Backstage News, Front Row Pics

Ernie Ball Launches 17th Annual Battle of the Bands

Ernie 17It all started with an idea and a passion for live music.

The year was 1997 and the Warped Tour, which has become North America’s longest-running summer concert series, was in its second year. With live gigs becoming harder to obtain and local music scenes fizzling out across America, Sterling Ball wanted to come up with a way to not only keep the local music scene thriving, but also give some of the great unsigned bands a chance to show off their chops in front of sold-out crowds numbering the tens of thousands.  Sterling, along with Vans Warped Tour founder Kevin Lyman, came up with the idea for the structure of what would become the Ernie Ball Vans Warped Tour Battle of The Bands.

Fast forward to 2013: The Ernie Ball Battle of the Bands is now in its 17th year and has proven to be a breeding ground for North America’s best unsigned talent. Starting March 4th, Ernie Ball® began taking sign-ups for this year’s Battle at

Bands will have a chance to compete for a spot on this year’s Vans Warped Tour.

Jeremy Lenzo of Mayday ParadeJeremy Lenzo (right) of Mayday Parade, 2006 Battle of the Bands participants, had this to say about his experience: “I remember showing up for the Jacksonville show feeling like it was my first time seeing Warped Tour. I just couldn’t believe we were actually playing. I had such a rush on stage I nearly vomited after playing.”

  Watch the promotional video here.

Warped 13Over 160 bands will be awarded the opportunity to play the Vans Warped Tour and 4 lucky bands will be selected and flown out to Hollywood, CA for the Battle of The Bands showcase. There, they’ll compete in front of music industry executives to be crowned the 17th Annual Ernie Ball Vans Warped Tour Battle of the Bands Champion. Prizes include a $15,000 Guitar Center shopping spree, recording a 3 song EP with multi-platinum producer John Feldman, a 2 week slot on the 2014 Vans Warped tour, custom apparel package from Vans, recording gear from Apogee, a TC Electronics effects package and much more from Reverbnation, Electro-Voice and other Vans Warped Tour Sponsors.

 Does your band have what it takes? There is only one way to find out!

More About Ernie Ball

Ernie Ball was the first to offer rock strings with the creation of Slinkys®, and further revolutionized the market by offering guitarists Custom Gauge® single strings. The Ernie Ball Company also produces Music Man® guitars and basses, volume pedals, and other accessories. The company’s strings and accessories are available in more than 6,000 music stores throughout the U.S. The company also exports to 82 countries. For more information, contact the Ernie Ball company at (800) 543-2255 or visit their website.