A new kind of competition and entertainment is coming to Rock Creek Park for four Saturday nights in August and September: the Battle of the Bands.
The closing date for entries is Friday, July 31. Organizers hope to have 16 non-professional bands from Marshall and surrounding counties vying for the title of "Best Band in Southern Middle Tennessee."
This musical competition is sponsored by the county commission's Tourism and Economic and Community Development Committee, chaired by Jimmy Stitt. Entry is free, but the prize is $2,500 cash, and the semi-finalists will be the opening acts for Shenandoah at the Goats Music and More Festival on Oct. 9. The prize-winning band will be announced after Shenandoah's performance.
The quarter finalists - the best band from each of the four Saturdays - will be on stage the night before Goat Festival starts, Thursday, Oct. 8, to determine which two bands will go forward to the finals the next day.
Organizers Greg Lowe and Eddie Fuller say there is no limit on musical styles, but they expect mostly "country, Southern rock, and classic rock."
Saturdays, Aug. 15 and 29, and Sept. 12 and 26, are the big nights for music in Rock Creek Park, starting at 7 p.m. Once all entries are in, the bands will be assigned the night when they will have 30 minutes to thrill the audience and a panel of three judges. Fuller and Lowe are keeping the judges' names confidential, but promise that they will be from different counties than the bands playing that night.
For the purposes of this competition, a band is defined as "three or more members playing drums, bass, guitar, keyboard, etc." The bands will be judged on professionalism, stage presence, overall performance, and audience participation and reaction, with possible extra points for original material.
Rules and an entry form may be found under "Music" at www.goatsmusicandmore.com, or call 931-359-1544 for more information.