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This year’s Rock And Roll Rumble is on hold.
Last night, longtime organizer Anngelle Wood made the announcement that the 2018 Rumble, which would have gone down this April at ONCE Ballroom in Somerville, has been postponed. Wood cited the recent change of ownership of WZLX 100.7 FM, which broadcasts Wood’s Boston Emissions local radio program each Sunday night, as the reason behind the postponement.
“I know there are many awaiting news on the 2018 Rock And Roll Rumble,” Wood wrote in a statement posted online. “And I know friends have been fielding questions for weeks; the truth is that they don’t know either. In November, WZLX was sold to a new company. That made for a great deal of transition for all involved.”
In December, a deal was finalized by iHeartMedia to acquire the classic rock station as part of a series of ownership transitions and re-shufflings that shook up the local and national radio landscape.
Wood wrote she is grateful that Boston Emissions survived that ownership change, and that her show remains on Sunday nights. But she’s had a tougher time selling the new company on the Rumble and its history, apparently.
“Throughout this transition, I have been meeting with management and marketing and explaining what I do and how the Rumble works,” she added. “It takes time. The good news is the Rumble will continue. The not-so-good news is that it won’t be able to happen in the long-running tradition of nine nights in April this spring. I am postponing it.”
An annual Boston fixture that began in 1979, the Rock And Roll Rumble enlists 24 local bands each spring to compete over six preliminary nights. Eight bands move on to the semi-finals, and three play in a grand finale, with the winning band receiving a litany of prizes, including studio time and promotional boosts.
The last time the Rumble skipped a year was 2010, which came as a result of the closing of rock radio station WBCN. It resurfaced in 2011, spearheaded by Wood and WZLX, for a five-year run at T.T. The Bear’s Place in Cambridge before relocating to ONCE for its 2016 edition. Last year’s Rumble was won by Carissa Johnson.
While there is no timetable as of now for the Rumble’s return, Wood says other things are in the works as details get sorted out.
“Please know that I am working on a few exciting things, none of which I can tell you about yet,” she writes. “I do love that there are many who love the Rumble and that it remains an important part of Boston music. It has been a huge part of my life for ten years. It takes much work and dedication that I don’t think a lot of people could pull off. I have had an amazing team throughout. Please know that I love the Rock And Roll Rumble and have every intention on continuing the tradition.”
More to come, we’re sure.