Local Promoter Introduces Controversial Loot Box System to Festival Roster

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Suburban Springs, Iowa – Reports have been flooding in from parents of local band members over the last few days that Mark “$cene God” Ratowski has introduced a controversial new band prioritization to his fifth annual Rat Fest local metal showcase. But what does this new “loot box” program and its complicated reward system mean for your local scene? Click here to find out.

The controversy seemingly began when local festival organizer and venue owner Ratowski announced that for this year’s Rat Fest there would be a new way for local bands to improve their placement on the bill. In addition to the traditional method Ratowski uses to order the festival’s roster, namely ticket sales from the local bands themselves, this year the promoter is offering bands an additional chance to get better placement by purchasing one of his “randomly generated” loot crates.

“It sounds complicated,” Ratowski claimed, “but it’s really quite simple. Fest order is based on purchasing slots using our custom promotion currency, Rat Tokens. Typically, bands can accrue rat tokens by selling tickets to their friends, earning likes on Facebook, and getting hits on Facebook.”

“The better you self-promote,” the promoter added, “the more rat tokens you’ll acquire, and the better billing you can purchase with those tokens. This year, though, we’ve made it a little easier for bands to get good billing regardless of their retweets with our new loot boxes. For just fifty rat tokens, which can also be purchased at a dollar-to-token rate, bands will get the chance to open ‘randomly generated’ loot boxes filled with all sorts of prizes, including dedicated festival slots.”

While some local parents are concerned about the complexity of this monetization scheme, Ratowski claims this actually helps young bands. “Look, let’s say you’re having a little bit of trouble selling patches to all the metalheads in your Magic The Gathering guild but want to make sure your killer powerviolence act gets a good billing. You can just plunk down 50 rat tokens and possibly maybe get fourth or fifth billing under the touring act. It’s a win-win.”

But some local parents remain skeptical.

“I bought my kid’s band, Milking Sorrow (check them out on Facebook because they’re poised to take over the scene with their innovative blend of sludge and hardcore, by the way) five of Ratowski’s loot boxes, and all we got were 40 rat tokens and some Sonic Cherry Limeade coupons,” Ron Bepps, one scene dad, said.

“I literally saw Ratowski’s assistant pouring stuff from the office filing cabinet into a loot box as we were walking through the door,” claimed Steevve “666 Killthrones” Schultz. “I’m just not convinced it’s all that random.”

Still, others think the controversial system might be good for the scene.

“I just want my little boy’s band, Fetusgoatwitch (check them out on Facebook because they’re poised to take over the scene with their innovative take on second-wave black metal, by the way) to succeed, and this new system ensures we have another chance to get more than the six rat tokens we’ve made from the school anime club,” responded Franny Dettes, local scene mom.

It’s unclear how the new loot box system will affect this year’s Rat Fest lineup, but that won’t stop Ratowski from innovating the scene in the future.

“We’ve got a Battle of the Bands coming up in February, and we’re planning on piloting a new tiered rewards system with an additional currency called Rat Stars. It should make it even easier for struggling bands to get placed higher in the competition.”

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