The Sioux Empire Battle of the Bands will kick off this weekend in Harrisburg Phoenix Lounge, said the event co-organizer Melanie Robles, vocalist, and keyboard player from rock band Jaded Theories, based in Marion South Dakota.
Robles said they discussed it with her husband, Jared Robles, who is the band singer and guitar player, and came up with the general idea of the event. Robles said her husband was inspired by his previous experiences of similar events on the East Coast where he used to live prior.
“That’s been done in other places,” said Robles.
After conceiving the idea, the couple decided to reach out to the venues to see who would be likely to host it. Tom Odea, from Harrisburg Phoenix Lounge, turned out to be responsive to the proposal and helped set up the event.
Jaded Theories announced the event on social media and through word of mouth with the local bands in South Dakota.
Due to scheduling issues, of the 12 bands from the area that originally wanted to participate, eight signed up.
The bands are Jaded Theories, Aladdin Sane, Introverse, Degenerates, Zenith, Aftermath, Devils on Deck, and Granite City Howler. The bands will show up at 3 p.m. Saturday at the Phoenix Lounge in Harrisburg.
Local food trucks will cater the event for the guests, said Jared Robles. He emphasized they were trying to keep everything local to spotlight the original talents from the area.
How will the competition unfold?
The organizers will draw the names of the bands for the first round for them to battle against each other playing for about 15 or 20 minutes each, and the crowd will vote on better performances. Based on the results of the vote, the winners will be selected for the second round.
For the second round, said Robles, they were thinking of letting the bands pick who they wanted to battle against instead of just drawing the names of the bands.
“We are thinking that in the second round we will pick the first band, and they can choose either to have a random band drawn, or they can choose a certain band that they’d like to go up against,” said Robles.
The bands will each get 15-20 minutes to play in the second round. After that the three bands that will receive the most votes from the crowd will go on to their final round that will be held on the next day.
“The three that have received the most votes from the crowd for their favorite, will go on to their final round,” said Robles.
The final round will start at 5 p.m., and the bands will get a chance to perform a set of music for about 30 minutes. The judges specially selected for the event will then determine the champion.
Robles noted that for the judges to remain impartial, the organizers themselves were not all aware of who was going to be judging.
“I don’t have the names of it, that’s how impartial it is,” said Robles.
What could bands win?
All the proceeds of the event will go to fund the monetary prize for the winner, and that prize can still be less or more depending on ticket sales.
The organizers themselves are not being paid for their efforts unless they win the final prize, and the Phoenix Lounge agreed to host the event for free, said Robles.
“If our band gets voted, then we would win the prize money, but other than that we are not being paid to do that,” said Robles.
Tickets for the two-day event are sold at $20, and they can be purchased in-advance from any of the bands competing and at the door on the day of the event. For more information, ticket inquiries, or ticket sales, please contact Melanie Robles at 605-496-2836.