SYCAMORE – For two bands, the chance to play for tens of thousands of people starts Saturday at Sycamore Park District’s Good Tymes Shelter.
At 1 p.m. Sunday, the Sycamore Park District will hold its first Battle of the Bands, with the winner moving on to a regional competition and ultimately a chance to perform at the Illinois State Fair in Springfield.
Lisa White, recreation supervisor for the park district, said many park districts on the east side of the state have hosted local battle of the bands competitions, but there has been little opportunity for bands on the west side of the state.
“It sounded like a fun thing to do,” White said. “We wanted to provide bands out here a cool experience.”
White said the district received interest from four bands, but only two will compete Sunday, with the winner determined by a panel of three judges.
Both bands will play roughly 30-minute sets, White said.
The bands, which can only have members between 12 and 21 years old, are from Sycamore and Rockford.
Rockford’s Desolation Row is no stranger to competitions, having won $1,000 in the Hope and Anchor Battle of the Bands. The band also has opened for Caroline’s Spine and released an original single.
Thom Spors, father of the band’s guitarist and lead singer, said the group members take their musical career seriously and are excited for any opportunity to gain exposure and new fans. He said listeners can expect a mix of ’80s, ’90s and modern rock covers from Def Leppard and Tom Petty to Papa Roach.
“They want to pack as much as they can in that 30 minutes and show what they can do with it,” Spors said. “It’s a good opportunity.”
Garage Orchestra, from Sycamore, has played multiple benefits and shows in the area in the last few years. Band representatives were unable to be reached Friday.
White said while she was hoping for more than two bands, she was still excited for the event and believes it will be a great way for residents to spend some of their Sunday afternoon. She said Dairy Dogs would be on hand to provide food.
“I hope the bands have an excellent experience so they will spread the word,” White said. “Hopefully we have a good crowd to cheer them on.”