When the lights go down, the afterparty begins. In encore’s case, it lasts four whole weeks as we write about every winner on our annual Best Of poll—yep, that’s 130 categories, folks!
We first announced the 2013 wins on Saturday, February 2nd, at our annual Best Of Party, held at downtown’s Brooklyn Arts Center. For the first year, the party became a fund-raiser for the Carousel Center for Abused Children, wherein almost $7,000 was netted from ticket sales, many raffle items and our inaugural Battle of the Bands. Folks voted with dollars to choose the winners from L Shape Lot, Mike Blair and the Stonewalls and Bibis Ellison.
Our wonderfully kooky hosts—Sandy Vaughan, Jef Pollock, Brandi Laney, Cullen Moss and Valerie Watkins of Changing Channels, along with Steve Rassin, Jason Hatfield, Zach Hanner and Randy Davis from Comically Impaired and our “Vannas” Janna Murray, Kyra Tebo, Madison Moss—shuffled through the lengthy list in side-splitting laughter. With a slew of food donations from the top-three contenders in every category (thank you, everyone, who added to the spread), folks were fed and tons of super prizes were bid on throughout the evening!
All of you who missed out on the action can see the full list of winners on page 17. As we do annually, we want to clarify some of our Best Of ground-rules so everyone understands how we endure this four-month process annually—from scouring and revising the ballot, programming the online voting system, monitoring the process (we got our eyes and ears peeled for cheaters!), designing and hand-building all awards, and pulling together the party and talent to no avail! It’s work, people. And we thank the Carousel Center; Rich Leder of Brooklyn Arts; Justin Denning, Best-Of web dude; Chuck Cothran, award-builder; our hosts, bands and every volunteer and donator for making it a success.
Here is how we play:
- Nominations for the top-three contenders were taken in the first round of voting in November, which ended at the beginning of December.
- The official ballot with top-three nominees went live on December 19th. Votes were taken through January 9th.
- encore employees never determined the winners (despite what many assume or accuse); the readers of encore determined the outcome, plain and simple!
- encore reserves the right to secure all voting information, including percentages and amounts of votes per category. However, the final tally of all nominations and votes came to 10,000. With over 130 categories and weekly deadlines, we do not divulge individual numbers—not because we have something to hide but because 10 people run this paper and, well, time is of the essence to produce it weekly.
- Only one ballot per e-mail address was allowed to vote. When canceled e-mail addresses were attempted for use, they automatically were rejected. We did not allow more than six ballots per IP address, either.
- Voters were required to fill out at least 25 categories to have their votes counted; this prevents from “stuffing” the ballot box simply to see one business wins everything.
- We encouraged businesses to campaign; though, we did not accept bribery for votes. We also secured the right to disqualify votes we felt were misrepresented or falsified in any way (not following above rules). Though we are not the NC Board of Elections, we try our best to play fairly!