Bar 145’s ‘Battle of the Bands’ looks for participants

Kate Kelly

Bands that want to book live shows across Ohio now have the chance through Bar 145’s “Battle of the Bands” contest.

Eighteen bands will compete at the Bar 145’s in Kent and Toledo. The contest will take place at both bars every Sunday starting April 7 through May 12. The winners from each location will face off at an event at Mr. Ed’s Bar and Grille in Put-In-Bay, Ohio, according to Bar 145’s website. The due date for applications was March 18, but has now been extended until March 21.

“When people think ‘Battle of the Bands’ they think of the band’s original music,” said Jake Guthrie, director of operations at Bar 145. “We are looking for cover bands because cover bands are entertaining, and people like to know the songs. That is usually what we have for live entertainment, and we are looking for bands who can potentially have a contract to play for our crowds.”

Bands that will be considered for the contest must be unsigned, cover bands that have not played in the last 12 months at any Bar 145 location or Mr. Ed’s, according to the website.

“We will take 80’s cover bands, country cover bands, rock, a little bit of everything,” Guthrie said. “We need bands who put on a show and keep people dancing.”

Bands will be judged on their song selection, stage presence, crowd participation and votes and overall musicianship.

The winners of each location will receive a professional photo shoot that will be featured on an advertisement to promote the Put-In-Bay show and will be guaranteed two paid bookings at each location of the competition.

“Put-in-Bay is going to be really promoted and a really exclusive event,” Guthrie said. “It is such a big venue, and the bands will have a great opportunity to play in front of such huge crowd.”

The winner of the final round at Mr. Ed’s will win $1000 in cash and bookings at both Bar 145 locations and will have a chance of a yearly contract with all venues, including Mr. Ed’s, according to the website.

“Our typical band that has a yearly contract with us usually plays over 40 shows a year,” Guthrie said.

J.J. Marino works weekends at Bar 145 as a barback, and he is excited for “Sunday Funday” at Bar 145 and to watch how the contest pans out.

“Bands who perform here are always pretty cool and talented,” Marino said. “The bar is doing more than providing a place to have a good time with your friends. They are giving musicians the chance to do what they love in front of the great crowd.”

Contact Kate Kelly at [email protected].