This year's vote for winners of the Music Association of Central Texas' Groovy Awards adds something new: public voting.

Unlike the past where the public was asked largely to suggest musicians, venues and more for nominations, this year's procedure adds a public voting component.

Until March 31, music fans and supporters can vote to narrow the semi-finalist field on Groovy Award categories from five nominees to the top three. MACT members will then choose a winner from each category's three nominees, with the results announced April 27 at the Lee Lockwood Library and Museum.

Categories include Entertainer of the Year; Male and Female Vocalists of the Year, instrumentalists; rock, country, Christian, jazz and heavy metal bands; venues; music support personnel; and others. New categories are Best Photographer and Best Sound Engineer.

Here's the voting link.

MACT President Tom "Top" Clark said the changes are meant to broaden participation in the annual awards. Voting started this week and more than 700 have voted.

In an effort to broaden exposure across Central Texas for local bands, MACT also is helping to organize a March 31 show at Temple club O'Brien's featuring Waco-area performers Tim Allen's Bluestime, Jonna Mae and Retro Rose, followed by an April 8 night at Papa Joe's Texas Saloon for Temple- and Killeen-area acts to be named later, Clark said. 

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