AMI Entertainment Sponsors Music Competition At ArtPrize In Grand Rapids; Jukebox Stations Entertain Festivalgoers

Posted On: 9/23/2016

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TAGS: jukebox, coin-op news, juke box legend, AMI Entertainment Network, Grand Rapids festival, ArtPrize, 2016 Blue Bridge Music Competition, Quinn Mathews, Meghan Bunchman, WZZM 13, Todd Herring, AMI NGX jukebox

GRAND RAPIDS, MI -- Jukebox legend AMI Entertainment Network has partnered with the Grand Rapids, MI, ArtPrize program to sponsor its 2016 Blue Bridge Music Competition. Now in its eighth year, ArtPrize is a 19-day international art competition and festival held in downtown Grand Rapids, the longtime home to AMI's main office.

AMI explained that, for the past five years, music has had a modest but successful presence at ArtPrize. This year, however, music will be at the heart of the event with a song competition, pop-up performances -- and the Blue Bridge Music Festival, of which AMI is the official sponsor.

Grand Rapids radio personality Quinn Mathews, who is music venue coordinator for ArtPrize 8, hailed the alliance. "I'm beyond excited about the partnership with AMI and ArtPrize in Grand Rapids this year," said Mathews, himself a past ArtPrize artist who won the St. Cecilia Music Center's Folk/Country Award at the 2014 competition. "It has been such a pleasure to work with the team at AMI to really showcase original music as a part of this competition.

"Visitors from all over the world will be walking around Grand Rapids to look at art, and they will come across these fantastic digital jukeboxes from AMI that are set to free play -- and only play original music that was submitted for this competition," Mathews added. "We really upped the game by joining forces with AMI Entertainment. This year is going to be one for the books."

ArtPrize Preview Week got underway last week; the event officially opened on Sept. 21. The AMI Jukebox listening-stations have been set up at six of the most popular ArtPrize venues, including The B.O.B. ("The Big Old Building," which houses a number of restaurants and beverage purveyors and describes itself as "the original social network"), as well as the JW Marriott Skywalk. The public will be able to listen to the songs, which span several musical genres, on any (or all) of the jukeboxes, then vote for their favorite by means of ArtPrize's mobile app.

jukebox, AMI Entertainment Network, Grand Rapids festival, ArtPrize
ON THE AIR: Grand Rapids newscaster Meghan Bunchman of WZZM 13 interviews ArtPrize communications director Todd Herring in front of an AMI NGX jukebox during the run-up to this year's ArtPrize events. The nine-day program culminates in the Blue Bridge Music Competition, which is sponsored by AMI. The company's digital jukeboxes are being installed throughout the ArtPrize venues, set on free play and programmed with music submitted to this year's competition.

Live performances by the artists will take place on the Blue Bridge, a famous pedestrian bridge in the heart of downtown Grand Rapids, every day throughout the 19-day event. The Blue Bridge Music Festival, which brings ArtPrize to a rousing climax, will feature two days of musical entertainment from ArtPrize musicians performing alongside well-known Michigan bands on Sept. 30 and Oct. 1.

Grand Rapids was the home of National Automatic Musical Instrument, which formed the Automatic Musical Instrument Co. in 1925 to manufacture and market automatic player pianos and, soon thereafter, jukeboxes. Today, with its business headquarters in Philadelphia, AMI continues to develop entertainment solutions for the bar and restaurant industry. The company and its network of jukebox operators enable more than 23,000 locations to deliver multiscreen entertainment experiences. AMI's network reaches more than 69 million U.S. consumers a month.