The 2014 Bands4Good Challenge, presented by Doing Good Network, is an online music competition that aims to raise funds to help keep music education in schools throughout the country. The challenge, conducted through an online platform, gives aspiring musicians of any genre a chance to compete for prizes ranging from studio time to performance opportunities and a chance to meet industry professionals. Backed by the support of nonprofits benefiting music education, the Doing Good Network’s four founders spent the last four years creating and developing this remarkable fundraising platform. “Can you imagine what the world would be like without music? Can you imagine what it would be like if we don’t bring along the next generation of songwriters and singers and musicians?” said Fred Fletcher Jr., Co-Founder, CEO and President of Doing Good Network.
The Bands4Good Challenge launched last year as a beta model, limited only to North Carolina bands and nonprofits, garnering much success. This year, the challenge has expanded nationwide, but what really makes it unique are its philanthropic efforts. “We’re not raising money, we’re providing a platform for musicians and nonprofits to raise funds,” explained Fletcher. “The beauty of this is that we provide them with a platform where they can all participate in this single campaign and derive the benefits based on the degree of their own efforts. They’re not sharing funds.”
The contest is divided into two age categories, one for kids between sixth and 12th grade and another for everyone 18 and over. There will be two opportunities to support your favorite participating musicians. Fans can vote once a day without cost, and purchase additional donation votes in package bundles. The more money donated to support the cause, the more votes granted to the musician of their choosing. Participating nonprofits include Little Kids Rock, Arts for Life, Kid Pan Alley and Street Level Media, with the list increasing still. Winning categories include Fan Favorite, Charity Champion, Judges’ Pick and Best in Genre, promising contestants different ways to win the challenge. “We wanted a judging panel that consisted of aspiring artists and professionals,” says Fletcher. The panel includes last year’s Bands4Good winner and Kat Robichaud, from last year’s The Voice. “All of the above, it’s a win-win. It’s both a fundraiser and a talent competition. We want to be sure that we provide adequate qualified judges to be able to identify the real talent. That doesn’t mean that a contestant can’t win the fundraising side of the charity champ prizes. If they’ve got a large fan base on social media it may not be quite as challenging, if not, they still have a chance to get recognized, too.”
The 2014 competition is open to unsigned singers, songwriters, groups, bands and musicians of all genres and styles, an opportunity for garnering exposure and priceless industry access while funding a deserving cause. Fletcher, a self-described closet musician, is also an avid follower of reality TV music competitions. “I see these kids and families who sacrifice so much just to get heard. We’re trying to find a cost effective way for them to get recognized and push through. The other part is, if we don’t keep music in our schools, what’s going to happen? We’ve got lots of causes, lots of deeds in our country, and this may not be a life or death situation, but it is part of the human DNA and psyche to have music in our lives. It stirs the emotions. It creates calm. It entertains people, speaks to people in a way that nothing else can do.”
The Bands4Good Challenge is a competition unlike any other. It’s a valuable opportunity for musicians, bands, fans as well as lovers of music and education to contribute to a worthy charitable organization. Contest applications are being accepted through October 30th. Final winners will be announced during a live digital streaming performance show on January 14th. For the complete rules, application information and further info on the Bands4Good challenge visit their website.
– Samantha M. Lopez