The contest rules, regulations, and instructions barely fit into a 23-page PDF document; no big surprise for arguably the world’s largest battle of the bands contest. The Hard Rock Café International’s 7th Annual event called “Hard Rock Rising: The Global Battle of the Bands 2015,” will again include Hard Rock Café-Myrtle Beach as an official contest venue, one of typically around 80 worldwide. The competition is expected to attract approximately 10,000 bands from five regions around the globe, and there’s still time for bands to enter.
Regional bands with at least one original tune, who are ready and available to compete, are invited to enter, by starting online at www.hardrockrising.com. The deadline to enter is Jan. 26. The ultimate grand prize winner, after a number of rounds of competition, will receive an all-expense paid trip to Barcelona, Spain, this summer to perform with headliners in front of crowd expected to be 60,000-strong.
Last year some 9,000 bands from around the world entered, more than 150 from the Myrtle Beach region, which extends to 100 miles from the Grand Strand. A Seattle, Wash., act, Joyfield, made it all the way, taking the grand prize and performing in Rome, Italy in front of a crowd estimated at 40,000.
How it works; the basics
Part of entering online requires the hopeful act to upload an original tune to Reverbnation. A separate video competition is also detailed within the rules. Then comes a social media blitz using Reverbnation, Facebook and Twitter. Online voting goes live Feb. 2, and the bands’ fans help propel the act to the next stage. A combination of band-buzz, fan voting, and a Hard Rock Café selection committee will determine the nine or ten bands that make it to the live battle rounds. The bands chosen must meet eligibility and availability requirements to compete on one of three preliminary nights; March 3-4 and 6, and then again for the finals, March 13. There’s no cost to enter, each participant receives a Hard Rock Café T-shirt, and P.A. is supplied.
During live competition the bands perform a three-song set, upon which a panel of judges scores them for originality, crowd response, musicianship, showmanship, and additional criterion. Each nightly winner will compete in the finals, where the one local winner will receive $1,000 and move on to the next stage. A regional battle comes in the form of music industry notables who will review the local winners from five regions around the globe. Five regional winners will be chosen, each receiving the trip to Spain, and one grand prize winner will also receive the added glory of performing onstage in front of the festival crowd.
Past local first-round winners and contestants include October Chorus, Death of Paris, Below the Bassline, Power Born Rebellion, Doctrine of Ethos, The IZM, Wonder Shakedown, and dozens of others since the contest’s inception in 2007.
The event is free to attend and in the past has drawn large crowds to the Myrtle Beach pyramid, Hard Rock Café at Broadway at the Beach. They come early for dinner and stay to cheer on their favorite. The final battle, this year on March 13, particularly draws a crowd as bands competing realized having a strong contingent response helps their chances.
“All of us a Hard Rock Café Myrtle Beach are honored to participate once again in the annual, global battle of the bands,” said Robyn Morrison, Live Music Supervisor at Hard Rock Café in Myrtle Beach. “We’re looking forward to this year’s competition. We’re always excited to discover new local bands and give them this opportunity. The battle allows us to expand our audience, plus it gives the bands a chance to broaden their fanbase as well. It’s win-win.”