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official rules

You must read and understand the rules prior to registering your band or musical act. 



  1. Any musical act or genre - must have and perform original music - can be solo, duo, band, etc. Additionally, there is no time limit for how long a band or act has been together.

  2. This is an all-ages competition, so please remember this when selecting content and attire. Content must be appropriate for all audiences / ages.

  3. This event is open to bands within a 35 mile radius of downtown Dayton, Ohio (this includes most parts of Middletown, Springfield, Piqua, for reference). Half of the members of your band must reside in the Dayton region (within the 35 mile radius). If you are a solo performer, you must reside within the 35 mile radius of downtown Dayton.

  4. You must be available to perform during the playoff rounds on one Thursday  - either Jan 18, 25, Feb 1, 8, 15, 22 of 2024. We will schedule you and announce your date by Dec 11, 2023. It is helpful to also be available on Thursday, Feb 29, 2024 for a weather make-up day (if needed). Note - If you have a scheduling conflict you must let us know upon registration. We will try to accomodate, if we can. Please note, we cannot change dates after the schedule has been announced.

  5. Your band must be available for the Finals on Saturday, March 9, 2024, to be eligible for prizes. 

  6. Past entrants who participated, applied, or performed but did not win, are eligible to reapply. Past Grand Prize Winners of the Dayton Battle of the Bands are not eligible to re-apply. Additionally, if your act made it to the Finals two years in a row, you cannot re-apply. 


  1. You MUST register via the band sign up form by November 20, 2023. There is a sign-up form on this website for you to complete in order to be entered.

  2. If you do not register, you will not be allowed to participate in the event. 

  3. Registration opens October 9, 2023. Once bands are registered, their submitted performance links will be reviewed by our panel of judges, and the top 24 vote-getters will be entered into the contest. 

  4. Participants will be announced by December 11, 2023.


  1. All Battle nights are scheduled on Thursdays and follow the following schedule:

    1. Doors Open at 7pm

    2. BAND 1 - 7:40 - 8:00pm

    3. BAND 2 - 8:20 - 8:40pm

    4. BAND 3 - 9:00 - 9:20pm

    5. BAND 4 - 9:40 - 10:00pm

    6. Winner Announced - 10:30pm (venue closes at 11pm)

  2. The competition will be set up as brackets. There will be 4 bands performing each night, with six nights of battles total happening on Jan 18, 25, Feb 1, 8, 15, 22 of 2024. Event organizers reserve the right to utilize Thursday Feb 29 as a make-up day.

  3. For weeks with 5 acts, the music will start at 7:30pm and conclude by 10:30pm.

  4. Voting Format: 50% audience vote and 50% judges votes - all using anonymous ballots. There are 3 judges per evening, made up of music industry professionals and enthusiasts.

  5. Only one band from each first-round Battle will advance to the Finals. 

  6. None of the participating bands are directly paid for their performances (beyond the prize packages).


  1. The 2024 Battle of the Bands Finals will be held at The Brightside on Saturday March 9, 2024. 

  2. Each band will receive a 20 minute set. You should pre-plan your sets accordingly. Set-times are strictly enforced.

    1. Doors Open at 6:30pm

    2. BAND 1 - 7:10 - 7:30pm

    3. BAND 2 - 7:50 - 8:10pm

    4. BAND 3 - 8:30 - 8:50pm

    5. BAND 4 - 9:10 - 9:30pm

    6. BAND 5 - 9:50 - 10:10pm

    7. BAND 6 - 10:30 - 10:50pm

    8. Winner Announced by 11:45pm - or earlier, if possible (venue closes at 12am)

  3. Bands are limited to only 1 “one” cover song per set. 

  4. Voting Format: 100% audience vote with ballots.

  5. None of the bands are directly paid for their performances (beyond the prize packages).


  1. All bands performing get:

    1. ​An opportunity to perform on The Brightside's VodVil Bar stage with professional sound tech & production staff, in front of music bookers, journalists, fellow musicians, and potential new fans.

    2. Lots of social media promotion!

    3. Professional photos from live performances to use in their EPK (credit Jordan Lynn Freshour Photography)

    4. Future booking opportunities with The Brightside and other venue partners! (Not guaranteed, but The Brightside's booking agent prioritizes acts who have participated in the Battle of the Bands)

  2. The winner of each week gets:

    1. To perform live on The Brightside's Ballroom stage at the Dayton Battle of the Bands Finale, and all the press and new fans that brings with it! 

    2. A live performance video shot and edited by Ashley Karsten of Sound Valley Dayton - a great asset for the band's electronic press kits. (To be delivered within 60 days of Finale performance).

    3. 30% off any merch order from Little Monster Printing (if merch is needed / desired - no requirement for purchase)

    4. $250 cash prize (One check paid at the finale via The Brightside Venue. Must provide a W9 to receive the check)

  3. Grand Prize winner gets:

    1. A Free EP recording session with Dayton Sound Studios (Prize must be claimed and booked within 4 months after winning. Prize includes recording, mixing and mastering an EP [no less than 3 songs].. Video of the recording process as well as a post production interview will be recorded and used for promotion for the studio and the winner).

    2. The opportunity to perform at Levitt Pavilion Dayton during the Summer 2024 Concert Season (to be scheduled & paid for by Levitt Pavilion)

    3. 50 Custom T-shirts with a single color design Little Monster Printing. 

    4. $1000 cash prize - (One check paid at via The Brightside Venue. Must provide a W9 to receive the check).

