Lilith contest spurns locals

It’s a cool idea, though somehow local artists got burned.

As part of the relaunch of the Lilith Fair, the female-focused package tour that returns to the road this summer after an 11-year hiatus and which stops at Mandalay Beach Friday, the “Lilith Local Talent Search” is meant to spotlight an up-and-coming artist from each city on the festival’s itinerary.

The way it works: Artists post a bio and some music at http://www.ourstage.com/go/lilith where fans go and vote on their favorite performers.

The winner gets to open the Lilith show in her city.
Sounds pretty promising, right? A chance for a local talent to get a shot to play in front of thousands, potentially, and be part of a lineup that, here in Vegas, includes the likes of Sarah McLachlan, Miranda Lambert and The Bangles.

The Las Vegas winner: Jasmine Chadwick.

Who? You ask. Exactly.

You see, Chadwick isn’t from Las Vegas. On the surface, this doesn’t seem like a big deal: Tons of musicians relocate here to pursue a career in the entertainment industry. But Chadwick’s ties to Vegas are tenuous. She hasn’t consistently played here, and she’s not a presence in the local scene as of yet. Born in rural Canada, Chadwick later relocated to L.A. to pursue a career in music and was once the winner of the L.A. Rock City Best Folk-Rock Artist award. This is the city that she has been most associated with as an artist.

Now, Chadwick shouldn’t be faulted for taking advantage of an opportunity like this. She’d be a fool not to.

Moreover, she’s a worthy artist in her own right. Her debut EP, “This is Who I Am,” is a warm, sunny and confident sounding disc full of songs that could be potential radio hits.

Clearly, she has enough ability to play Lilith — we’re just sayin’ it should be the L.A. date, the day after the tour comes to Vegas.

Chaswick sees things differently.

“I live in Vegas, and clearly met the criteria and followed the rules,” she says via e-mail. “After I was selected by the judges there was a further vetting process conducted by Lilith prior to being announced, so this really is a non-issue. Like every musician, I’ve worked very hard for years to be here and I am honored to represent Las Vegas.”

This doesn’t doesn’t take the sting away for some locals, though.

“I was born and raised here, and I am quite involved with the local music scene,” Vegas singer-songwriter Kristina Antuna says. “So I could not have been more insulted when Ourstage told me that no one from Vegas was qualified enough to play. My Vegas fans spent countless hours voting to get me to that number one spot, all to have it taken away by someone no one in this town has ever even heard about.”

Well, they have now.

Contact reporter Jason Bracelin at jbracelin@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0476.

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