Turn it up 

With two years of experience behind us, we decided to change the judging process for the 1999 Orlando Music Awards, based on all-around feedback and the desire to move forward. But the essence of the event remains: "To recognize and celebrate the Central Florida music scene, and to help nurture and promote the careers of independent area musicians."

Last year the nominating was done by readers, with a group of music insiders selecting the winners. This year we switched things around and started with music insiders (a group of almost 100, connected to the local music scene, including OMA Board members, the final judges from last year and new additions), whose votes determined the nominees.

The outcome will be decided by the readers' votes, cast over three weeks, starting Sept. 9. Ballots will be posted online and printed in three issues of Orlando Weekly. ( We have developed sophisticated methods to detect ballot stuffing.) The results will be announced at the main event -- Orlando Music Awards, Oct. 16, The Club at Firestone.

In keeping with this year's turn-it-up attack, the awards ceremony itself will be different this year -- an out-of-the-ordinary, visually and musically stimulating main event. We just want to have fun and throw some well-earned attention at the music-makers who are filling the spaces -- in clubs and in us. It'll be the one show you won't want to miss this year.

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