Rock the Dam concert series approved

Youth, adult battle of the bands to begin in July

by BETH ALTENA

Rockford City Council unanimously approved a new music event to debut this summer. Dan DeWard of Studio D2D received a warm reception to his idea for a battle of the bands to take place downtown Rockford beginning in July. Rock the Dam will be a youth and adult band competition with cash prizes culminating in finals on August 11.

DeWard said he planned the event to follow the end of the blues concert series and will start the youth competition at Garden Club Park at the dam. The youth and adult finals will likely take place at North Rockford Middle School, the soccer stadium, or possibly the high school, where larger crowds can be accommodated. DeWard said he believes the series will be a nice addition to downtown events and he is working with the Rockford Area Arts Commission (RAAC) and local businesses on the project.

“I want to emphasize this will not be a free-for-all,” DeWard told council during the regular meeting on Monday, March 14. He said he is experienced at event planning, and the resources of his studio dovetail perfectly with the event. RAAC volunteers will help with the organization.

DeWard said he plans to limit the competition to 12 youth and 12 adult bands, and screen them prior to acceptance to make sure they are appropriate for a family audience. Sales of t-shirts in several styles, along with sponsorship of local businesses, will generate money to offer as prizes. Studio D2D will provide deejays, sound equipment and the photo booth free of charge just to add to the overall fun of the series.

Each night, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, July 20-22, four youth bands, ages 18 and under, will perform from 5:30 to 9 p.m. Each night, Wednesday through Friday, August 3-5, four adult bands, ages 19 and over, will perform from 5:30 to 9 p.m. The top three bands per category will advance to the finals. All six finalists will perform Thursday, August 11 in the evening. Prize money will go to the top bands in each category.

The public will even have their chance to vote for their favorite bands from video footage uploaded to Facebook after performances.

Those wishing to submit a demo for consideration in the Rock the Dam battle of the bands can visit the event website at RockTheDam.com or drop off at studio D2D, located at 25 Squires Street in downtown Rockford.

Councilmember Rich Moll commented on the new event for Rockford, “I wish you well. I think this sounds fantastic.”

 

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