Attention, Saratogians: Now’s your chance to put one or more of your favorite rock-and-roll acts in music’s most hallowed institution. Through January 10, you can now (legally) overstuff the 2020 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ballot box with the names of 16 artists, including annual Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC) summer draw the Dave Matthews Band; the Doobie Brothers, who supported Santana at the venue back in August (and have played SPAC countless other times); the late Whitney Houston, who performed a number of shows at SPAC throughout her career, including one performance, which was recorded for and became the official MTV music video for her No.1 hit “Didn’t We Almost Have It All”; and Nine Inch Nails, who played the venue early on in their career, as part of the Lollapalooza festival, then later headlined there. Dave Matthews Band, the Doobie Brothers and Whitney Houston are all appearing on the ballot for the first time.
Twenty-twenty Rock Hall nominees who have performed at SPAC also include Pat Benatar, who played there in 1981, 1991 and 1998; Soundgarden, who was on the 1992 Lollapalooza festival lineup; and Depeche Mode (1990), Judas Priest (1988), Motörhead (1992, 2012), Chaka Kahn (2017 – she’s been nominated as part of Chicago funk band Rufus), Todd Rundgren (1972, 1980) and Thin Lizzy (2004). Benatar, Motörhead, Soundgarden and Thin Lizzy are all first-time nominees, too.
The nominees who haven’t played SPAC—and will, sadly, never get the chance to—are late hip-hop star the Notorious B.I.G. (a fan favorite and likely inductee), seminal German electronic band Kraftwerk, Detroit proto-punksters the MC5 and glam rockers T. Rex.
Fans of any of the 16 acts can vote once a day through January 10, 2020 and can choose up to five nominees per ballot. The top five artists will comprise a special “fans’ ballot.”
The 2020 induction ceremony will take place at the Public Auditorium in Cleveland, OH, on May 2, 2020.
If you’re interested in voting, click here.