Although our Indy Music Awards and Indy Music Festival are still in their toddler stages, their origins go back a couple decades.
In 1995, Fran Zankowski was running an alt-weekly in Connecticut called the Hartford Advocate. It was there that he launched a readers' music poll along with a festival called the Hartford Grand Band Slam.
The festival, its name derived from the poetry slams then springing up around the city, would continue to grow exponentially throughout the next decade. Soon after that, Fran would make his way to the Colorado Springs Independent, where as CEO he soon threatened to start the same thing.
Which brings us to this issue's announcement of the third annual Indy Music Awards, along with its profiles of 17 first-place winners. You'll also find information on our free Indy Music Festival, which this year moves to the heart of downtown Colorado Springs and expands to four stages.
From what I've seen, a major key to the festival's success is its symbiotic relationship with the Indy Music Awards, in which thousands of readers vote for their favorite local musicians and then go see them perform live over the course of a single evening.
Click here to read about this year's winners. Then be sure to congratulate your favorites and, most importantly, check out a music scene that's worthy of year-round support.