Bands battle for life-changing chance
NINE Kent bands are in the running for a career-changing prize in Folkestone this weekend.
The winners of Blueskypie's Battle of the Bands 2011, the final of which takes place at the Quarterhouse on Saturday, will play in Ibiza in September, spend two days in a recording studio and headline a Blueskypie gig this autumn.
More than 100 bands applied last year, from which 48 were shortlisted. Eight heats were then held at the Lanterns in Folkestone, at which audience members voted for their favourites. The winners, as well as the highest-rated runner-up, will all play on Saturday from 6.30pm.
Organiser Di Burns said: "I'm so excited, Saturday is going to be absolutely brilliant.
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"Some of the heats were sold out and tickets are selling fast for the final – it's going to be absolutely buzzing."
Community music promoters Mrs Burns and husband Louis ran a similar competition last year, as a way of showcasing local talent.
She said: "We had such an overwhelming response to the first one, we had to do it again. We started last August, shortlisted the bands in November and ran the heats from February.
"They were a real mix of genres, so you could have hip hop, death metal, rock and indie music, all on one night. They were great events and the response from the public was brilliant, but it was very stiff competition."
Saturday's final will be decided on the night, on audience votes and those of three industry judges. The winning band, depending on its genre, may also benefit from Mrs Burns' friendship with the people behind Ibiza Rocks, a company promoting live music in Ibiza.
She said: "There's a chance the winners might play at their venue in San Antonio, where all the best bands are clamouring to be.
"This competition is all about promoting the amazing local talent in Kent and making Folkestone the live music capital of the South East.
"We've got some brilliant bands in the final, so it's going to a great evening, as well as a career-changing moment for one of them."
Tickets cost £5 from 01303 858500 or, if available, £6 on the door.