HomeWorld NewsLocal musicians will be honored at a Dallas awards show for the first time in four years – The Dallas Morning News
Local musicians will be honored at a Dallas awards show for the first time in four years – The Dallas Morning News
November 10, 2023
For the first time in four years, Dallas will host an awards show to honor local performers and content creators. Deep Ellum Community Association is organizing the first Dallas Entertainment Awards, which will be using a nomination process that tries to eliminate bias.
“We just want to make this inclusive for everyone,” Dezman Lehman, co-chair of Dallas Entertainment Awards, said. “There was a lot of favoritism and what we’re trying to do is to keep it as equal as possible.”
Unlike previous local awards shows, volunteers at DECA won’t be forming a panel of judges to select nominees. Lehman said he wants to avoid nominations based on connections artists have to someone in the industry. Instead, by letting people submit their nominations, he hopes these awards can be more inclusive.
The awards show will have over 70 music and non-music categories, spanning from best performer to best graphic designer.
Lehman, a singer-songwriter, DJ and performer who goes by Dezi 5, has been part of the Deep Ellum entertainment scene for many years. He said there has been a need for a Dallas music awards show, but previous ceremonies didn’t always present a full scope of purely local talent. When he presented the idea to DECA, he wanted this awards show to be all community-based.
“Everything I do is with the intent to bring the community together, and that will always be my intent,” he said.
Both the Dallas Observer and Central Track used to host an annual music awards show in Dallas, but those stopped in 2020. Lehman hosted the last Dallas Observer Music Awards ceremony in 2019.
“It’s almost like going to the prom where we get dressed up and celebrate the things we’ve done throughout the year.” Lehman said. “It’s one of the best feelings ever, it’s like a high you can’t come down, and I want us to be able to experience that again.”
Submissions are open until Dec. 31. After submissions close, volunteers at DECA will carefully review and verify every nomination to confirm they meet three criteria for each category.
First, nominees must have actively performed or contributed to the Dallas music, arts and culture scene in 2023. Second, for music release categories, nominees must have released an album, EP, music video or other relevant content in 2023. Third, nominees are also required to live in North Texas.
“Let’s say we do get a person that’s nominated for best song and they live in Arkansas,” Lehman said. “We’re gonna find out.”
Once nominations have been reviewed, Dallas Entertainment Awards will announce the official list of nominees and release an online ballot. The ballot will open Jan. 7, 2024, and votes can be cast through the end of the month. Before the voting closes, Dallas Entertainment Awards will host a multi venue showcase featuring the Best of 2023 nominees. The showcase will provide an opportunity for the community to witness the talent firsthand and play a part in their voting.
Lehman said the Dallas Entertainment Awards goal is to celebrate community, enrich the entertainment scene and push artists to keep performing and putting out content.
Winners in each category will get an award at the Dallas Entertainment Awards ceremony that’s planned for Feb. 13, 2024. The award is modeled after the iconic Dallas Pegasus. A venue is yet to be determined.
To select nominees for the Dallas Entertainment Awards, click here or go to their website.
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