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Battle of the Bands returning to St. Lawrence Centre


MASSENA - The St. Lawrence Centre mall hosted its first Battle of the Bands four years ago, a small show with a few groups and approximately 50 fans in attendance.

Last year’s battle featured seven bands and attracted more than 300 fans. “This year we would love to have 10 bands,” St. Lawrence Centre Marketing Assistant Lindsey S. Breitbeck said. “We’re recruiting bands right now.”

Ms. Breitbeck said that recruiting consists mostly of contacting bands who have participated in previous battles, with many of the bands agreeing to come back for this year’s show.

“A lot of them have said they’re excited to come back,” she said, adding the battle is open to all musicians, with solo acts also invited to participate.

“In previous years we’ve had anyone from rock to death metal to hip-hop and country,” she said. “We’ve had Canadian and American bands.”

Ms. Breitbeck also noted vocals are not required, although artists are required to keep it clean with vulgar language not permitted.

“We have had bands that slipped ,and we had to disqualify them,” Ms. Breitbeck said.

Prizes will be awarded for the best original song, best overall set and honorable mention. One band performing that night will also be invited back to perform at the mall’s Independence Day celebration this summer.

Prize lined up so far include a $100 mall gift card and a $100 Northern Music & Video gift certificate.

Bands, who will each perform for 20 minutes, are judged on originality, creativity, sound quality and stage presence.

And new this year will be a People’s Choice Award that Ms. Breitbeck said will be judged using a sound meter to determine the band generating the most applause.

“It’s great, because they’re not only getting publicity for their bands, but it’s for a great cause,” Ms. Breitbeck said.

Proceeds from the event go to Raquette Valley Habitat for Humanity. The cost to enter is $20 per band with that money going directly to Habitat for Humanity.

Tickets for the show are $8 in advance and $10 at the door and will be available at the mall’s customer service desk, arena box office or Northern Music and Video.

“It’s nice for the bands because their families get to come and see them in an environment that’s not a bar,” she said.

This year’s battle will be held on March 16 and is tentatively scheduled to begin at 6 p.m., although Ms. Breitbeck that could change based on the number of bands.

If you would like to register your band, contact Ms. Breitbeck at or 764-1001. Registration may also be done online through the event’s tab on the mall’s website.

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