ACRN to Hold First Battle of the Bands Nov. 16 at The Union

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Ohio University’s student-run radio station, ACRN, will host its first ever Battle of the Bands competition on Friday, November 16 bringing a diverse range of musical acts on stage at The Union.

Seven local bands, with musical styles ranging from rap to funk, will take the stage for 15-minute sets Friday night, including Infinite Improbability Drive, Sneakthief and Velvet Green. At the end of the night, audience members will vote for their favorite band, and the winner will receive $150 and an in-studio recording with ACRN.

“We hope it draws a more diverse audience versus just a rap show or a rock show,” said Ally Campbell, PR director for ACRN. “We’re hoping it brings in a whole bunch of different people that we don’t normally see at our shows.”

Though most known for Lobsterfest, their annual music festival, ACRN also hosts live shows in Athens, as well as delivering a steady stream of online radio, music journalism and visual media to listeners. ACRN decided to add Battle of the Bands this year, Campbell said, to get the community even more involved in their programming.

“We needed to do some sort of fundraiser event, but we wanted to do something (…) that wasn’t going to be like a grilled cheese stand,” Campbell said “We figured Battle of the Bands would be a good way to have a whole bunch of local acts.”

One community act slated to perform on Friday is Sweat Workers, a new group that draws inspiration from the sounds of the ‘70s, ‘80s, ‘90s and present day. Dani Wasserman, the founding member of Sweat Workers and an Ohio University junior, said the group is excited to be a part of the event.

Sweat Workers, one of the bands who will take part in ACRN’s first ever Battle of the Bands. (Submitted photo)

“I’m psyched about it,” Wasserman said. “We’ve been playing shows since August, and we’ve been playing mainly houses of people we know. And so this is at The Union, which is like the nicest venue we’ve played in.”

Wasserman said when he saw the poster for Battle of the Bands, he immediately signed up. At that point, Sweat Workers only consisted of two people, and what followed was a search to find supporting members of the band to help with live music. Now, they’ve added four new members in the span of a week.

“It’s been a whirlwind, but really fun,” Wasserman said.

Wasserman added that events like Battle of the Bands help smaller acts reach a larger audience.

“I’ve never done anything like this before, but my hope is that it’s giving a platform to local bands because ACRN, being a student-run organization, gives a lot of credibility to students,” he said. “And ACRN does book non-local acts, but they seem to be really focused on providing a platform for bands that might not have a large audience.”

ACRN’s Battle of the Bands will take place on Friday, November 16 from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. at The Union. The event is 18+ and costs $5 at the door.