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.
“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.”
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.”
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: www.thebrightsidedayton.com.
WANT TO GO?
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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