I am writing to express my disappointment in the August 2013, “Best and Worst ’13” issue of Richmond Magazine, particularly the “Culture” section. Earlier this week, on August 14, Paste Magazine released it’s list of “12 Virginia Bands You Should Listen to Now,” part of The Paste 50 States Project. 11 of the 12 acts on that list are from Richmond, and yet the “Best Local Band” is a cover band that does hits from the 70s and 80s? I do not mean to denigrate Three Sheets to the Wind at all. I am sure they are fantastic, and I also recognize the issue reflects the results of a readers poll. But should you not have guided that poll a bit more? Most polls of this kind would ask readers to choose in categories, at the minimum between best cover band and best band that plays original material, but perhaps also best live band, best country act, best rock act, etc.
Why is the Culture section so small, anyway? Are there not enough performances or people who have seen them to have listed Best Concert, Theatrical Production, Movie Theater, Library, Movie About or Filmed in Richmond, Album by an artist originally from the Richmond area… I could go on! This issue is certainly not reflective of the diverse cultural life in Richmond. In fact, a couple of the categories, “Best Enjoyable Night Out” and “Best Impressive Night Out” seem to deal only with food and beverages. I do believe that these are important parts constituents of culture, but in the categorization schema of this issue, “Food & Drink” are a separate and much larger section.
Your magazine should play a role in advancing the cultural life of the city, and in making people from here proud of the role our citizens have played on the national stage. This issue fails miserably. It seems clear the real goal is to promote potential advertisers. That’s fine, but it shouldn’t be your only goal.