Calling all Oakland independent musicians and music fans! Nominations for Mayhem 2014 are open!

Mayhem, formerly called Oaktown Music Festival, is a music contest that was created to highlight the talent of independent musicians who call Oakland home, and to celebrate the thriving music scene in the town.

Mayhem is in its second year, and is produced by Cortt Dunlap of Awaken Café and Sarah Sexton of Oaktown Indie Mayhem, two huge proponents of Oakland artists and local music connoisseurs.

During Mayhem’s nomination period, fans can nominate their favorite Oakland bands and artists for industry prizes, such as recording time with renowned Fantasy Studios or a month of free rehearsal space, as well as prizes from Oakland businesses.

So whether you’re a musician hoping to get some songs recorded, or a friend or fan of a band and want to support your favorite local artists, here’s a simple guide to Mayhem and what fans and musicians can do to take advantage.


  • Best in Show (highest jury score)
  • Best Song by an Oakland Band
  • Best Song by an Oakland Solo Artist
  • Best Music Video by an Oakland Musician
  • People’s Choice (most nominations)
  • Best Song by a Solo Artist of Band Under 18 years old
  • Best Song by a Solo Artist or band from the SF Bay Area (excluding Oakland)

For Oakland-based musicians:

Get fans, friends, family to nominate your songs and videos through the Mayhem website.

The nomination period started September 1 and lasts until October 1. Winners will be announced October 20 and play at the Winners Party at Awaken Café on November 14 and 15.

Send your followers to the Mayhem website where they can nominate your songs and videos. Make sure your songs are on Bandcamp or Soundcloud, and your videos are on YouTube or Vimeo.

For anywhere-based music fans:

Check out the musicians you love and see if they have songs and videos they want nominated, or just go ahead and nominate a song of video of your favorite Bay-Area band or musician right now on the Mayhem website using links from Bandcamp or Soundcloud for songs, and YouTube or Vimeo for videos. You are allowed one nomination in each category.The nomination period lasts until October 1.

You can submit nominations here and check out the winners live on November 14 and 15  at Awaken Café (1429 Broadway at 15th Street).

For more details on how Mayhem works, check out the rules on the Mayhem website, and to keep updated on news about the festival, check out their Facebook page.

For a taste of the diverse group of great artists working hard to make great music in our town, check out this Soundcloud Playlist of Mayhem 2013 Winners.

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