Teen Battle of the Bands offers venue, support for musicians

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If you go

What: Teen Battle of the Bands

When: 9 p.m. Friday

Where: Steamboat Grand Resort Hotel

Cost: $5 at the door

Call: 879-4300

— For the fifth annual Teen Battle of the Bands, local up-and-coming musicians will have three songs to test their might.

That's three songs to impress a panel of music industry veterans with their originality, musicianship, sound, lyrics and appearance. Those who step up to the plate have the chance to go home with a prize package including a radio spot on KFMU, a weeknight gig at Mahogany Ridge Brewery and Grill, a trophy designed by the industrial arts class at Steamboat Springs High School and a newspaper feature article.

Event founder and organizer Brooke Lightner said she started the event five years ago to give teens in the community a chance to showcase their talents.

"We sort of saw the need and heard from kids that it was something that they wanted," said Lightner, who is the Teen Programs coordinator for the city of Steamboat Springs.

Since its start, the event has grown in attendance and interest from young musicians, she said.

"I would say every year it gets bigger - it certainly gets better. The quality of the performances gets better every year," Lightner said.

Judges for this year's event include local musician and Battle of the Bands veteran Tim Cunningham, co-publisher of The Local Paulie Anderson, bassist LeeAnn Gansel, and other local music figures. Kat 'N Tha Hat (or, Tony Counts) will emcee the event. Lightner said the judges provide constructive criticism for all contestants.

"I think that the kids get unbiased feedback from people with experience in the industry," she said.

"They can take it or leave it, but the judges don't know these kids, so they don't have anything vested in the bands except how well they perform."

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