As most of our readers know, last year Urban Tulsa expanded its annual Absolute Best of Tulsa awards to spin off a special event to pay tribute to our local music scene. It was quite an inaugural event, with a gala awards show that honored the best in more than 20 categories and gave music fans a chance to rub elbows with their local heroes.
This year, the ABoT Music Awards returns with a more focused vision to honor our local artists.
We've learned from the past and with minor hiccups worked out of the system, we're sure things will go more smoothly this year.
The nominees have already been named, and all of them were picked by our readers (via the ABoT write-in ballots that ran in May).
Now, you have to select the best of the best from those finalists by visiting urbantulsa.com and click on the "ABoT Music Awards" banner to vote for your favorites and name the Absolute Best of in every category.
Now, it might be hard to top last year's event -- from the red carpet arrivals to our local celebrity host, Zac Maloy, and the excitement of the evening, but we're sure that everyone will step up to set an even higher standard for this year.
Once again, the awards ceremony will be held at Cain's Ballroom, so mark Thursday, August 5 on your calendars because that's the date that all the fun will occur.
The bands, the public and all our local celebrities are invited to come out and make it a special evening as we honor the best in every aspect of our music community from DJs to producers to radio personalities and artists in every genre.
This year's event will be hosted by Jeff Scheel, an Oklahoma City resident who toured nationally in the '90s as the lead singer for Gravity Kills. As a music promoter for bands throughout Oklahoma, he promises to bring a true musician's perspective and insight to the ceremony while displaying the stage presence to keep our audience engaged during the entire evening.
Of course, no awards show would be complete without music, and we'll have a round of special performances this year. Not only will Tulsa Rock Ensemble once again be on hand to put a cool and classy spin on our rock vibe, each nominee for Artist of the Year will be performing before the award is handed out near the end of the evening.
You can expect one-of-a-kind performances from Brandon Clark, Eric Himan, Ben Kilgore, Fiawna Forte and Olivia Duhon as each artist chooses how to best represent him or herself for the ABoT Music Awards' audience and perhaps even take the opportunity to perform with the string backing of our house band, Tulsa Rock Ensemble.
UTW will be bringing you more information on the awards throughout the weeks to come, spotlighting a few categories that might otherwise get overlooked, providing a little more insight to this year's host and looking at what winning can mean to each nominee. We plan on leaving no stone unturned, not just in the awards, but enlightening our readers as to the importance of the event.
Most of all, this is an opportunity to honor our local musicians. It's also an opportunity to let the fans have their say.
All nominees were taken from the write-in ballots and all winners will be names according to the voting results of our readers. Go online right now and vote for the best in each category.
The polls are open until July 16, which gives you plenty of time to make your picks and vote. And perhaps vote again.
This year's categories cover the spectrum of our local music scene: from original artists to cover bands, genres from rock to country to jazz, and hard rock bands to DJs. We plan on honoring the best male and female vocalists in Tulsa as well as name the best local album and song of the year and honor the best producer in Tulsa. If you know the Tulsa music scene, it's time to speak up and contribute to the outcome by voting.
Don't think for a minute, however, that this will be a closed ceremony. As an Urban Tulsa event, we want to make sure the awards are fan-friendly and open to our readers. As such, tickets are available and open to all for the awards show on August 5.
Reserved table seating in the Ballroom is available for $25 or general admission passes with seating in Bob's (where all the performances will take place) are only $15 with tickets available online at protix.com.
The awards show begins at 8pm, but you'll want to arrive early to see all your favorite artists arrive on the red carpet, beginning at 7pm, and add a little glamour to Tulsa's music scene and night life.
Most importantly, however, you need to make your voice known. I know it sounds redundant, but the thing that makes the evening so special to the bands is the fact that all the awards are based specifically on the voice and votes of Tulsa's local music fans.
So go online at urbantulsa.com to vote now and vote often. Plan ahead, mark your calendar and get your tickets. The polls close on July 16 with the awards on August 5, and we want you to be there to make this year even better than the first.
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