I want to start out by discussing the worst argument I have heard about these awards right away. Do bands really have a sense of competition when they’re put up against each other in one of these categories? The whole show is just a way to have a fun night celebrating this great local scene we have, not to make any nominated band feel unworthy if they don’t win. If a band needs validation by winning one of these awards, they need to reevaluate the reason that they’re making music in the first place.
I also disagree with the critics that say that not enough local music is played or covered by Illini Media. At least two songs from local artists are played on WPGU every hour and there are numerous opportunities for local bands to come in and play live in the studio. The LMA website and The217.com in general is also a great way for bands to be discovered by students and other members of the community. Every artist was given an opportunity to write their own bio for the LMA website to describe their music however they pleased. Being from Chicago, the site helps me find a lot of good local music that I may have never heard of otherwise. It’s a great resource, and if bands would embrace this free publicity instead of turning it away, I think everyone would have a more positive view of this event.
A lot of hard work goes into these awards by students working for buzz and WPGU to make this award show what it is, and while I understand that many of us aren’t the most avid local music fans, we all still want to promote these great artists for the sake of music. This event still isn’t perfect, but it’s a lot closer than many critics make it out to be.

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