In addition to hot fried foods and home-grown indie music, now there’s one more fun reason to be psyched for September’s Hampdenfest: Hampden Idol 2011. It’s just like “American Idol,” except everyone’s local–and fantastically imaginative rather than ruthlessly ambitious–and no one wins a recording contract. Returning after three years’ heart-breaking absence, the hokey hood-festival phenomenon is hosted and organized/curated by musician Kevin Hoffman, known to locals as Keyboard Man, and co-produced by Atomic Books. Contest stages past have included rousing performances by Spidey, a grown man dressed as Spiderman, singing “Spill the Wine” by War (quite well, I might add), hearty interpretations of Chicago ballads, and way more wackiness.
To get in the game, here are rules as stated at the official website: YOU MUST–
* Be able to attend Hampdenfest in Baltimore, Maryland on September 10.
* Be 18 years or older.
* Be able to bring an amazing karaoke act (lyrics provided) to the stage in front of an adoring crowd. You don’t have to sing well, but you do have to entertain! The more unique the better.
* Sign up via website, and then solicit votes via internet campaigning to earn a spot in the competition. Tweeting, getting people to Like you, etc. Stuff you do in real life already. We will take up to 10 contestants via this website, based on the number of votes…
* At Hampdenfest, we’ll hold auditions and let a limited number of festival attendees sign up for a spot (first come, first served). We will take up to 10 contestants on the day of the competition, based on their audition.
So, put your personality-packed act together, snap on your tights, and act fast. So far, only a handful of people have signed up. You really could be the next Hampden Idol. We Like that.
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