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Windy City Gay Idol kicks off 10th year
See competition rules below
2012-03-19

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE March 20, 2012

CHICAGO —Windy City Gay Idol, now in its 10th year, kicks off the 2012 search for the best amateur gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender ( GLBT ) singers in the Chicago area.

What began as a fun promotion has grown into the largest and most highly anticipated annual competition in Chicago's GLBT community. Past winners have gone on to sing at Wrigley Field, Soldier Field, Allstate Arena, Market Days and at festivals around Illinois, Milwaukee, and even Toronto. Plus the Windy City Gay Idol Finals in 2008 featured a then-unknown Lady Gaga as a guest performer. So you never know what you will see and hear. You don't have to sing to be a part of it. Just come and vote.

Windy City Gay Idol, produced by Windy City Media Group, kicks off Wednesday, April 4 at the Glenwood Bar, 6962 N. Glenwood in Rogers Park. The competition continues through June with competitions in Chicago's bars and clubs.

Windy City Gay Idol 2012 preliminary competitions are one-night-only at different bars. As many as 20 participants sing at each venue, where all contestants compete for the chance to advance to the semi-finals Saturday, June 2 at Sidetrack, 3349 N. Halsted. Results from every preliminary, semi-final and final event come from audience votes. Votes from friends, family and audience members hopefully land them on the stage at the finals Saturday, June 16 at Sidetrack.

The 2012 Windy City Gay Idol Premium sponsor is Smirnoff. Other Sponsors include Creaoke and SpeedPro Printing. More sponsors will be announced soon.

With more than $5,000 in cash and prizes, all contestants will face local celebrity judges that include singers, DJs, actors, talent and casting agents, and others familiar with the performance arena.

Each winner collecting the most votes at each preliminary bar will win $100 cash. Two winners from each bar will advance to the semi-finals. Audience members at each bar also have the chance to win great prizes, such as Smirnoff merchandise, concert and theatre tickets, new DVD & CD releases, and much more.

The finals feature big prizes for audience members as well as the top three contestants, including weekend stays at downtown hotels, vacation trips and tickets to top Chicago theaters and concert venues.

The finals winner crowned at Sidetrack is awarded $1,000 in cash, a dream vacation trip, Smirnoff premium gifts, theater and concert tickets, plus the coveted title of Windy City Gay Idol 2012.

The event is open to all amateur singers age 21 and above, regardless of sexual orientation. There is a $10 signup fee for singers, and a $5 fee for audience members at all preliminary events. There is a $10 cover at the semi-finals and finals at Sidetrack.

The Windy City Gay Idol 2011 schedule:

Wednesday, April 4: The Glenwood, 6962 N Glenwood, 8 p.m. sign up, 9 p.m. start.

Thursday April 12: The Closet, 3325 N Broadway, 8 p.m. sign up, 9 p.m. start.

Tuesday, April 17: Jackhammer, 6406 N. Clark, 9 p.m. sign up, 10 p.m. start.

Thursday, April 19: Crew, 4804 N. Broadway, 8 p.m. sign up, 9 p.m. start.

Sunday, April 29: T's bar, 5025 N. Clark, 5 p.m. sign up, 6 p.m. start.

Wednesday, May 2: Touche, 6412 N. Clark, 9 p.m. sign up, 10 p.m. start.

Thursday, May 10: DS Tequila, 3352 N. Halsted, 9 p.m. sign up, 10 p.m. start.

Monday, May 14: Spin, 800 W. Belmont, 9 p.m. sign up, 10 p.m. start.

Thursday, May 17: The Call, 1547 W Bryn Mawr, 7 p.m. sign up, 8 p.m. start.

Monday, May 21: WILD CARD, Roscoe's, 3356 N. Halsted, 8 p.m. door opens, 9 p.m. start. Invited guests plus open slots for new singers.

Sat., June 2: SEMI-FINALS, Sidetrack, 3349 N. Halsted, 2 p.m. door opens, 3 p.m. start.

Sat., June 16: FINALS, Sidetrack, 3349 N. Halsted, 2 p.m. door, 3 p.m. start.

Complete rules and regulations below.

Windy City Media Group ( WCMG ) produces Windy City Times, Nightspots, OUT! Resource Guide, and WindyCityQueercast.com . WCMG is the producer of these events: Windy City Gay Idol, Gays Got Talent, 30 Under 30 and the Windy City Times Theater Series. To download all of our products visit www.windycitymediagroup.com . Send questions to publisher@windycitymediagroup.com or call ( 773 ) 871-7610.

Contact: Cynthia Holmes, Promotions Director

WCMGpromotions@gmail.com 734-834-0491

1. Entry Procedures for Competition

1.1 Individuals eligible to participate in the Competition can sign up for each competition the day of the contest at each venue beginning. The first 20 contestants in line and eligible will be performing that night and will be asked to pay a $10 entry fee as well as fill out competition release forms ( see more on forms below ) .

