The Big Breakspoll Interview
Our roving reporter puts on his best going out clothes, grabs his notepad, and catches up with the organisers of Breakspoll, getting the latest info on the event and where it’s going…
So, basics first – what is Breakspoll?
Breakspoll is an awards ceremony celebrating the best of breakbeat music, broken down in to categories. Each category is voted on by the general public, the top 5 of each category are “nominated” and the person with the most votes wins the Award. It’s a snapshot in time of how tracks, DJs, artists, producers and promoters have been received over the past year, based on the opinions of those who vote. Essentially, it’s a popularity contest.
Is this a new thing?
Far from it – we’re 10 years old this year, starting off as a joke between a group of friends on the internet in 2001. As with most internet jokes, they grow and grow until they become serious – and with breaks gaining more and more momentum all the time, Breakspoll became more serious with it! We’ve ran the poll every year since, and every year had more and more people vote, and with more and more countries getting involved, and the parties have got bigger and bigger.
When does voting run this year?
From 1pm on Friday 4th February until 2pm on Friday 18th February.
How do people vote?
It’s easy. Just go to http://www.breakspoll.com/vote/ and vote for your favourite DJs, Producers or Tracks or whatever. For some awards we’ve made it nice and easy to vote, and included shortlists of top tracks, or big events. For others we’ve left it wide open, as we want to encourage as many new people to get involved as possible.
How many times can people vote?
Just the once! So use your votes wisely! We know of people who vote on the first day, and those who vote on the last day – but whenever you do, only do it once. If we find people who have submitted multiple votes – we delete ALL your votes, not just the duplicates.
Where do most of the Votes come from?
When we started, the majority was solely from the UK. But over the years as breaks has grown, we now see a larger proportion of votes coming from the USA, Spain, Russia, Brazil, Australia, Japan etc. Times have most definitely changed!
Don’t labels/DJs/Promoters with big mailing campaigns have an unfair advantage?
This is not strictly true. Any eflyer or PR can urge someone to vote – but it can’t force them! We don’t see anything wrong with artists reminding their fans of their achievements, through email, facebook, twitter or wherever. And for every artist who has allegedly won an Award through “having a massive database” there are tens and twentys of other artists who had that massive database and STILL didn’t win. But no-one remembers those ones… After all, you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink it! Anyone who harks on about other people using databases to win should use the time more constructively.
What about artists/labels/events that offer incentives for people to vote?
Anyone offering incentives to get people to vote – money, free entry, free mixes, free tracks – will get 24 hours notice to remove the incentive or face disqualification from all categories.
What if voters spell a name wrong when voting?
We’ve provided shortlists again this year for some awards so you can scroll down and pick your favourite from a list – however if your favourite isn’t there – you can click Other and enter whatever you want. Why not take some time out and check out some of the things we have shortlisted, as its all top draw stuff!
Isn’t the Awards just the same old faces every year?
Far from it! New faces appear each every year – very rarely does the same artist win the same award twice in a row, and the Best DJ and Best Producer award has been a proper tightly fought ship for the last 3 years – it could go any way this year! Last year, two thirds of the awards went to people who hadn’t won the previous year, or even anything at all, before! It shows that the breaks scene is in a healthy state of change and flux, with new faces and talents emerging to carry on the work and legacies of the pioneers of the scene – and keep it all fresh, exciting and alive.
So isn’t it just the Plumps/Krafty/Stantons picking up awards?
Well like it or not, these guys are massive, and represent the breaks scene on a massive scale, and have thousands of loyal fans around the globe. They obviously vote in huge numbers. If you don’t like them winning and are unhappy about it, do something about it! Make sure you vote for your favourite DJs this year rather than doing nothing and then complaining about the results. Better still, get in contact with your favourite artists and ask them how you can help them gain more votes – you never know what’ll happen!
Why do fans get to choose who wins? Shouldn’t this be an Industry-voted awards or by a panel?
What are you talking about? Are you suggesting that the very people who ultimately pay for DJs wages and buy records and MP3s in the thousands should not be allowed to express their opinion about their favourites? Breakspoll is the voice of the people.
What predictions do you have for this years Awards?
A lot of awards are up for grabs this year – the breaks scene is wide open for new acts to come and snatch it up, so we’re expecting some shock victorys for some of the awards. Theres a lot of talk this year about the more funky breaks aswell as the jungle-stye 140 breaks, so I think some interesting things could happen, and will happen.
Do people really care anymore?
100% they do! All year we have emails from people asking when the next awards is, when the next party is, can we be involved, can you book me. That’s not to mention the high ranking CV building status that goes with holding aloft one of our sparkly awards! You only have to look at any breaks party flyer around the World to see mention of Breakspoll.
It has its detractors though…
Of course, Breakspoll has its detractors – just like anything else. People love to complain. Breakspoll is the biggest and most successful breaks award show in the World, and as a result, just like anything that is successful it then has a tendency for people to start knocking it. We love it! If the ‘poll doesn’t matter to certain people, why are they so bothered about it?!
Why the move to a Friday this year? The date change has confused loads of people…
We know we messed up, but ultimately we did it with best intentions. In the current economic climate hundreds of people complained last year they couldn’t attend the awards as it was on a Thursday, so we changed it, then we decided to go a bit more underground and change the club, then all of a sudden we moved from the end of the month to the start of the month… Unfortunately most people expected it to be on the 24th of February and we didn’t let people know quick enough. Anyway, we think the change has paid off, as the response so far has been phenomenal.
Is Breakspoll here to stay?
Absolutely. It’s an annual celebration of breakbeat music. It will always create news and controversy and maybe bad feelings. But its status in breaks as the one of the pinnacles in the annual dance calendar means it will continue to exist and continue to grow.