Hi guys,

I'm going to post this thread to collect some of my favourite stories I've heard naming and shaming certain musical events. If you guys have had similar bad experiences, feel free to contribute.


Quote by A participant in MusicOZ in 2012
Like many other artists from around the country and some from overseas (and here I was thinking that the “Oz” meant “Aussie&rdquo, we paid the entry fee of $30 per song and paid an additional $20 per song to have some feedback provided by one of their "top music industry judges". We entered 2 songs so that costs us $100 in total, uploading the songs to the MusicOz website.

So a short time later after the entries had closed, they then announced the list of finalists for each category. Surprisingly the "rock" category in which we had entered had 91 "finalists" (http://www.musicoz.org/news/2012/4/30/103/2012_Musicoz_Awards_Finalists) - almost the exact number of entrants into the category, which was 94 (http://www.musicoz.org/songs/browse.aspx?letter=&artistcatID=2&catID=0&field=&keyword=&eventID=4&page=10).

Next, all "finalists" were offered discounted tickets for the awards ceremony at the Sydney Opera House. Beginning to smell a rat, we didn't waste our money on tickets at $52 each. The ceremony was also to be streamed live YouTube.

So the awards night rolls around in May 2012 and I curiously tuned into YouTube, however, the streaming wasn't working for a long time and the ceremony was almost half over by the time it was up and running. Rather than run through all the "finalists" for each category, 5 or so artists per category were somehow selected as the nominees. It was interesting to note that all of these artists had members present at the ceremony. Was this short list selected from the first few artists per category to buy tickets? One can only speculate...

About 2 months after the awards ceremony, we still hadn't received the feedback from the "top music industry judges" that we had paid an extra $20 per song for, so I emailed the MusicOz people to find out what was happening with it. I was told that the judges hadn't finished listening to all the entrants and as such, the feedback wasn't ready. Shouldn't it have been a pre-requisite for the judges to listen to all entries prior to the competition? Call me old fashioned, but I would have thought this to be the case. Then again, going by the number of "finalists" this doesn't surprise me...

To add insult to injury, I was asked to email the songs to the guy who would review them. Hang on... Shouldn't they already have a copy on their server from when I uploaded them originally?!?!

Furthermore, upon a quick Google search of the reviewer, I would hardly call him a "top music industry judge". From all that I could find, he was part of a band about 10 years ago that were signed to a major label, yet achieved little, if any success. Sure, they achieved more than any band I have ever been a part of, but still, I'd hardly say that this guy was a "top music industry judge" like MusicOz were billing him.

Anyway, I emailed our 2 songs off to this guy and waited. And waited. And waited. When I had finished waiting, I waited some more....

Then I contacted MusicOz again and received no response. I looked up their Facebook page and found a post from someone else in a similar situation as me. A few others commented on the post saying that they were in the same boat and hadn't received the feedback that they had paid for. Not surprisingly, there was no response from MusicOz their Facebook page.

A few weeks later, MusicOz finally responded on Facebook asking us all to email them our details and copies of the songs. I did so with no further response or acknowledgement from them.

A few weeks later, I posted again on their Facebook page calling the "competition" a farce for all the above reasons. This post was deleted and then I was contacted by MusicOz via email, asking for my contact details. Hadn't they been provided at the initial point of signing up for the awards? Anyway, I sent them on and got a phonecall from the Director a while later, giving all sorts of lip service and excuses for not providing the feedback. He kindly offered to refund me the $20 for each of our 2 songs and in good faith, stated that he would still have the songs reviewed ASAP. Furthermore, he would grant me a free entry into the 2013 awards. By this stage, it was December 2012 .

In mid-January 2013, I still hadn’t received the feedback or the refund so I emailed again. The refund was issued and once again, I was requested to email the 2 songs to the guy whose band had been signed to the major label. I asked for the guy’s email address but never got a reply.

Around mid-February 2013, I still hadn’t heard anything back and after a bit of digging around, I found the guys email address of my own accord and sent the songs off again.

By the end of March 2013, I still hadn’t received anything back from Major-Label-Guy, so I emailed him again and got this response:
“Hi [Entrant],

I haven't heard back from [Music Oz Director] regarding if I am still doing these reviews. Can you follow up with him directly?

[name withheld]”

*** Note that I have withheld the names – not Major-Label-Guy ***

WTF!?!? Seriously? After all of the back-and-forth? Really?

So I followed up with the MusicOz Director and receive the following response:
“Hi Evan,

I have cc'd in [name withheld]. He is going to do the song feedback for you and quickly. He has sold over 3 million songs and is one of the best songwriters in Australia and UK .

Please send him the 3 MP3 songs so he can do it and thanks for your patience. I really appreciate it and sorry for the muck around, but this will be a better outcome for you.

Warm Regards
[MusicOz Director]”

*** Once again, I have withheld the names – not the MusicOz Director ***

Upon another Google search of this new “top music industry judge”, I find that yes, he has worked in Australia and the UK, but with artists that hardly anyone has ever heard of. Once again, far removed from my definition of a “top music industry judge”.

In my reply, I highlighted the fact that that I had already sent the songs to MusicOz and associates on several previous occasions and at the time, I was away from home at time, without access to the songs on my PC. I told the MusicOz Director to access the songs from his sever. At the time of writing this post, the songs are still available online to the public via the MusicOz website.

It’s now mid-April and I haven’t heard anything further from MusicOz and/or their new “top music industry judge”.

This is most definitely not a story of sour grapes because we didn’t win the “competition”. It’s about letting the wider music community know about blatant deception and ripping off of artists by an organisation, whose slogan is “We Love Oz Music & Musicians”.

If you’ve gotten this point of such a long post, then I commend you. Whether you’ve read the entire thing, or simply skipped to the end, the moral to this story is simply:



Quote by A participant circa 2011
entered this comp a couple of years ago. We won the local heat, came second in the regional finals and played in the Australasian final. they were the most disorganised events I'd ever been involved in, and they'd been running them for years! The promotion was non-existant, They never did promote the events in any music media, except their own facebook page. and there was limited audience at the events- pretty much just friends/family of band members. The AUstralasian final and NSW regional final was held in Penrith in sydney, WAY out from the centre of sydney. We did get to meet some cool bands from all over Australia and NZ and we did get some free converse shoes and a digital camera for winning the local heat, thats pretty much all we got from it- the rest we had to pay for- we had to pay to go in it to begin with, then pay to get to sydney and stay over night, twice. it was worse for the bands in WA and NZ cos they had a lot further to come

Quote by A participant circa 2011
I entered a couple of years ago and I'd urge people to be careful because the whole event company that handled it was very poorly organised. No promotion and no reimbursement for any of the bands that had to travel from WA and even New Zealand all the way to the finals in Sydney. We were also promised interviews with various magazines in Sydney which never happened. Perhaps it's a different company this year but if it's got anything to do with Red Letter Day Event Management I'd give it a miss.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.