Let's be perfectly clear about a couple of things. One, the REVERB Local Music Festival is not only sponsored by Seattle Weekly (as many other local festivals are funded by publications, end of story), it has been planned, organized, and conceived by this publication and its partners, for better or worse. And secondly, while we are hosting a local-music festival, we do not view SW as an advocate of the local music scene. We are chroniclers and critics of it. If we don't like a record, we write what we feel. If a singer shits the bed on stage, we'll take a picture of it. We're not here because we're trying to sell anybody anything—except wristbands to REVERB, of course. As it happens, the Seattle music scene does a pretty good job of selling itself. In 2007, Seattle Weekly decided to throw a party. The idea was simple: Take as many local bands as we can handle, put them in as many rooms as possible, and invite the entire city to hear them. Furthermore, we're going to treat everyone equally. As in, no headliners. We're going to pay everyone the same amount of money, and not have any band play consecutive festivals. Hence, the 60-plus bands and artists playing the festival this year did not last year. That's a better endorsement of a scene than we could ever give in print. You won't find a greater concentration of Seattle talent anywhere this side of the Storm locker room than you will on the streets and stages of Ballard today. Do yourself a favor: Check out some bands you've never seen before. If you're really, really into metal, say hi to the Roy Kay Combo, a rockabilly ensemble that will have you fist-pumping and head-shaking in a minute. If you're really, really into Seattle hip-hop, check out Kinski. They're promising plenty of drone, and even a song or two. And if you're really, really, REALLY into indie rock, watch DJ Faust—aka Faustine Hudson, one of the most exciting and melodic drummers in town—spin soul at the Ballard Loft. You'll have plenty of opportunities to catch your favorites as well. Now when the party's over, we're going to go back to being frenemies. I'm going to tell you exactly how I feel about chamber pop. Bands and fans are going to disagree with us about that album and that show. In short: We're all going to go back to doing our jobs. But for one night, let's say fuck all that. Let's get together in Ballard and make some bad decisions. Let's drink copious amounts of booze from our sponsors (thank you, God, for creating Jäger), let's not judge, let's request "Freebird" without irony, let's wear the T-shirt of the band we're going to see, let's talk to strangers, let's admit that we listen to the Dave Matthews Band, let's drink Genesee instead of Pabst. We'll have plenty of time to snark in the morning.