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West Coast Battle of the Bands heats up winter blues

8 local musical talents showdown this Friday, Jan. 20 at the ANAF
Performers will need to impress the judges - and the crowd - to move on to Round 2. (ANAF photo)

Pacific Rim Arts Society (PRAS) has partnered up with Ucluelet’s Army, Navy, and Airforce Veterans Club (ANAF) to host an all ages Battle of the Bands.

The first round is set for 7 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 20 at the ANAF and is free to attend. There are eight entries, including one full band, two partial bands, and five solo acts. Each performer will be allotted time to play two to three songs or a 20-minute set. From there, a panel of three unbiased judges will select three musicians to move on to the second round on Feb. 4.

The band that rises to the top on Feb. 4 will take home $1,000 cash, plus the honour of playing in front of hundreds of people at the Pacific Rim Summer Festival.

Event co-organizer Bronwyn Kelleher encouraged folks to come out and watch the musical showdown live.

“Never before has there been such a diverse group of local musicians that you can see for no money in one location. It’s all ages, so parents and children can come out together to experience the arts. It will be a fun and interactive experience for everyone!” said Kelleher, adding that there will be food for purchase during the show.

Touted as a countdown to Pacific Rim Summer Festival, the Battle of the Bands came about as a way to re-engage with the local community during the offseason.

“In the summer, when things are hectic for everybody, we’ve already gotten the ball rolling with locals. We’re excited to have more local representation within the Summer Festival and the arts community in general,” she said.

The judges will select a winner based on: originality, creativity, stage performance, audience engagement, and musical talent. Any musicians interested in signing-up can contact Kelleher at (250) 266-5914. The cost to sign-up is $20. Kelleher is also on the hunt for items to put the swag bags for the bands. Local businesses with goodies to donate are encouraged to contact her.

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