The twenty-five musicians included in this experiment are selected in an attempt to represent a wide variety of musical styles. This event intends to bring together many facets of the area's 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 raised from the event are donated to a local non-profit.
Twenty-five hand picked musicians meet at 10am at the event's venue. These volunteers are organized into five groups through a lottery-based chance selection. The five drummers are the captains to guarantee that each band includes a drummer. The five separate groups are then assigned designated rehearsal spaces near the venue. The musicians then have twelve hours to create a band name and three to five songs (with a one cover-song limit). The five new groups then perform what they've created that evening in front of a waiting audience beginning at 10pm.
Instigated in 1997 by Good/Bad Art Collective music coordinator Chris Weber in Denton, TX, the Rock Lottery has become a highly anticipated music event in the North Texas, Seattle, and Brooklyn areas. Weber first brought Rock Lottery to Seattle in 2004, and six years later, Tierney Stout launched Rock Lottery in Brooklyn in 2010. In Brooklyn Rock Lottery’s nine year history, the event has featured over two hundred individual musicians from some of the area's most acclaimed acts including... The 8G Band, A Place To Bury Strangers, Antibalas, Antony & The Johnsons, Au Revoir Simone, Awkwafina, Balkan Beat Box, Bear in Heaven, Blondie, Cave In, Caveman, Cut Worms, The Dap Kings, DARKSIDE, Deerhoof, Delicate Steve, The Dirty Three, The Dismemberment Plan, Dresden Dolls, Drive Like Jehu, Fiery Furnaces, Girls Against Boys, Gomez, Guided By Voices, Half Waif, The Hold Steady, Holly Miranda, Hospitality, Jukebox The Ghost, Kevin Devine, Les Savy Fav, Liquid Liquid, Lucius, The Make-Up, My Morning Jacket, M83, Nada Surf, Oberhofer, Oneida, Parquet Courts, Parts & Labor, Patti Smith Group, Peelander-Z, Psychedelic Furs, Quicksand, Ra Ra Riot, Rainer Maria, The Rapture, The Roots, Small Black, St. Lucia, Steely Dan, Swans, Tanlines, They Might Be Giants, This Will Destroy You, Tokyo Police Club, Torres, TV On The Radio, Unlocking The Truth, Violent Femmes, White Rabbits, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and Yuck among many others.