Battle of the Bands is coming to The Brightside in Dayton in 2020.

Who will be Dayton’s next rising star? Battle of the Bands now under way

Zac Pitts and Ashley Karsten of Sound Valley have been heavily involved in the local music community over the last several years, so it’s no surprise they’re some of folks behind the new Battle of the Bands.

Pitts and Karsten worked with local music promoter Libby Ballengee on the five-week competition that began at The Brightside in Dayton on Jan. 14 and will take place Tuesdays Jan. 21, Jan. 28, Feb. 4, Feb. 11 and Feb. 25.

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Zac Pitts and Ashley Karsten of Sound Valley (pictured) worked with music promoter Libby Ballengee on the Battle of the Bands competition. CONTRIBUTED
Photo: Contributing Writer

“This is a true collaboration with myself, Sound Valley and the owners of The Brightside,” Ballengee said. “We realize it’s a little audacious in a lot of ways to try to do this, but I was surprised other people haven’t tried to do this. But now, after getting a small one together, I see why people haven’t done it. There’s a lot of minutiae involved, so I don’t think any of us would’ve tried to do this alone.”

“This is a true collaboration with myself, Sound Valley and the owners of The Brightside,” Libby Ballengee (pictured) said. THOMAS GNAU/STAFF
Photo: Contributing Writer

Registration is now closed to bands, but the competition was open to bands playing original material that have been together for five years or less. Participants are required to have at least two members living in the Dayton area, which includes Springfield, Middletown, Eaton and Greenville. 

Four bands will compete each week and the winners from each of the five Tuesday-night battles will advance to the finals on Feb. 25. Weekly winners will be selected through a combination of audience votes and input from a panel of judges, including this writer.

“Adding the element of the judges gives the competition a little more legitimacy,” Ballengee said. “There’s something helpful about young performers getting real feedback from professionals who really understand music. It’s hard to be objective in a band, so getting constructive feedback from people can actually help them even if they’re not the winner.”

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The Battle of the Bands is a five-week competition beginning at The Brightside in Dayton on Tuesday, Jan. 14. CONTRIBUTED/TOM GILLIAM
Photo: Contributing Writer

The winner of the competition receives free recording time at Reel Love Recording Co. in Dayton, a spot at the Sound Valley Music Festival at The Brightside in March and other prizes.

“The winner gets to record an EP and they’ll get professional photos and a video from Sound Valley,” Ballengee said. “Hopefully those prizes will help take the winner to the next level. It will also expose these bands to an audience. We’ll have four bands each night, so people will be exposed to all these bands.

“Then, whoever wins the Battle of the Bands, gets to play the big stage at The Brightside during the Sound Valley Music Fest,” Ballengee added. “It’s an opportunity that is hopefully a big leap up for them.”

More info:


What: Dayton Battle of the Bands

Where: The Brightside Music & Event Venue, 905 E. 3rd St, Dayton

When: Jan. 21, Jan. 28, Feb. 4, Feb. 11 and Feb. 25 at 7 p.m.

More info: Website

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