Tips for Battle of the Bands?

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by BigLoopDuke, Jun 24, 2008.

  1. BigLoopDuke


    Jan 2, 2007
    DSM, IA
    So, tomorrow night we face off against 6 other local bands for a coveted spot on a local summer festival. The festival is going to be huge, and a couple influential bands (for me) would be on the bill.

    Any tips on how to make the Battle of the Bands advantageous for our band? (Other than playing our best and pulling our crowd out...)
  2. Heres my advice (although ive never participated or gone to one of these)

    1. Play!
    2. Put On a good show! dont just stand and mope around get some movement in ther, make it interesting, because people want to be entertained and see something new and exciting not just stare at a bunch of stationary jukeboxes

    my $.02
  3. Well, at this point you're either ready or you aren't, but since I've judged a bunch of these I can give you this advice...

    Be animated.

    Play to the crowd, but also interact with each other.

    Be gracious. Before, during, and after your set.

    Keep your stage volume at a reasonable level so that the sound person can give you a good mix.

    Talk to the other bands. Networking will probably get you more gigs than winning a battle.

    Have fun.
  4. All of the Battle's Ive played have ended up being either rigged or popularity contests so my advice is have fun and don't expect anything but having a good time.
  5. BigLoopDuke


    Jan 2, 2007
    DSM, IA
    Good advice. Oddly enough, the show will be at a venue that we've wanted to play for a while. At the very least it gets us infront of the owner. We're ready, I'm sure to play the show of our lives, but I'm always a bit cautious when it comes to scoring and judging these things.

    Each attendee will receive a ballot. I'm not sure if it's ranked or it's a choose only one. Either way, I suppose that aspect is out of our hands.
  6. IanStephenson

    IanStephenson UnRegistered User

    Apr 8, 2006
    If you can keep that in mind, then you might have a fun night. You've wanted to play a show there, and now you're going to. Play the show for it's own sake - have fun, play well, pick up some new fans. Look at it as a good opertunity to play, rather than a contest, and you might come away from the evening smiling.

    Having said that:
    Hardly out of your hands at alll - you've just explained that the band that brings the most fans to the gig is probably going to win. Load the place with your people, and make sure they all vote. There are going to be ballot papers dropped/thrown away by people who don't care who wins - get them picked up and filled in. Get out into the audience and TALK to the voters - democracy is after all nothing more than a popularity contest. Make someone feel like you'd appreciate their vote, and you just might get it.

  7. Stumbo

    Stumbo Guest

    Feb 11, 2008
    How long do you have to play?

    I suggest that you play the entire time.

    I was in a BOtB where we had 15min to play.

    The band that won did a medley and fit in about 5 or 6 songs by not playing each song in its entirety. That way you can pick songs that showcase each band member.

    We played, like, 3 or 4 songs with a short break in between each song. The medley that the winning band played came off very well.
  8. VisualShock


    Feb 19, 2008
    North Wales
    In my experience with BOTB you will be judged on the following:
    Difficulty of Songs, with regards to ability
    Respect for other people's equipment
    Ability to follow instruction
    Audience Reaction

    You really have to keep the judges happy, not just the crowd. Be nice, and kind, and say please and thankyou at every opportunity.
  9. +1 There is usually a favourite
  10. scottbass

    scottbass Bass lines like a big, funky giant

    Jul 13, 2004
    Southern MN
    Didn't the OP say it was ballot judging? If so, the crowd are the judges and there is no "panel of experts" to worry about. But you still have to be nice, kind, respectful, loyal, honest, reverent, etc.
  11. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    What about the swimsuit competition?

    If nothing else, have a good time!

  12. DanielleMuscato


    Jun 19, 2004
    Columbia, Missouri, USA
    Endorsing Artist, Schroeder Cabinets
    +1 network with the other bands, whether you win or lose

    Take lots of photos. Consider hiring a photographer if this is a great stage at a club you've wanted to play. Make sure you get lots of photos over-the-shoulder showing the huge crowd. I'm presuming this is a good-sized club... don't pass up the opportunity to get some stellar shots for your promokit.

    Make sure you direct everyone to your website. If you have CDs or recorded material, GIVE THEM OUT! Throw them from the stage. Same with T-shirts. If you know anybody willing to do it, get some hot girls to dance on stage, or right in front of the stage if you want to be more subtle (gimmicky, I know, but BotB voters really do respond to anything that gets their attention).

