Sixty local bands battle to kick-start their careers

Kelly Petryszyn

Music can always be heard in Kent. Whether it’s veteran band Tropidelic playing at The Robin Hood or a campus resident strumming on a guitar, the melodies keep coming. For all local aspiring musicians, The Battle of Standing Rock III offers an opportunity to compete with other bands for a chance to win prizes.

The competition begins on Feb. 28. It will take place at various local venues including The Robin Hood on Tuesdays, Club Khameleon on Wednesdays, The Green Room on Thursdays and Woodsy’s School of Rock Stage on Fridays.

“(The battle will) create a nice musical scene here in Kent,” said Jeff Ingram director of Standing Rock Cultural Arts.

All shows start at 7:30 p.m. There will be a preliminary, semifinal and final round. The final battle will take place April 11 at the Kent Stage.

A band can audition as long as it consists of two or more members who are at least 14-years-old. Any genre will be accepted. Ingram said that in the past, there was a wide variety of bands including ska, bagpipe, hip-hop, experimental and more.

Due to the great success of the previous competitions, Standing Rock is permitting a 60 bands to enter.

Any band can sign up, but bands that sign up for Standing Rock should be serious and committed, Ingram said. The deadline to enter is Feb. 21. Registration is online at

Ingram encourages bands to audition. He said that participation in the contest provides bands as well as audience members with “exposure to the Northeast Ohio music scene.”

The bands are judged by five criteria: originality, stage presence, quality, time use and crowd reaction. Of these, originality is most important, Ingram said. A band has to stand out among 59 other bands.

All bands competing will be vying for a selection of prizes. The grand prize is a Pro CD Package, a 6-piece drum pack, and 15 hours of recording time at Mannequin Odd Recording Studio in Aurora. Also, first prize will be a 6-piece drum pack, 2 instrumental microphones, and 2 vocal microphones. In addition, the winning band will get to headline its own CD release party.

These prizes will help kick-start a rising band.

The Battle of Standing Rock III presents local bands with the chance to be heard and become a fixture on the local music scene.

Contact all reporter Kelly Petryszyn at [email protected].