Hot Trash Portland blogger Victoria Karol drew inspiration from MTV, organizing Music Video Portland, a first-time event that brought together musicians, videographers and music lovers from all over Maine.

“One of the things about Portland is that you wouldn’t necessarily think we were churning out videos,” said host Cherry Lemonade, the local first lady of drag also known as Conor Leigh Tubbs.

But four hours and 27 original videos later, the audience knew otherwise. And it wasn’t only the volume of video that impressed the voting audience but the range of music styles and level of sophistication.

“The first year you do something you have to see how it goes,” said Karol, who ordered plastic lobsters from Amazon, spray-painted them gold, put them on stands and snazzed them up as trophies. “I’m really in awe of the videos I got because they represent every stage of the process from super-professional to super-DIY.”

“I love the vibe of it all,” said Kelsey Biliouris of Farmington. “It makes Portland seem more important.”

Mackenzie Bartlett, who directed the rock band Leverett’s “Black Casket” video, appreciated the friendly competition. “I’m just really happy there’s an inclusive event for Portland talent,” she said. “The only way to have a thriving creative community is to have an outlet and to build each other up.”

Amy Paradysz is a freelance writer and photographer based in Scarborough. She can be reached at:

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