by Dan Bolles
For about two weeks now, Seven Days has been running a contest in which fans could vote for their favorite local band to fill the last slot in the lineup for this year's Grand Point North Festival at Burlington's Waterfront Park on September 14 and 15. It's been a wild ride filled with dizzying highs, terrifying lows and maybe even a little gamesmanship along the way. Indeed, it was a hard fought battle and, in a way, we're all the winners. But in another, more accurate way, Burlington's the Dupont Brothers are the winners.
Narrowly edging out another Burlington-based group, the Al Moore Blues Band, the brothers Dupont held on for the win, emerging from a field of more than 100 nominees and scoring more than 1300 votes out of the 8502 votes cast. They even beat Phish. (Suggested new tagline for the Dupont Brothers: "We're bigger than Phish!")
As the winning band, the Dupont Brothers will open Grand Point North on Saturday, September 14. So if you're going to the fest, do yourself a solid and show up on time for once, m'kay?
As for the contest itself, save for a few tech snags and some predictable snarking from certain commenters about the comingling of art and competition and rigging the contest — to whom we humbly suggest: lighten the eff up and lose the tinfoil hats — it went pretty smoothly. The contest garnered more than 10,000 unique visitors, resulting in more than 17,000 shared links. While, as one particularly rankled Facebook commenter with entirely too much time on his hands suggested, it's possible some of those votes were the result of dummy accounts set up by sneaky folks attempting to game the system, it would seem the people have spoken. Interestingly, of those 10K vistors, only 36 actually bothered to read the rules. (Yeah, we're watching you like the NSA spooks Verizon.)
Checking in from the road, Grace Potter & the Nocturnals' drummer Matt Burr — who came up with the idea for the contest, BTW — had this to say:
One of the driving themes of our festival is highlighting local music, so we decided to take it one step further and let our fellow Vermonters have a hand in the booking. There's so much talent in this great state, it was quite a challenge opening up the polls and selecting just one act. But when the people speak, you gotta listen! A sincere tip of the cap to all the fabulous bands who participated and we look forward to hearing the Dupont Brothers crush at Grand Point North.
We do too, Matt. And here's why:
So congrats to the Dupont Brothers. And congrats to Burlington's Brittany Lynch, who won the drawing for a pair of VIP passes to the festival by voting in the contest. And finally, thanks to everyone who participated, from each of the 104 bands nominated to every fan who let their voice be heard. It was a fun contest and, most importantly, a great way to be exposed to the incredible wealth of talent brewing in our cozy little corner of the world. We definitely discovered some new favorites along the way, and we bet you did, too. (Laura Heaberlin, we've got our eyes — and ears — on you.)