This year, ACRN’s Battle of the Bands will take place Oct. 10 at The Union Bar and Grill, 18 W. Union St. The doors will open at 8 p.m. and the first set will start at 8:30 p.m.
Battle of the Bands, which began in 2018, was started to give recognition and showcase the work of local musicians and bands of Athens. This event also helps involve music news outlets like ACRN in the rich music scene that permeates the brick streets. All types of music genres, from metal to folk to indie rock, are encouraged and displayed.
The lineup includes Frankie Soleil, Do Not Resuscitate, Friends for Sale, Cardboard Sailors, Echos Edge, Gorilla Party and Blank Faces.
“This year we added one more band to the lineup, making it an eight-band bill instead of a seven-band bill like 2018 Battle of the Bands,” Ally Campbell, ACRN’s general manager, said in an email. “We're also trying to push past traditional genres to include a more diverse set of genres.”
Each group will be covering a variety of songs, including covers from other groups and original songs crafted by the bands. Gorilla Party, a newcomer on the Athens music scene, will even be performing a punked version of the Spongebob Squarepants theme song as part of its set.
“Gorilla Party is a DIY alt-rock band that was formed in the summer of 2019,” Tyler Tompkins, the band’s drummer, said. “All members have backgrounds in various forms of music, which adds to the original sound of the band. We are most excited about getting in front of a large crowd at The Union, and putting it all out there for everyone to see.”
Gorilla Party will be on stage for its performance at 11:25 p.m. and will play three of its original pieces.
The Battle of the Bands welcomes all bands, fledgling or experienced alike, to come out and play their tunes. Alternative rock group Cardboard Sailors will play for the first time for the event, bringing its musical expertise into the spotlight.
“We decided to participate in the Battle of the Bands this year because we are a relatively new band in the Athens scene,” Ted Wharton, lead guitarist, said. “We thought this would be an excellent way of getting our name out there. It is an honor that we are participating this year and hell, we might even win if we play good enough."
Though this is the second anniversary of the Battle of the Bands, the diversity and originality of the music scene brings color and musical wonder back to Athens.
“This year's lineup has a diverse group of genres which will be great to see live,” Campbell said. “The most exciting aspect of Battle of the Bands is seeing how the community shows up to support our local musicians.”