  4. Prizes are subject to change and will be confirmed by the time the competition starts in January 2024.


  1. Bands are encouraged to promote their performance the via all media channels. We will create one Facebook event for each Battle night. Bands will be made admin on that event. We do not want every band making their own FB event and confusing fans with conflicting information, especially if there is bad weather and we need to make updates to event status. 

  2. Flyers promoting the entire event will be printed with the entire first-round schedule on them. These will be available to all of the bands.


  1. For all rounds except the Final, a combination of Audience plus Judge's votes determine the winner. The Final will be 100% audience vote.

  2. Audience Votes: Each paid admission will receive one ballot. On each ballot you must vote for three bands from that night’s performance. (1st, 2nd, and 3rd place). Please see our sample ballot for a visual reference. Audience votes will make up 50% of the total score, judges vote will make up the other 50%.

  3. Judges Votes: Each night there will be 3 Judges, who have been selected from the regional music community  To see the list of Judges, check out the Judges Bio page. Judges will rotate weekly. If a judge has a relationship with a band or band member, they will not be selected as a judge for that night. Each judge's vote will make up 16.67% of the total score, making judges votes worth 50% of the overall score. 

  4. In the event of a tie score, the band that receives the greater number of first place votes from the audience, will advance. If there is still a tie, the amount of 2nd place votes will determine who advances.

  5. Forged ballots will not be counted.

  6. We will tally the votes each evening and announce who advances. The announcement will be made from the stage roughly 30 minutes after the final performance. We will also post the final results on our website the following day.

  7. Please note - Audience ballots will be available for inspection the following business day at The Brightside. Ballots are only eligible for review by band/band members participating in that prior evening’s event, by the judges or by the local media. General public are ineligible to review the ballots. Reviews must be conducted in the Brightside with a member of our staff present. Judges ballots are not available for review. 


  1. Please provide your band's stage plot and inputs by Jan 1, 2023. Bands selected to participate will be contacted via email to get their date. They must reply back with band's stage plot and inputs (can be very simple). We need to know how many mics, DI boxes, etc. 

  2. All bands and equipment must arrive at The Brightside during the designated load-in time period noted in your advance (by 6:15 PM) for load-in. You must be on time. 

  3. You ARE permitted to have a sole representative for your band present the band in during the load-in period PROVIDED that representative is IN THE BAND. 

  4. Drawing for the evening’s set times will be held promptly at 6 PM.  We strongly encourage ALL band members to be present by 6 PM, because if you draw the first slot, you will be sound-checking immediately. 

  5. Any band that has not arrived at The Brightside by 6:15 PM will be placed last in the order for that night.

  6. All band members should arrive to the venue by 6:45pm. Any band that has not arrived by 6:45 PM can be disqualified from the Battle of the Bands. The cut off is promptly at 6:45pm! 

  7. There are 20 minute set-changes allotted. In the event that a set-change runs into the bands scheduled time due to technical difficulties, the following time slots will be adjusted and you will get your full 20 minute time slot. If the set change runs long as a result of an elaborate stage setup, it is at the discretion of the stage manager to either allow the full 20 minutes, or to start the clock before you are ready. No banners or backdrops.

  8. There is NO guest list. There are no wives, friends,  roadies, guitar techs, high school buddies or co-workers. (Band members only!). With that said, other than actual performers, there is NO ONE permitted in the backstage green room area.

  9. All bands must use The Brightside's sound and light engineers. No exceptions.

  10. Each night there will be a stage manager to assist with set-up and tear-down for each band. The stage manager has the final word on all time challenges.


  1. Anyone caught stealing, tampering with or removing any of the The Brightside alcohol inventory, gear or equipment will be disqualified and subject to prosecution.

  2. Anyone damaging any equipment owned by The Brightside or Monika's Sound System Rental are responsible for replacing the equipment at regular price within 10 business days.


  1. Bands cannot bring their own photographers / videographers to the qualifying rounds. We have photographers / videographers on site. Due to space limitations, we cannot accommodate multiple press passes. For the finale, you can have your own photographer / videographer but they have to buy a ticket, cannot come to the venue early, and under no circumstances can go on stage. 

  2. Bands cannot add additional members after the qualifying round. The band has to be the same members that qualified during the playoffs. If a band member has quit or been replaced, that is allowed, but no additional members can be added.

  3. Bands cannot switch performance nights once the competition has started. If you have a scheduling conflict you must let us know upon registration. It would be a good idea to bring your upcoming schedule with you.

  4. In the event that you cannot play on your scheduled date, although you cannot be rescheduled once the competition has begun, you must notify us as soon as you know.

  5. Make sure to educate your fans, friends and family to vote for three (3) separate bands. This ensures that we have a way to break a tie.  Any ballot filled out incorrectly will not be counted.

  6. If bands have merchandise, they can sell it at the Final round only (no merch sales during the Playoff rounds due to lack of space). Bands must provide their own credit card reader, cash change and seller. The venue can provide a table and linen.

  7. The organizing staff can make as-needed exceptions for stated rules due to health, weather, safety, among other reasons to make sure the series is successful.


  1. For everyone's combined safety, the venue has installed UV-C filtration systems in the HVAC systems to sanitize circulated air.  

  2. If someone in your bands tests positive for COVID or has cold / flu-like symptoms, please contact the venue ASAP. We will attempt to reschedule your band or you may need to forfeit the competition. We'll do our best to work with you!

  3. The venue, the event organizers, and software providers cannot be held responsible or liable for injuries, illness, loss or damages incurred by artists or patrons while attending these events.


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