFestNW hooks up with Sonicbids, charges Portland bands to apply to play

  1. Portlander May 13, 2008 at 03:52 #

    Good post. WWeek’s MusicFest has actually been requiring a Sonicbids membership to apply since 2006. This will be the third year in a row that it is required.

  2. roguespierre's crunchwrap supreme May 13, 2008 at 14:31 #

    I had no idea what a joke MFNW is. Not that I’d ever trust WW to stick its neck out and review something that isn’t safe, mainstream adult-friendly “indie rock”, but now I realize they’re even more out of touch with Portland’s music scene. It makes me wonder if event organizers like WW see any sort of kickback $$$ from registration fee money. Could they be leeching off the desperate nobodies clamoring for a (probably non-existant) spot?

  3. Manfred May 19, 2008 at 11:24 #

    SonicBids is the Scientology of music. Let’s figure out some other way of clearing ourselves of these thetans.

  4. Jonathan Romley June 14, 2008 at 23:35 #

    I wish you would stop comparing us to Sonicbids. We are a solution for working professionals – talent can not list a fee less than $1000.

  5. Benjy Kantor August 13, 2008 at 10:50 #

    Hi everyone. We reached out to Dave and asked if he might share a few clarifications with his readers:

    1. CMJ reviewed all of its submissions, but a bug in our “Status Manager” tool prevented artists from receiving updates at the correct time. (This has since been fixed.)
    2. We have also updated our “Hits Tracker” to more accurately reflect the traffic that artists’ EPKs are getting.
    3. Sonicbids’ founder, Panos Panay, posted a response to the CMJ-related confusion, but we should have acted quicker communicating this to our members. You can read Panos’ note here: http://www.brooklynvegan.com/archives/2007/09/sonicbids_cmj_s.html

    We apologize for the confusion this caused last year, and hope artists continue sharing their ideas for our service. (The “Hits Tracker” was initially a member idea.)

    Thank you,
    Benjy Kantor
    http://www.sonicbids.com/

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