The crew and performers behind the 2018 Youth Battle of the Bands. In the centre are Dallas Ward and Kim Blake. DARRAN CHAISSON PHOTOGRAPHY

Port Alberni’s Battle of the Bands celebrates fifth anniversary

The youth music competition, presented by the Zattzoo Project, takes place on May 25

The fifth annual Youth Battle of the Bands returns to the Rainbow Room in Port Alberni this month.

Young musicians will take the stage on Saturday, May 25 and showcase their talents, competing for cash prizes and the chance to perform on this summer’s Five Acre Shaker main stage.

The music competition, aimed at Vancouver Island residents under the age of 25, was started by the Zattzoo Project in 2014 to give local musicians a place to play for their families and friends. The Zattzoo Project, named after late Port Alberni musician Zakkaree Coss, was started by Zakk’s mother, Kimberly Blake, and brother, Dallas Ward after Coss’s death in 2014.

“Zakk used to complain that there was nowhere to play,” said Blake. “It was a niche I was trying to fill for these young rock ‘n rollers who have nowhere to be.”

This year, the prize for first place is $1,000 cash, a professional photo shoot with Darran Chaisson Photography, a promotional video by Kiara Collinge and a spot on the main stage at this summer’s Five Acre Shaker.

“It’s a nice little package,” said Blake.

There are also prizes for Runner-Up, Fan Favourite, Best Cover and five other “Best Of” prizes.

The Battle is open to performers of all genres from Vancouver Island, as long as they are under the age of 25. Competitors can still sign up for the event until May 25 by reaching out to the Zattzoo Project.

Eleven acts have signed up so far, ranging from hip-hop to hard rock. Some of the scheduled competitors this year include Heartsick Royalty (an indie-hardrock band based in Sidney), Blish (another Sidney-based rock band), Mulligan (a four-piece grunge/punk band hailing from Victoria), Swan Ronson (an alt-rock band from Port Alberni) and Sturdy Lemon (a Port Alberni-based alternative/grunge band “with a sour twist”).

Promoters will be part of the audience at the Battle. Past winners of the competition, including Malahat, Sean Lyons and Quadra Sound, have gone on to score bookings and tour Western Canada.

READ: Sean Lyons wins 2018 Battle of the Bands in Port Alberni

“Things change for the kids that enter,” said Blake.

The Battle of the Bands has been hosted at the Rainbow Room for all five years, and Blake says that young performers and their families “love” the venue. Zakk frequently played at the Rainbow Room, and pictures from his last performance now grace the walls in his memory.

“It’s the only time that these kids get to play in a bar atmosphere,” Blake explained. “The owner, Dave [Rutherford], has gone above and beyond. We’re happy to keep working with him.”

The winner of the Youth Battle of the Bands is selected with votes divided between the judges, Zakk’s family and the audience. In recognition of the event’s five-year anniversary, five judges will be returning to the Rainbow Room, many of whom are Battle alumni: Kyle Hamelin of Forever Frost and the Atlas Project, Sean Lyons, Chris Banks of Non Stop Talk and Salt Water Soul, Jason Samson and Johnathan Fascione of Quadra Sound.

“We have people lining up to be the judges,” said Blake.

The show starts at 6 p.m. and is open to all ages until 10 p.m. Tickets for the event are on sale at Double R Meats on Third Avenue. They can also be purchased at the door.

“Battle always seems to sell out, even if it’s the last day,” said Blake. “That proves there’s a need, as well.”



elena.rardon@albernivalleynews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

’We’ve been dealing with racism all our lives,’ says family of Tla-o-qui-aht woman fatally shot by police

Nora Martin joins other Indigenous families in calling for a significant shift in policing

What recycling goes where in the ACRD? There’s going to be an app for that

Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District hopes residents will use app once it’s developed

Vancouver Island’s current COVID-19 case count officially hits zero

Of the 130 recorded Island Health cases, five people have died, 125 recovered

Alberni Valley, West Coast First Nations gather to remember woman fatally shot by police

Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council requests an independent investigation

Kitchen fire sends one to hospital in Port Alberni

Apartment block evacuated after sprinkler system was set off

VIDEO: B.C. dentist gets grand welcome home after two months in hospital fighting COVID-19

Michael Chow was given a surprise send off by hospital staff and ‘welcome home’ from neighbours

An ongoing updated list of Alberni Valley events affected by COVID-19

Has your event been cancelled or postponed? Check here

‘Like finding a needle in a haystack’: Ancient arrowhead discovered near Williams Lake

The artifact is believed to be from the Nesikip period between 7,500 BP to 6,000 BP

Friends, family mourn Salt Spring Island woman killed in suspected murder-suicide

A GoFundMe campaign has been launched for Jennifer Quesnel’s three sons

PHOTOS: Anti-racism protesters gather in communities across B.C.

More protests are expected through the weekend

Indigenous chief alleges RCMP beat him during arrest that began over expired licence plate

Athabasca Chipewyan Chief Allan Adam calling for independent investigation

‘I’m pissed, I’m outraged’: Federal minister calls out police violence against Indigenous people

Indigenous Minister Marc Miller spoke on recent incidents, including fatal shooting of a B.C. woman

UPDATED: Pair accused of ‘horrific’ assault at Vancouver’s Oppenheimer Park arrested

Police say Jason Tapp, 30, and Nicole Edwards, 33, did not show up to meet their bail supervisor this week

Most Read