Mayhem: a juried competition & music festival for Oakland based musicians, presented by Awaken Cafe & Oaktown Indie Mayhem (formerly Oaktown Music Festival).

I, the Jury: Critiquing Musical Mayhem

by Eric Arnold

Sitting in on a juried panel,  trying to rate the best in local music is a pretty interesting experience. The occasion? The upcoming Oakland Mayhem (formerly Oaktown Music Fest, not to be confused with Oakland Music Festival), which takes place November 13, 14 and 15  at Awaken Café.  A whole host of local acts competed for some great prizes , including studio time, paid shows, free beer, flyers, hoodies, gift certificates from local bars, and swag bags.  Clearly, the organizers know what musicians need. Unfortunately, I missed the first night of critical reasoning, which decided the Best Song by a Local Solo Artist. The second night, however, pitted 25 local videos against each other.  {read more}

Oakland’s Music Scene Is Pure ‘Mayhem’

By Cy Musiker

Mayhem is a juried music competition, and despite the title, a friendly one among Oakland bands. “We feel that the scene is really vibrant, really on fire,” says Cortt Dunlap as we sit near Oakland City Hall. He owns Awaken Café, whose motto is “Bring people together. Launch movements.” Awaken co-produces the festival, with Oaktown Indie Mayhem, a booking and production company owned by Sarah Sexton. {read more}

See 10 of the East Bay's Best Bands For $15 This Weekend at the Oakland Mayhem Festival

The SF Weekly
by Emma Silvers

While this year's winning artists include some familiar names (we've been trumpeting the indie-electro crew The Seshen, who just released their EP Unravel, since way before they were opening for tUnE-yArDs, and Waterstrider's already bright star has risen considerably through singer Nate Salman's recent work with the Toro y Moi side project Les Sins), there are also a good number of fresh faces: Ted the Block, who won "Best Song by an Oakland Solo Artist" with the sinister, funky "Cocoon," is singer Winston Goertz-Giffen's side project for when he's not making songs in Saything. {read more}

Mayhem Festival 2014 winners announced

The Daily Californian
by Eliot Classan

After a monthlong submission and voting period, the folks behind Mayhem Festival 2014 have found the best music coming out of Oakland, according to 23 music industry expertsand the greater Bay Area community. Winners of Oakland’s second-annual music video and song contest have been announced in all seven categories, including Best Song by Oakland Band and Best Music Video by Oakland Musician. Among this year’s winners is Waterstrider, a young band with roots in the Berkeley Student Cooperative. {read more}

Mayhem Festival to musically educate the Bay

The Daily Californian
by Eliot Classan

In its second year, Mayhem Festival (formerly Oaktown Music Festival) is still searching for the best music coming out of Oakland right now. A juried music video and song contest culminating with a two-night festival that features contest winners, Mayhem Festival exists to celebrate and encourage Oakland’s music scene. Through an online nomination process, the public and a diverse jury of 23 music industry experts — executives at Bandcamp and Pandora, recording studio managers, sound engineers, the executive and artistic director of Oakland School for the Arts — will choose winners in seven categories.Prizes include recording studio time, local music festival slots, photo shoots, flyer printing and custom design work. {read more}

Nominations for Mayhem 2014 are open – pick your favorite Oakland songs and videos now!

The Bay Bridged
by Jason Shane

Formerly known as the Oaktown Music Festival, Mayhem is now in its second year, led East Bay promoter/booker extraordinaire Sarah Sexton and another twenty-first century downtown Oakland maverick, Awaken Cafe owner Cortt Dunlap. Sexton and Dunlap have seemingly done more than anyone to champion the cause of East Bay music over the last few years, and Mayhem is their bread and butter – a contest for the locals by the locals, highlighting the best of the best from the town they love – Oakland. {read more}

11 Bay Area music festivals to keep you grooving into fall

Oakland Local
By Katie Schwarz

While not a traditional festival, or even a street party, Mayhem is an online competition predominately for Oakland-based musicians whose songs and videos get nominated in a variety of categories by fans and are voted on by a jury of local music professionals. Winners receive prizes, such as recording studio time, and perform at Awaken Café in an event open to the public. {read more}