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June/July 2016

by Silke Hartung

Battle Of The Bands Battling For Cash

by Silke Hartung

Battle Of The Bands Battling For Cash

The 2016 NZ Battle of the Bands event reaches its climax with a two-night national finals event this weekend, July 22/23 in Auckland.

35 bands, hailing from Whangarei to Wanaka, will somehow take the Kings Arms stage over two nights to determine which will be the 2016 champion. It’s the 21st year of the event and the winners’ prize pool includes the chance to record a single at Roundhead Studios, global radio promotion and a tantalizing musical tour of Europe. Hopefully at least.

BOTB organiser Andrew Featherstone has publicly acknowledged that 2016 has proven a difficult one for the event, with much lower levels of sponsorship funds combining awkwardly with dropping audience numbers and revenues.

As a consequence BOTB have been left looking for ways to raise funds to cover the promised flights to Europe, and earlier this week announced a PledgeMe campaign aimed at raising $10,000.

“Ticket sales from the National Finals are the last income remaining for the event and it’s likely won’t be enough to fully cover the flight costs needed, so we have launched a crowd funding campaign to reach out for some assistance and support.

Regardless of levels of funds raised, we will ensure the winning band gets to Europe, even if we have to borrow money if need be, but any help with donations would be greatly appreciated and be a tremendous help to this cause.”

Evidently blindsided by this turn of events, the competition’s major sponsor Demon Energy Drinks soon took to Facebook to calm the panic and effectively undertake to cover the costs of meeting the promised prize package.

‘Hey Guys, we were unaware of the PledgeMe campaign for the grand prize and the offerings of Demon Energy. We have since spoken to the promoter, and they recognise that it wasn’t such a good idea are trying to pull the campaign now. Lets not let this put a dampener on the weekend! The winners will still be going to Europe!’

Great news for the remaining bands and the offending PledgeMe campaign was promptly pulled, though not before sending a wave of dismissive commentary online. Fitting 35 bands onto the Kings Arms’ stage over two nights seems challenge enough, but the long-standing national event’s future sadly looks to be in real jeopardy.