1.2 Individuals performing will have to sign a completed application form that states that the performer is not breaking any of the competition rules ( see 1.2a ) . If at anytime Windy City finds out the participant is in violation of one of the rules, that competitor will be eliminated and unable to continue in the contest.

1.2a Competitors can not be a member of any artistic union, can not have made over $4000 in the past 12 months performing their music and can not currently have a recording contract with a record label. This will be billed as an amateur competition therefore anybody competing will be perceived as an amateur. Competitors must be over 21 years of age and can be any gender and have any sexual orientation though if you win the competition you will be titled the Windy City Gay Idol and have to perform certain duties ( appearances, photo shoots and interviews ) as such.

1.2b Competitors in the competition cannot have held the Windy City Gay Idol Title in the past.

1.3 The Competition is open to individuals over the age of 21 - proper ID must be shown prior to entering any of the venues and its validity is subject to the on-duty security. Competitors therefore must bring valid proof of age.

1.4 Individuals who are employees of, or live with an employee of, or are a relative of Windy City Media are not eligible to participate in the Competition.

1.5 No Competitor will be permitted to participate without submitting to the Producer a validly signed Competitor's Release Form at the venue. This form will state that the competitor's pictures can be used in all ads and publications promoting the event. This form will also state that the competitors and Windy City Gay Idol will be available for photo shoots, promotional appearances and interviews through the competition.

2. The Performances

2.1. Each night of competition is scheduled for a specified amount of time. As a result, all individuals who want to perform for that night's event may not get a chance to do so, and the Producer of the event nor the bar is in no way liable for this loss of opportunity.

2.2. Competitors will perform the whole song with a Karaoke system. If you want to assure that your song will be available, you may bring a CD containing the karaoke version of your song with you the night of the event. It is encouraged to be ready to sing at least two songs in case someone else that night before you is singing the song you chose ( however, if you'd still like to sing that same song it is your choice ) . Only if you choose a song from the Karaoke system at the event will the words will be provided to you on a screen. Judges will critique your performance when you are through and you will be given a number for which the audience will vote at the end of the night. Each paying audience member at the event will get one ballot - audience chooses the winner.

2.3 The Host for the evening will announce at the end of the night the Competitors who have been chosen to go through to the Semi- Finals on June 2nd. The competitors who will go to the semi- finals may be asked to come to other pre-lim competitions to perform for the audience as a guest for the night. In no way is this part of the competition or judging process, simply a way to showcase some of the semi-finalists at other venues.

3. The Finals

3.1. The Finalists will be invited to participate in the Final Competition which is currently scheduled to be held on June 16. The Finalists will be required to read, approve and sign a Release Form for the Finalists prior to the finals. Competitors who have not submitted the Finalist Release Form on this basis will not be permitted to participate in the Finals.

3.2. Competitors will be invited to perform a pre-selected song that they themselves choose ( pre-approved by Windy City, strictly to assure there are no duplicate songs chosen for the finals ) .

3.3 The Judges will once again critique the performances and the audience will be asked to judge at the end of the night for their favorite performer. The winner of Windy City Gay Idol will be announced and crowned that night. At that point the Gay Idol would have signed documentation to be featured as the Windy City Gay Idol in all media ( gay and mainstream - local and national ) , accept the prizes awarded to the winner, pose with event sponsors and product and become the Windy City Gay Idol for 2012.

4. General Rules of the Competition

4.1. The Producer reserves the right to change the structure of the Competition as it sees fit including, without limitation, adding or deleting the amount of competitors, and/or requesting additional performances from the Competitors, etc. The producer also reserves the right to eliminate competitors who fail to represent the competition in a high moral standard. Refunds will not be available if a Competitor is eliminated for any reason.

4.2. It is a condition of entry and participation in the Competition that Competitors make themselves available to participate in the Competition, agree to and sign all applicable Release Forms and abide by terms and conditions of such Release Forms and the rules, regulations, terms and conditions as devised from time to time by the Producer including but not by way of limitation the Competition Rules. As part of Competitors' contribution to the Program, the Producer may request Competitors to participate in any online/interactive activity relating to the Program, video recording of performances for future use in promotions, screenings, etc. including without limitation recordings interviews and participation in appearances, promotional, publicity, sponsorship and merchandising activities.

4.3 It is a condition of entry and participation in the Competition that the Competitor has not entered into any contractual, commercial, sponsorship or other arrangements in respect of his/her musical or performing abilities or the products thereof or in respect of his/her name, likeness, image or biography which might be in breach of any of the Release Forms or the Competition Rules or otherwise prevent the Competitor from participating in the Program or the broadcast, promotion, exploitation or sponsorship thereof.

4.4 Competitors must not at any stage of the Competition discuss with or take advice from any or all of the Judges on any matters relating to their participation in the Program including, without limitation, their performance, appearance or choice of song.

