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Battle of The Bands Advice Required...


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Just thought I'd post this up to see if anyone can shed any light or have any experience of this.

We got a call today from someone at Rock Radio to say that we've been selected for the final of a battle of the bands, with a prize being to play on the Rock Radio stage at the Extreme Weekend @ Knockhill on 27th August. Apparently we've made it through to the final 8 in Scotland, although we've never played a heat before.

Generally I steer well clear of this sort of thing, and tend to have a pretty good bullshit detector, so would be interested to hear your thoughts. The website describing what happens is Rock Radio Battle of the Bands which sets more alarm bells ringing. We're supposed to play a minimum of 2 covers in a 25 minute set, and not expected to bring anything except breakables. Sounds like a load of horseshit to me....

It's not one of those obvious 'pay to play' competitions that everyone despises but there still seems to be something not quite right with it.....

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Was my initial thoughts exactly, but apparently we'd signed up for it some time ago with a link to our Soundcloud / Facebook pages etc and this is where it's come from. I just don't trust it at all - being billed as the 'Final' but there have been no heats that I know of. Coupled with a 4pm start, 8 bands playing 25 mins each and at least 2 covers must be played. We're not gonna do it obviously - too many alarm bells ringing too loudly!

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8 bands playing 25 mins each and at least 2 covers must be played.

Well that is just mental to begin with, most BOBs don't let you do covers, do a hypothetical version of 'Dopesmoker' or something else epic.

EDIT...in fucking Bathgate!? At least they are going to allow participants to leave the premises, that site is FAF. Avoid.

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I've not been in the Dreadnought for years. Brings back memories.

I've not been since they closed the hotel and moved to their current location.

It did have quite a good reputation and was popular.

They never used to struggle to attract bands so it would be strange they have randomly chapped on your door for no reason. You are not exactly local either.

Bathgate is not bad a place either. Very small though but good train links from here.

I will be in Bathgate at the weekend strangely enough. I will see if I can see anything about it.

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Travel all the way down for them to say 'just pay us 30 to play'. You then have the dilemma of having made the trip down anyway, for the sake of an extra 30 on top of your petrol is it worth it to let them hear what you've got?

I'd stay clear or at the very least get an assurance in writing that it will not cost you anything to play and in the event that it does turn out that way they'll be liable for all associated costs (i.e. your travel).

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Need some publicity - how about organising a big gig?"

"OK, could be expensive though"

"Not if we get all the bands to play for nothing"

"How do we do that?"

"Tell them it's a competition, and we'll play the winner on the radio or something"

"Cool, and then they'll all want to take along lots of their mates too who can pay 3 a pop to get in."

"Cool"

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Cheers for all the advice guys, still undecided if we're going to bother going down. May take a couple of cars down and see what the crack is. Hate battle of the bands myself, but if it's all legit then maybe worth a punt. Like a couple of people have said...what's there to lose?

You could end up losing time and money.

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Plus integrity, self-esteem, and any enthusiasm you once had for playing music.

My personal advice is to avoid, for reasons that have largely been covered in this thread already. People hosting Battle of the Bands, in almost every single individual case, are looking to profit from the bands. And I mean that literally. Not from the audience members, publicity or anything else. They are pretty much looking to charge bands for the right to take to the stage and play their music. That really isn't how it should work.

Plus, bands should never be competing against eachother; and by the very definition of the event name, this is encouraged. Terrible. Instead, bands should just organise their own shows and play with bands they like. Not bands they want to compete with.

Competition in music, especially at the lowest levels, is contemptible.

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Drummonds BOBs are fine I think, no pay to play, or ticket hassle, and if they like your vibez they'll give you some proper gigs. In a respected toon venue. Most of the BOBs people go mad about here are dodgy when you look at the details, sell to yer mates, etc. AKA won 1000 at a Drummonds BOBOTBW, woop.

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Meh one of my bands won 4k from playing a battle of the bands, why wouldnt you want to win that kind of money?

That's great! Want to relay your experiences here, and give the OP a positive outlook on the whole Battle of the Bands platform?

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Drummonds BOBs are fine I think, no pay to play, or ticket hassle, and if they like your vibez they'll give you some proper gigs. In a respected toon venue. Most of the BOBs people go mad about here are dodgy when you look at the details, sell to yer mates, etc. AKA won 1000 at a Drummonds BOBOTBW, woop.

aye i'm not knocking it (i work in Drummonds/Tunnels etc). Just saying that not ALL battle of the bands are bad. Look at Autum in Disguise (Think thats their name). They did that Red Bull thing and by the sounds of it had an amazing summer playing festivals that they may not have had the chance to otherwise.

don't get me wrong there is a lot of shit as well, but sometimes they can help if run correctly.

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That's great! Want to relay your experiences here, and give the OP a positive outlook on the whole Battle of the Bands platform?

Well we didnt have to pay to play the gigs, we met other bands we had never met on the normal circuit because of the different styles of music, we made good connections with a guy running a studio and with Michael Gordon from Northsound. We also stuffed over Eskimo Blonde :D, the only down side was we played in an empty Jumpin Jacks twice, haha when i think back they must have lost so much money from those gigs, no way did they cover 4k from people through the door and that would have been before they paid CLS to come and do sound for 8 gigs.

I think you have to look at these things carefully to be honest, i said in my previous post that if you can afford to get down to that gig cheaply without too much hassle, what have you to lose? Worst case scenario you arrive, they ask you to pay to play, you drive home. Not every BOB is terrible, some can be good fun and can be something different, judge each one on its own merits. In our case it was a no brainer, dont pay to play, dont have to bring punters to win, and the chance to win 4k for playing two 25 min sets. Wedding bands dont make money like that!!!

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I have a pretty deep moral objection to the whole battle of the bands concept. To me, they're just a tool used by lazy promoters, who, instead of actually doing their job of seeking out and finding worthy bands (who in turn are seeking out and finding their own audience), adopt a trawler dragnet approach and dredge up all the shite to see what floats to the top. They're a way of filling a venue, without actually caring about what you're filling it with. The whole point of a gig, is for a band or singer to communicate directly with an audience, and make it an event. A battle type talent contest is a pointless distraction where the band is no longer communicating with an audience, but instead just showing off to some third party in the hope of some reward. A gig should be about what you can give, not what you can get.

I'm sure, as Milner says, there are talented, seasoned bands that can go into these things with their eyes wide open, know what they're getting into and work that to their financial advantage. But they're the exception that prove the rule, and serve only to endorse, validate and popularise a process which ultimately exploits the less experienced bands to the detriment of what a proper gigging experience should be.

#hashtag Estrella...

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