On March 28, a misinformed announcement made by representatives from Atlanta’s Alt 105.7 raised the hopes of two contestants in the Atlanta city finals of the Road To Roo battle of the bands only to be privately redacted the next day, leaving one group disappointed and confused as their “road to roo” had suddenly come to an end.
All throughout the evening both fans and contestants were under the impression that two bands would advance from the city finals to the state finals and play for the chance to perform at the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival in June of 2018. This impression held up throughout the night as multiple announcements regarding the advancement of two bands were made over the course of the three-hour long event which ended with the reveal that the winners were judge favorite Chelsea Shag and crowd favorite Camera Box.
Both bands celebrated their victories and immediately began thinking ahead to the final round, but the next afternoon the lead singer of Camera Box, Danny Weathers, received a phone call from ALT 105.7 in which representatives from the station informed him that they had made a mistake and that he and his band would not be advancing after all.
“I got a call around 3:30 p.m. the day after the show and up until this point we had been told in our interactions with 105.7 that two bands from Atlanta would advance from the third round onto the final,” said Weathers. “They had me on a conference call and said they had some really bad news for us and that they had just found out that only one band could go to the state final from the third round.”
Understandably upset, Weathers spent most of that evening considering ways that he and the rest of Camera Box could work with ALT 105.7 to find some type of solution to the sudden removal of the band. Having won the crowd vote by a wide margin and earning three second place votes from the judges.
Weathers reached out to the station to propose a one-on-one battle between Chelsea Shag and Camera Box that would take place the next week and determine which band would move on to the state finals. The proposed one-on-one battle would also involve educating both the fans and judges on the specifics of the rules and scoring before any type of voting was cast. Unfortunately for Camera Box this proposal was shot down.
Therein also lay the burden that Weathers would bear to tell his bandmates the bad news and that the band would collectively share while also informing their fans who were less than a day removed from joyous celebration.
“I knew I was going to have to tell the band and we would have to tell our fans and a lot of people would be disappointed while I was also dealing with my own disappointment with that outcome,” said Weathers. “I think that it’s one thing to lose straight up and every band prepares themselves emotionally for the chance that they won’t be selected, but nobody prepares themselves for the possibility that they could be selected and told that they won to have their victory taken away.”
Once the band was positive that they would not be advancing in the competition they reluctantly took to their social media outlets to inform their fans of the unfortunate news and to let them know what had happened. Fans began to voice their displeasure with the way that ALT 105.7 handled the situation and failed to make the specificity of the rules known to them, judges and even the bands. In response, the station began sharing the office phone number for their program director Aly Young.
Many of the initial phone calls circulated around speculation that the station had changed a rule a stated rule after the conclusion of the competition, but Young was quick to clarify such speculation in an understanding manner for disgruntled fans.
“The rules were the rules from the very beginning of the competition,” said Young. “The mistake happened when Camera Box was announced as the second band that would go forward to the next round when in fact there was only supposed to be one band.”
Young was also very apologetic for the confusion, going as far to say that the station was fully responsible for the mistake. However, this does not resolve the absence of the competition’s rules from the station’s website and the station’s inability to communicate those rules clearly to those involved in all aspects of competition.
Despite the disappointment that Camera Box felt following the mistake they have publicly come forth to thank their fans for the love they have shown them through this time of embarrassment and hardship. They also announced that they and ALT 105.7 have entered serious conversations regarding having the band play an opening set for a national headliner later this year.
Even though they are no longer on the Road To Roo, Camera Box is optimistic to see what their future holds.
Photo Credit: iHeartRadio