Rock Lottery began in Denton, TX in 1997 (and in Seattle in 2004). The premise is simple, but effective. Twenty-five hand picked musicians meet at 10:00AM at the evenings performance venue. These volunteers are organized into five groups through a lottery-based chance selection. The five separate groups are then released to practice at different locations. The musicians have twelve hours to create a band name and three to five songs (with a one cover-song limit). The groups will then perform what they have created that evening in front of a waiting audience.
The twenty-five musicians included in the experiment are selected in an attempt to represent a wide variety of musical styles. This event intends to bring together many facets of the Brooklyn music community that may seem incompatible as well as musicians whose interests may conflict. The challenge for these musicians is to try and go beyond their personal and musical differences and work together to create a unified group project that still contains the personal styles of each of the participants. All proceeds from Rock Lottery go to a local charity.
In the past, Rock Lottery has featured over three hundred musicians from some of Denton/Dallas, Seattle and now Brooklyn's most acclaimed national and international acts (Antibalas, Aqueduct,Bear In Heaven, Bedhead, The Baptist Generals, Blonde Redhead, Brave Combo, Built to Spill, Centro-matic, Fleet Foxes, Harvey Danger, The Hold Steady, King Missile III, Les Savy Fav, Lift to Experience, Liturgy, The Long Winters, M83, Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson, Murder City Devils, My Morning Jacket, Northern State, Oberhofer, Pedro the Lion, People Get Ready, The Polyphonic Spree, The Riverboat Gamblers, Slobberbone, Smoosh, Suckers, The Toadies and White Rabbits among many others).