AN OPEN LETTER TO ALL THE BANDS WHO DID NOT MAKE IT THROUGH THE BAYBEATS AUDITION ROUND ONE
Let me begin by stating that the following is my personal opinion and does not represent the opinions of The Esplanade Co Ltd nor that of my colleague judges - Daniel Sassoon, Amanda Ling, Jon Chan or Keith Tan.
First and foremost, congratulations on making the first round and performing under fairly difficult and stressful conditions. That is an achievement in itself and something to build on.
Secondly, as the second round will only feature 16 bands, 14 bands will by necessity be eliminated. Somebody has to go out and unfortunately, that somebody was your band.
Thirdly, the judges take into account many factors when determining the bands going through to Round 2. Sometimes, the potential shown by a band may outweigh its competence and its songwriting ability may be valued more than technical expertise.
So, decisions are seldom made purely on technique alone and often the judges look out for a creative spark that distinguishes a band. In addition, music genre sometimes comes into play. Baybeats Festival is traditionally known as an "indie (emo) rock" festival to such an extent that many of the bands applying tend to stick rather closely to that style, making them indistinguishable from each other.
In these circumstances, bands playing a different music genre from the cliched emo style will definitely gain an advantage. In fact, personally, I "switch off" when I hear the inevitable guitar lines and high-register vocal that make up the emo staples. Therefore, I naturally gravitate towards any band that attempts to play in a style that is not commonly heard in indie rock circles. Thus, I would sit up and pay attention, if a S-ROCK band started playing country-folk in the vein of Wilco or the Jayhawks, certainly.
And... here's my punchline. If you didn't make it through, be honest with your music and assess your performance objectively and make the necessary changes so that you can improve your music making processes. I'm always available to meet up at least once (foc) to seriously discuss your music and how you can move forward, if so minded.
As usual, the contact email is info(at)powerofpop(dot)com.
... I'll be waiting.