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British Blues Awards 2017

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Usually around this time, the 1st round of the British Blues Awards nominations and voting takes place, among much wailing and gnashing of teeth - more due to who hasn’t been selected as much as why some have. However, not so for 2017. Please read the following statement from the organisers:-

We have hit some major technical snags with the running of the awards and it looks like they may take some time to resolve. 

To us the fundamental point of the awards is the participation of the fans and for them to have the chance to take part in a public vote for their favourites.

As you are aware public voting is done via a form on our website. We send a confirmation email to the person that has voted and they click on a link in that email for the vote to count. This step serves to prevent anyone from voting from the same email address more than once and verifies that the email address is valid.

What you probably don’t realise is that we record other information along with the vote such as date, time, ip-address, location and other things that help us to decide if the vote is unique to a particular person and we void any suspect votes. 

Unfortunately, in recent years, technological advances have made it easier for people to cheat. Voters can hide their computers behind virtual private networks (VPN’s) which allow them to change their ip-address and locations. They can also sign up to free services that allow them to generate random email addresses which are only valid for a few minutes but allow them long enough to vote and verify that vote. 

The more widespread these practices become means that we have to put more resource into checking and validating the votes and new methods are going to be required to weed out the cheats.

A further problem that arose towards the end of voting last year was with the confirmation emails. Because we send out such a vast amount of confirmation emails some of the email providers label them as spam. Last year a couple of the smaller providers went so far as to blacklist us and prevent our emails getting to the recipient. We found a way to work around this but it would cause us major problems if the larger providers were to blacklist us during this years voting period.

As you can see our priority at the moment is finding a workable model for the voting procedure where we and the general public can have faith that the public vote is fairly and accurately conducted. We can’t go ahead with the awards without a solution.

We’ve had plenty of offers of help with the awards but they have all been centred around the presentation which isn’t where we see the problem.

Therefore the British Blues Awards will not be taking place in 2017 and unless we can resolve the voting issue it’s future hangs in the balance. We would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has taken part or supported us in the past, and we hope to see you around during the gigs and festivals we hope to attend..”

After watching the rigmarole that now passes for the Eurovision Song Contest at the week-end (DON’T ASK), I can fully sympathise where the organisers are coming from. Here’s hoping that it’s not an insurmountable problem as many a good discussion has been had, over several pints, before the bands come on stage across the country. Still, has to be asked; who & what would have been nominated and how would you have voted. Sure as eggs, Aynsley would be in for Guitar & Vocals, probably Song and Eyes Wide Open for Best Album…. but other categories…...? Over to you…....

     

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Of course; I could be lying….