Barbara Cupp

I was recently invited to go see some bands play as part of the Orange County Music Awards competition. What are the Orange County Music Awards you ask? I had never heard of it, and I grew up in Orange County! So I went and took along my pen and paper, ready to jot down my notes.

This is what I found out. The Orange County Music Awards is a best of Orange County competition to showcase local independent bands and solo artists who either live or work in Orange County, California.

I talked to the woman at the door, her name was Corvette Sandy, and she gave me quite a bit of information about this annual event that starts in September and finishes in February. It is now in its sixth year running with more than 350 bands and solo artists competing.

Corvette Sandy explained that there are two facets to the competition, the written and recorded competition where entrants submit a recording for judging, and then the live competition where bands or solo artists are judged on live performance. Bands can register to enter the competition online at and for a $25 entry fee they can enter as many of the thirty-five plus categories as they want, such as Best Male Vocalist and Best Female Vocalist, Best Song of the Year, Best Live Electric, Best Live Acoustic, Best Hard Rock, Best Country, Best Pop Rock, and Best Hip Hop just to name a few. Entrants in this competition cannot be signed with a record label and at least one member of the band must live or work in Orange County to enter.