Bringing music, togetherness and culture into Boone is just a few goals of the upcoming Battle of the Bands to be held noon to midnight on Sept. 23, hosted by Forte Studios.
“One image that stuck in my head from last year is we had a country band and a metal band standing right next to each other, supporting another band on stage and talking and hanging out. To me that really captured the whole essence of what this is about - more about the culture and not about the style of music, egos or whatever it might be,” Forte Studios Manager Josh Jacobsen said. “It was about really coming together for the music… that’s cool. That’s what we are shooting for, to create that family environment where it was about the music and having fun.”
Tickets and packages for the Battle of the Bands event can be purchased at the door or online at www.universe.com/battleofthebands.
This year will be the second year for the event, and Jacobsen is hoping for better weather this year. “We rained out on the first one, had a pretty big thunderstorm run through. So, we were only able to run half of the day,” Jacobsen said. “We had a pretty good turnout there was a couple 100 there just in the afternoon.”
Looking at the numbers in the amount of time the first Battle of the Bands was operational, he believes there will be a decent turnout this year. The rain date for inclement weather will be Sept. 24.
“That will keep people in town and hopefully, keep the audience here and engaged,” Jacobsen said. Ten bands with varying styles of music will be competing - such as Blues, Rock, Alternative, Country and more. “They’re from all over the Midwest, we have a few bands from Minneapolis (Minn.), South Dakota, Omaha (Neb.) and all over the state of Iowa,” Jacobsen said.
Bands interested in playing in the Battle of the Bands submitted an application to Forte Studios telling the company about their band, submitted samples of their music and examples of their marketing materials.
“We basically take what we feel are some of the top quality bands regardless of location, then from there we match the battle rounds with similar styles of music,” Jacobsen said.
Who proceeds in the battle rounds depends on the audience’s vote. “Everyone that comes through the door gets a colored ticket for each battle round and then that round they are able to vote for the band they like best,” Jacobsen said. “From 6 p.m. to midnight is the finals round, the band from each battle round that got the most votes actually plays a full concert for 30-40 minutes.”
There will also be a panel of judges, a few from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
The winner of the Battle of the Bands will receive a free album recording worth up to $5,000 at Forte Studios.
“The prize is a pretty significant thing, when you talk about an original band, to be able to record in professional studio. There’s some of them that just can’t afford it and this offers bands in the Midwest that opportunity without having a commitment to a record label,” Jacobsen said. “The industry is different from what it used to be, it used to be you had to be signed. Now you can really self produce, the bands can if they have good albums, good products and good shows. This is a platform for them to really get out and get heard.”
He said the bands that competed last year enjoyed their time in Boone.
“Every band we talked to — the ones that traveled — they really enjoyed the city. The hospitality was good. I heard nothing but good things, which was cool,” Jacobsen said. “They really thought the festival was a great idea and it’s a good thing that the city is supporting (the Battle of the Bands) and what we are trying to do.”
He said bands can see the efforts put in to make the Battle of the Bands happen.
“This is family-oriented, so this brings them a whole new audience, different age demographics and different people where they can get exposure,” Jacobsen said. “There is a lot of value to it for bands that compete because they’re getting a lot of good marketability.”
The event, he said, also helps bring economy to the city of Boone.
“When… well over half the bands are out of town, they are bring their fans and family. They’re staying in hotels, camping and eating dinner. There’s a lot of things it can bring the city and community,” Jacobsen said. “We do have things in Boone like the railroads, the races and stuff like that. We thought this is a nice way to round it out and bring a little more culture to downtown.”
He said the studio also wanted to support local business by utilizing them for items like event T-shirts and food. Jacobsen said they are still looking for volunteers for the event, those interested can contact the studio through facebook www.facebook.com/pg/fortestudiosevents/jobs/, its website www.fortestudios.us/battleofthebands/ or call (515) 309-1524.