Momentum Festival with Brandon Idol, September 29, 2012

About the Momentum Festival--The Most Fun Tampa Has All Year

New and Improved, Revised and Expanded, Turned on Its Head and Kicked in the Butt

It’s the all-new Momentum Festival—a series of events with everything from music to…well, just music right now. But we're looking to add more events.

Multiple People's Choice Winner Chirs HalfmanIn 2009 we're expanded to a week-long series of events. The big finale is Brandon Idol. More entertainment, more music, more ways to have fun while doing good for the world.

Music, Arts, Entertainment

We have several music events already on the schedule, and we're looking for more events and the people to run them...small contests, medium size events and big blow-out engagements. So if you'd like to run a small event to help raise money for charity, we want to talk to you.

Served Fried on a Stick

Our philosophy is to have fun with it all and not take ourselves too seriously. We get some really good singers at Brandon Idol. It's a quality show. But we emphasize the fun, too. We keep it light and informal.


2001: The Show that Started it All

It all started in 2001. The new millennium renewed our hopes for the future, the legal wrangling for the presidency challenged our faith in our electoral system, and Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman broke up. We had to do something.

So Arlene Waldron made a run for Honorary Mayor of Brandon, and we had to raise money for charity to get her “elected.”

What to do, what to do? A yard sale? Too typical. A car wash? Too wet. A talent show? Too...perfect. And we could make it a stupid talent show.

So we did. Thus was launched “Random Acts of Entertainment, Senseless Acts of Silliness.” It was a cross between the Gong Show and a Talent Show. We had a lot of fun while raising money for our Honorary Mayor.

2002: It Was Fun—Might as Well Do It Again

In 2002, Enron collapsed, President Bush choked on a pretzel and Kmart filed for bankruptcy. Somebody had to take action, but not us. Instead, we held another talent show. This time around the emcee canceled a week before the show. We needed to act fast. We needed somebody good. We needed somebody to blame. So Arlene played her charm to convince Robert Horning to emcee the show, and he did. What a sucker!

But we’re really glad he did, because he made it look smooth and easy. It was another fun success in 2002 which I suppose leads to the next year.

2003: First Year of Brandon Idol

In 2003, Luíz Inácio Lula Da Silva became the 37th President of Brazil, the Supreme Court ruled on Eldred v. Ashcroft and the Cricket World Cup was held in Africa. It was a boring year, so we held the talent show again. This time we named the first ever Brandon Idol, Tanesha Warren.

Wow, what talent we had. It was a great mix of fun acts and some really, really good talent. We were very pleased.

Robert emceed the show again, and a bunch of other stuff happened that I really can’t remember, so we should just go to the next year.

2004 Brandon Idol, Maura Mazzer2004: No Stinker of a Show (I Mean It)

In 2004, we all needed a break from political campaigns, the Iraq war and bombings, so we slept in a lot. And by the way, we held the fourth annual talent show to name the next Brandon Idol.

Again, the show was great because what else are we going to say? We’re certainly not going to say it was a stinker of a show, even if it was, but it wasn’t. The 2004 Brandon Idol was Maura Mazzer, who was the runner up the year before. (It was a good show for real. No stinkers at all, I swear.)

2005: The Year of Shenanigans

In 2005, we did it again. The talent was great, we raised money for Cookson-Hills Children’s Home, and we had some end-of-show shenanigans. There's a video of it out there somewhere, so if you ever get a chance to see it, you'll see what I mean.

Another great singer, Tammy Groff, took the title that year. Really, she's phenomenal...slow and easy or big and powerful, she nails it.

2006: No Shenanigans...Darn It

Well, 2006 came upon us fast, and we were able to avoid most of the shenanigans. Too bad. Maybe someday we’ll get them back. But Jeannie Rossi won the Brandon Idol contest.

2007: First Year for Brandon Idol Teen

In 2007 not a single hurricane hit Florida, so we did another show just to celebrate. And what’s really amazing is that we held the show in May, before hurricane season. Talk about good weather predictions.

Anyway, Brandon Idol had two new developments: Brandon Idol Teen for the kids and auditions for the adults.

And WOW. The teens showed us a thing or two...their show was better than any of the previous shows with the grown ups. The 2007 Brandon Idol Teen Senior was Amy Bueno; Brandon Idol Teen Junior is Kristin Ann Corpuz. WOW...what voices.

Then the grown ups took the stage for the evening show and it was PHENOMENAL. Everybody there said it was the best Brandon Idol yet, they’d hate to be the judges, it was tough to decide. But decide they did, and the title of Brandon Idol 2007 went to Stephanie Merkling.

You should have heard it yourself. We asked the performers to up the game, and that they did. It was an incredible show.

2008: More Great Performances

Oh, great, another presidential election year. You know what we had to do. We held another show.

Brandon Idol Kimberly BarnesWe ran Brandon Idol Teen again, and if I may say, Teen Senior winner Shevonne Philador delviered one of the best performances we ever had. Poised, comfortable and fantastic voice control. Watch the Video The video doesn't capture the feel of the big, live sound, but it's still really good.

Brandon Idol Teen Junior was Erica Barksdale.

The grown ups came through again with Kimbery Barnes taking the title. Now we should have a video of her performance, too, and we sort of do, but there are some technical glitches. (UGH...whatever problems you might have with computers, multiply that by 10 when working with video. Video can be a real booger.) So we don't have a video ready. We'll try to get that worked out.

2009: First Year of the Momentum Festival

Then 2009 came around..there was the bird flu, a few Space Shuttle launches and that guy became president...who was that guy now? I don’t think anybody noticed, anyway. I didn’t hear a word about it.

We expanded into the Momentum Festival...a week-long series of events including a Song Writing Contest and a Battle of the Bands.

The Teens took the stage on April 25, and the 2009 Brandon Idol Teen Junior is Brittany Boyce. The 2009 Brandon Idol Teen Senior is Grace VanDeGrift. (BTW: Grace also won the Song Writing Contest).

And history was made at the Grown Up Show...Britt Labato took the title of Brandon Idol...the first guy ever to win the title of Brandon Idol.

2010: We Don't Have a Good Headline for this Year Yet

It's the second year for Momentum Festival with events like the Kickoff BBQ, the Night of Original Music and the inaugural Mo Fest Brew Fest. And, of course, the finale Brandon Idol on April 24.

The 2010 Brandon Idol Winner was Taylor Bissett (and she's about to have a baby -- circa September 2012).

2011: The Last Year in the Spring (but we didn't know it at the time) and the First Year for $500 (we knew that)

We opened up the adult competition to all previous winners because we upped the winnings to $500 cash prize. And we had a repeat winner: Maura Mazzer (previous win in 2004).

And it was our last show in the Spring. The first quarter is a busy one, so committee members didn't have as much time to work on the event. There's more time in the summer, so in 2012, Brandon Idol was moved to September. It's like we're time travelers.


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