    RECORD YOUR SHOW. If you know anybody with a Zoom H2, I highly recommend them. Ask your biggest fans (in advance!) to yell out your band name and cheer for you when you first take the stage, and make sure you get this on tape. As SOON as the show is over, convert to MP3 and post on your website along with the photos. Tell the audience you are recording the show and your set will be available for free download from your website ASAP. Even if you don't win the battle of the bands, you can make a lot of new fans out of this, people who wouldn't ordinarily come see you or visit your website. Smile (if that fits your band's image), give high-fives to people in the front row... A trick I picked up from Jason Newsted: I've even let people play my bass (while I'm wearing it, I mean - I fret the notes and say, "Okay, play the bottom string, okay, now play the second string," etc). People eat that up. If you know any tricks, for example, you make your way over to your guitarist's pedalboard and work his wah pedal while he solos, etc, people love stuff like that, too, but don't over-do it. DON'T TAKE A LOT OF TIME BETWEEN SONGS, and be VERY quick about setting up & tearing down. BotBs are usually madhouses and always run behind schedule; you don't want to miss out on any stage time. Plus, it looks more professional if you take less than 5 seconds between songs. Think like you're listening to a CD of a live show - amateur bands have to cut out the time between songs; pro bands don't - they just seamlessly go from one track to the next on the CD, because they don't waste time. Talk to your audience. Don't just ask them how they're doing, but ask them what they thought of the other bands. For example,

    "Hey! How you all doin'?"
    "Yeah? That's awesome. What a way to start things off - it feels good! What did you guys think of [band that came right before you]?"
    "Yeah, they were great! We are [your band name], and we're gonna play a hell of a show for you tonight, so come on up to the front - right up here, don't be shy - because we want to see you dance! Alright, let's get this party started!"
    (cheers, go into your first song)

    Don't do that verbatim, of course, but do talk to your audience. Say your band name again after the third song or so, and invite people to go to your website for free downloads or whatever you have available. Your job is to win over the crowd and be remembered above and beyond the other bands, so keep that in mind - even if you don't win the BotB that night.

    Break a leg!
  13. Lemoore-on


    May 11, 2008
    Ditto! Just go have fun
  14. lomky


    Jan 19, 2006
    I only like Band Battles if they involve axes and swords :)
  15. MrBorisSpider

    MrBorisSpider Inactive

    May 8, 2008
    I'll bring my glock, then.
  16. tlwaps


    Feb 13, 2006
    My advice would be to not play in the battle of the bands. They're worthless unless it's guarenteed that everybody shows up that says they will.
  17. nortonrider


    Nov 20, 2007
    Someone on here once gave advice on the same topic. I thought it was pretty good, so here's what he said:

    Start with your 2nd. rockingist song and finish with your rockingist.
  18. BigLoopDuke


    Jan 2, 2007
    DSM, IA
    The BotB went really well, except we didn't win.

    Having said that, we got about a half hour of face time with the owner, who then gave us a personal tour of all of his establishments (he owns a converted warehouse that now houses three establishments...all with killer sound systems and vibes). He really dug our set and we blew away a lot of his staff who we passed out t-shirts to before the show. (Imagine a full bar staff in your band's t-shirt...yeah, it was that awesome.)

    We met some really great bands and are in the process of filling out the remainder of our summer schedule by booking shows with them. Met the owners of a well-known local label who spilled an hour's worth of advice on marketing and logistical "booking" stuff. Well worth it.

    We knew instantly that we didn't pull enough crowd (7 pm slot on a Wednesday evening is a tough draw), so we decided to just party and have a great time. I think that did more for us, because it reflected that we really are team players. And we are, the winners will have a great time and I can sit back, relax and enjoy the big show.
  19. DanielleMuscato


    Jun 19, 2004
    Columbia, Missouri, USA
    Endorsing Artist, Schroeder Cabinets
    Cool :) Yeah, that's usually how they go... You don't win, but you meet a lot of people and end up getting just as much out of it. I'm glad it went well :)

    So, what did the label guys tell you?? Share the wealth! :bassist:
  20. JKT


    Apr 30, 2007
    Buffalo NY
    Endorsing Artist: Barker Basses
    Oh no. I disagree. You definitely won. You got out of it what these things are really worth and that has nothing to do with winning.