4.5 The Audience decisions are final. Where the integrity of the public voting system is compromised or the public voting system is otherwise not functioning, as determined by the Producer in its sole discretion, the Producer reserves the right to make all final decisions relating to the Competition.

4.6 All personal details and information requested by and supplied to the Producer by each Competitor must be truthful, accurate and in no way misleading. The Producer reserves the right to disqualify any Competitor from the Competition should the Competitor at any stage supply untruthful, inaccurate or misleading personal details and/or information.

4.7 The Producer will have no liability to a Competitor who is unable to attend or take part in any part of the Competition for whatever reason.

4.8 The Producer reserves the right to amend the Competition Rules or terminate the Competition at any time without any liability to any Competitor. The Producer further reserves the right to replace at its discretion any Competitor who for any reason fails or is disqualified from or unable to participate in any aspect of the Program and/or Competition with another replacement Competitor, notwithstanding that such replacement Competitor may have been previously eliminated from the Competition.

4.9 The Competitor must at all times behave appropriately when taking part in the Competition and observe the Competition Rules and any other rules or regulations in force at the locations. The Producer reserves the right in its absolute discretion to remove from the Competition or location any Competitor who breaks such rules and/or fails to behave appropriately and to disqualify such Competitor.

4.10 In the event that as a result of the public vote at any location, two ( or more ) Competitors are tied, the Producer shall be entitled to determine in its absolute discretion which Competitor is eliminated and/or which Competitor goes through to the next round ( as appropriate ) and for this purpose it shall be entitled to make such arrangements or request such further performances from the Competitors as it in its absolute discretion deems necessary.

4.11 All Competitors agree that the Producer and its agents can use, exploit and distribute, in any media whatsoever, including without limitation the Internet, now known or hereafter created, worldwide in perpetuity, the Competitor's audition ( s ) , performances and appearances, the Competitor's comments and the Competitor's name, likeness, image or voice without any further consent or compensation of any nature or kind. Further, all individuals who attend at the Competition, who do not become Competitors ( including family, friends or any other individual accompanying a participant ) ( "Other Individuals" ) , agree that the Producer and its agents can use, exploit and distribute in any media whatsoever, including without limitation the Internet, now known or hereafter created, worldwide in perpetuity, the individual's comments and name, likeness, image or voice without any further consent or compensation of any nature or kind. All Competitors and Other Individuals agree to waive any and all copyright interest, of any nature or kind, they may have in their comments, audition ( s ) , performances and appearances, including without limitation any moral rights in the foregoing.

4.12 Competitors acknowledge that the Producer, the establishments where the contests are being held, the Judges, the sponsors, the advertising agencies and any person or entity connected with the production, administration or judging of the auditions, the Competition or the Program, and any of their respective parent companies, affiliates, subsidiaries, agents or representatives, are not responsible for and are in no way liable for any injuries, loss or damages caused by: ( i ) the administration ( including scheduling ) of the Competition including any failure of transportation or inability for any reason to appear before the judging panels; ( ii ) the Competitors or any third party's participation in the auditioning process, or being selected or disqualified; ( iii ) as a result of the decisions of the Judges, Producers or public voting; or ( iv ) any printing, typographical or technological errors in any materials associated with the Competition.

4.13 In the event of any dispute concerning the operation of any element of the Competition or these Competition Rules, the decision of the Producer will be final.

4.14 These Competition Rules are additional to and do not supersede any and all Release Forms signed by the Competitor and in the event of any conflict between any Release Form and these Competition Rules, the Release Form will prevail.

8. Definitions

"Competition"

The skill competition comprised within the Program including without limitation each of the semi-final rounds leading up to and including the selection of the winning Windy City Gay Idol. It is intended that the Winner of the Competition will ultimately be selected by public vote based on the Competitor's "overall package" reflecting a combination of factors, such as talent, skill, vocal range, marketability, charisma and stage presence.

"Competitor ( s ) "

Any person who enters the Competition.

"The Finals"

The final round following the prelim events, to take place at Sidetrack.

"Judges"

Such person ( s ) as the Producer may nominate from time to time to critique performances at each event.

"Producer"

Windy City Media Group

"Program"

"Windy City Gay Idol 2012"

"Locations"

Venues participating in the competition.

"Release Form ( s ) "

Any release form supplied from time to time by the Producer which Competitors are required to sign in connection with the Program. These include, without limitation, the Competitor's Release Form and the Final Release Form.

I agree to abide by all the above rules and regulations stated above and hereby understand that the producers of Windy City Gay Idol have every right to eliminate me from the competition if I fail to abide by the rules and regulations stated or if they deem me an ineligible or an unfit competitor.

Print Name: ____________________________________

Signature: _____________________________________

Date: _________________________________________

Event Location: _________________________________

Phone Number: _________________________________

Email: ________________________________________


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