For years, many indie rock bands touring across America have sustained themselves on Taco Bell—and now the fast-food chain is using those near-starving artists for marketing purposes. Taco Bell recently announced the 50 winners of its Feed the Beat contest, a competition for bands vying to receive $500 in free Fourthmeals—Taco Bell’s name for the late-night snack between dinner and breakfast. According to MSN Money, the folks at Taco Bell are thrilled about the results of the competition:
‘We were ecstatic with the response and enthusiasm we received from bands eager to partake in Feed the Beat,’ said David Ovens, Chief Marketing Officer of Taco Bell Corp. ‘These bands are constantly touring and look to Fourthmeal as a dependable after-show meal when many other establishments have closed. Their passion for creating great music mirrors our passion for serving great food.’
Members of the Atlanta-based (but oddly named) band Manchester Orchestra said that they’ve spent more on Taco Bell than on guitar strings, but not all the bands involved are jazzed about the promotion. Bloomfield, New Jersey’s Ted Leo, a devout vegan and peta2 spokesman, told music site Pitchfork that he was stunned when he saw his own name on the list of winners:
I knew nothing about this until this morning, and obviously, did not submit an application. Maybe it’s a hoax, maybe someone else did it and didn’t tell me, but I have no desire to be attached to the Pepsi corporation, which also runs KFC, etc.
Turns out somebody applied on behalf of Leo using a fake email address. His name has since been removed from the Taco Bell website—but the other 49 winners are all rocking out over free chalupas.