Story by Tierra Reese, Staff writer
Murray State’s third annual “Battle of the Bands” competition, hosted by WKMS-FM radio, is currently looking for bands and singer-songwriter entries until March 6.
Both Murray State’s WKMS-FM and Maiden Alley Cinema, nonprofit organizations, have partnered up to give local bands a chance to play three songs for a live audience. The audience from the show at Maiden Alley Cinema and WKMS-FM’s website and Facebook page will have 10 days to vote for their first and second band. The four judges will also cast their vote and select the fourth finalist, whereas the first three finalists are selected based on popular vote.
Entries can apply either to firstname.lastname@example.org or mail in a CD to 2018 University Station, Murray, KY 42071 by the deadline.
The final performance at Maiden Alley Cinema, located in Paducah, Kentucky, will have a $10 fee to enter with about 130 seats available. Tracy Ross, WKMS-FM’s program director, said each year this event is performed, the show has been sold out.
The winners of this competition will receive $3,000 worth of prizes, which include showing one full year at Maiden Alley Cinema, a performance at the Lower Town Arts & Music Festival, a $250 gift card to either Music One in Murray or Leach’s Music One in Paris, Tennessee and more.
Ross helped create this event to “help local bands give a push” to become more focused and to promote their talent.
“WKMS tries to give a voice for those who might not otherwise have a chance to do so,” Ross said.
The winners of the competition will usually begin to perform at local art venues around the Murray area. Ross also mentioned more than 100 people were in attendance for last year’s winner’s concert in August 2015 in Murray State’s Lovett Auditorium.
Micah Greene, member of Big Atomic, the 2015 Battle of the Bands winner, spoke for the band and their success since the competition a year ago.
“Soon, we will be heading down to the Red Gorilla Festival to perform and also touring all over the southwest region,” Greene said.
When asked what advice he would give to current competitors for the 2016 contest, Greene said he is “not much of an advice guy,” but he did say, “Have fun and make sure you are ready to prepare.”
Greene said post-Battle of the Bands, Murray State has continued to promote their band and has kept in contact with them.
Kwan Stallworth, marketing major at Murray State, said, “This contest allows local artists to get their name out there and gain publicity to give them a chance, especially in a small town.”
Stallworth said although he is not entering this year, he might some time in the future.