Radio Airlift to host Battle of the Bands

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battle of bands V33-page-001Dani Klemes, web editor-in-chief

Following its one year anniversary on Feb. 10, Radio Airlift is currently holding auditions for its first Battle of the Bands. The event, which is to take place in late March or early April, will include live performances from Beverly students and teachers.

The competition, judged by teachers (including history teacher Pete Van Rossum), is tentatively set to include eight to 10 musical groups followed by a teacher band as the finale after the winning act is announced. In addition, members of Radio Airlift are discussing ways to donate revenue from ticket sales to a charity (to be decided).

Radio Airlift co-founder Matthew Sater is hoping the show will draw “crazy variety” and “lots of different crowds.”

“We already have a bunch of tryouts but we need more,” Sater said. “We have a few solos with acoustic guitars, we have some rappers, we have Mehrzad [Farnoosh] playing his musical saw. Hopefully we’ll get a lot of rock and rap collaborations like the Grammys stage did.”

Originally inspired by Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, Radio Airlift members wanted the event to be a “Bevchella type thing” for student bands, but later decided on adding a competitive edge.

“We want Battle of the Bands to be a showcase for students as well as a competition that gets kids to creatively bridge their talents,” Sater said. “It’ll be kind of like a Movie Night type of event, so clubs will be selling food and things between acts.”

Though the student-run internet radio station usually operates solo, it is teaming up with ASB to host the showcase.

“ASB has way more advertising power than we can really handle, because we’ve only been running for about a year. Collaborating with ASB gets us a different crowd—I think there are certain groups of people that may not have known about the event or may not have been interested without the publicity that ASB is giving it,” Sater said.

ASB advisor Mark Mead claims ASB is acting as “an encouraging resource for Radio Airlift” in its efforts of putting on the event.

“[The Battle of the Bands] idea came up through our monthly Club Poll and in one of our club lunch meetings,” Mead said. “As we told Radio Airlift, we are happy to help in any way we can, including publicity, but we don’t want to step on their toes. We just really want this to be a success for them and the students.”

According to Mead, ASB made sure to have at least one member available to Radio Airlift for support, making Sophomore President Blake Ackerman the “point-man on this project.”

“It’s going to be a fun night,” Ackerman said. “We want to get as many people there supporting and enjoying the night as possible.”

Though Battle of the Bands is yet to occur, Mead remains confident that the event has great potential.

“We hope for an entertaining, well-organized concert that could hopefully become an annual event. We hope to get a taste of the musical talent that exists on campus,” he said.

Likewise, Sater hopes to “create something bigger and better [in the music world].”

“The grand idea is to get people connected with music,” Sater said. “We’re purposely trying not to just take one style of music because we want to have a diverse blend of genres that we can claim as our school’s sound. We want [attendees to see that] when we get together we can do something great with music.”

Radio Airlift co-founder James Fast shares similar sentiments.

“I’m just excited for the latent musical talents that lie within our student body to be revealed,” Fast said.

To participate in Battle of the Bands, simply submit a video or audio recording to radioairlift@gmail.com by March 1.

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