It’s been an interesting past few days or so for Vertigo Venus.
Vertigo Venus worked very hard in 2008. We played tons of shows, made new music, opened for big bands, and did a two month run as The Angry Inch in at the Vortex Theatre for “Hedwig and the Angry Inch”. We were rewarded by winning best Punk band, Bassist, Vocalist, and Drummer, as well as best Stage production and 2nd best guitarist in the 2009 Best of Burque.
When we won, there seemed to be an air of dislike toward us for the fact that we had marketed ourselves and campaigned for these positions. We were accused of cheating in various channels, and even the mention of Best Drummer made sure to mention that I was good at drumming, but better at networking.
When the 2010 BOB came around, there was mention on various channels that we would win silly categories that we didn’t fall in, and musicians that said that we shouldn’t promote ourselves, that we would do better to sit on our hands and wait.
That’s not the Vertigo Venus way.
So, we did a small amount of promotion asking our fans to vote for us in the categories of Best Punk band, guitarist, vocalist, bassist, and drummer. We didn’t market nearly as much as we usually do for something like this.
When the 2010 BOB issue came out, I picked it up, anticipating the results. I was surprised to see that in the Music category, five main categories were missing; each of those being the categories we’d campaigned for.
I then found out via one of our fans on Twitter that there was a mention in the Alibi’s “Staff Picks” section on the website saying that we’d been “retired” from winning Best of Burque. I found this interesting, because, well, we hadn’t been informed that we’d been retired.
Our fans took this and ran with it, coining the Twitter trending topic #vertigovenusgate, and spreading the word. The issue wasn’t that we didn’t win; the issue was that we were discounted from winning for a reason that didn’t make sense; as it was said in the web posting, because of anticipation that we’d win some category like “best sculpture”, we were retired from winning Best of Burque.
Soon after attention was brought to this, the posting was removed from the Alibi’s webpage. But, it was too late; VertigoVenusgate was already in full effect.
A posting on the Alibi’s forums brought to my attention a proposed explanation for the omission; if a category didn’t have enough votes for a clear first, second and third place winner to be declared, then the category would be omitted; if there were so many votes that there were an 80 way tie, the Alibi would remove the category because it would seem one-sided.
I find this hard to swallow, though; in previous BOBs, there were plenty of two way ties; in one case, Torture Victim and Le Chat Lunatique both tied for a best of position. So, by the Alibi’s reasoning, if someone were to do “too well” in a category, they would be discounted from winning that category?
It’s difficult to believe that this would happen, but obviously it did. The reasoning for this seems contradictory, but we’re not in a place to argue much. Our fans, however, have already run with this issue. It’s actually worked out as nice promotion for our new album, “Success or Suicide”.
While we respect the Alibi and it’s employees, as well as their responsibility to make the choices they make, we’d still ask for a clearer view of why, after seeing the hostility put toward us for being good at what we do on the internet and in other ways, it would be reinforced by the Alibi’s music editor in a hastily posted comment on the website. The posting didn’t say that we didn’t win any categories or were not allowed to compete in those categories because we cheated or because as they have insinuated, we’re “too good”. The posting stated that because it was expected that we’d take some silly category, we were discounted. But why were the categories taken with us? And what about the bands and musicians who were also pushing for those categories? Surely there were other musicians who wanted best drummer, guitarist, and so on. But, the Alibi would have me believe that there were not, so little of them in fact, that it warranted the complete removal of the categories, as well as us, from the Best of Burque.
It’s a bit offensive, and while I realize that it may be been in jest, being “retired” against our will wasn’t funny. I’d still kindly request an explanation outside of the general disclaimer of “not enough votes for others”. Perhaps someday, I will see one.