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Inaugural 18 and Under Battle of the Bands

When you hear that a “Battle of the Bands” is coming up, what are your immediate thoughts? It probably all depends if you are in the music industry, or if you’re a big fan of local music, on how you respond. As for the inaugural 18 and Under Battle of the Bands, I wasn’t sure what to think, so I reached out to the event’s organizer and promoter, Brandon Schlia from Steak & Cake Records, to get some insight into the undertaking.

Has this Battle been held before?

This will be the inaugural year for our Battle.

What are your expectations?

We aren’t sure what to expect for year one, but we believe the event has great potential.

What’s the format?

Part of the event’s format will depend on the number of entrants but here is the basic rundown:

  • May 2019: Registration
  • July 2019: A warm-up festival, no judging component. Shake off the nerves / scope the competition
  • Oct 2019: Fall bracket showcase with a winner decided by the audience’s secret ballot vote
  • Apr 2020: Spring bracket showcase which repeats the same format
  • June 2020: Grand Finale featuring the Fall Bracket winner vs. the Spring Bracket winner alongside special guests

Tell us more about the Final Battle.

This final battle will be a little different, decided by a panel of local-celebrity guest judges. Prizes and giveaways are in the works, but nothing confirmed. At the very least a trophy and major bragging rights.

This was founded by you and your company, Steak & Cake Records?

Steak & Cake Records is technically the founding organization, but I founded the battle because, when I was a kid, trudging through middle school and high school in the barren wasteland of Batavia, NY, all we had to look forward to was this series called Y-Rock. It was just a just a deal we made with a YWCA to let a bunch of kids’ bands to play in their rec room.

It happened every few months and it was definitely a major highlight because 1. there was nothing else to do 2. it was an incredible feeling to get on stage and perform in front of your peers, one I was glad to have had the opportunity to experience at that age.

Did you have help along the way?

I have to give special credit to Rob Credi and Derek Geib, two guys a few years ahead of me in school that were major entrepreneurs and huge supporters of the arts. They put together countless shows, we’re talking major festival experiences for a bunch of know-nothing, can barely play, decent music kids. Without their dedication to supporting young musicians, I wouldn’t be here doing this. That’s why I’m organizing this event- it’s for the kids! Helping them find music is part of my purpose in life.

Steak & Cake Records seeks to foster young musicianship in the area and this event will give kids the chance to perform in front of their peers and share their talent.

18 and Under Battle of the Bands

On Sunday, May 19th, between 5:00pm and 8:00pm at Sugar City (1239 Niagara St), Steak & Cake Records will be holding registration for entry into a brand new, 18 and Under Battle of the Bands series. Interested parties should stop by between the aforementioned open hours to add their name to the signup sheet and collect their information packet with instructions on what’s coming next.


Written by queenseyes


Newell Nussbaumer is 'queenseyes' - Eyes of the Queen City and Founder of Buffalo Rising. Co-founder Elmwood Avenue Festival of the Arts. Co-founder Powder Keg Festival that built the world's largest ice maze (Guinness Book of World Records). Instigator behind Emerald Beach at the Erie Basin Marina. Co-created Flurrious! winter festival. Co-creator of Rusty Chain Beer. Instigator behind Saturday Artisan Market (SAM) at Canalside, Buffalo Porchfest, and Paint vs. Paint. Founder of The Peddler retro and vintage market on Elmwood. Instigator behind Liberty Hound @ Canalside. Throws The Witches Ball at Statler City, the Hertel Alley Street Art Festival, and The Flutterby Festival.

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