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Sound Off Live!

Wednesday, October 18, 2017 - 5:00pm to Thursday, October 19, 2017 - 10:00pm

Sound Off Live!, Baltimore’s “Battle of the Bands” showcases emerging bands/musicians from the Maryland, Delaware and Virginia region. The winning bands/musicians selected from Sound Off Live! will perform at Light City, Artscape or the Baltimore Book Festival. Over the two nights, bands/musicians will have fifteen minutes to perform three songs in front of an audience and a panel of judges at Hard Rock Cafe Baltimore, 601 E Pratt St, Baltimore, MD 21202. A part of Free Fall Baltimore, the event is free and open to the public. Sound Off Live! is produced by the Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts.

The 2017 Sound Off Live! application is now available. Bands/musicians should submit the online application no later than Tuesday, August 15, 2017.

Please click below to apply.

2017 Sound Off Live! Application

The Baltimore Office of Promotion &The Arts is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization which serves as Baltimore City’s arts council, film office, and events agency. By producing large-scale events such as Light City, Artscape and the Baltimore Book Festival, and providing funding and support to artists, arts programs and organizations across the city, BOPA’s goal is to make Baltimore a more vibrant and creative city.


Who is eligible to participate?
Any genre of music is eligible - keep in mind that bands/musicians will be performing in a family atmosphere, so no explicit lyrics, please!

A majority of the band's members (60%) must reside in any of the following locations: Baltimore City, one of Maryland's 24 counties, the Delmarva Region or Washington D.C.
At least 90% of the music performed must be original - no more than 10% covers, please.

Only bands/musicians that have NEVER been booked at Light City, Artscape and Book Festival will be considered for Sound Off Live! Please note: If you have performed and/or applied for any of the festivals mentioned, your information is in our database.

How does Sound Off Live! work?
Round 1 - Applications

Bands/musicians should submit the online application no later than August 15, 2017. Samples of the bands'/musicians' music must be available. Applications missing music samples will not be considered. Bands/musicians must keep two evenings open for any performance slot at the competition on Wednesday, October 18 and Thursday, October 19, 2017.

Round 2 - Selection to Perform
Selection committee will review all applications to decide who will perform at Sound Off Live!

Bands/musicians will be selected from audio, video, and other information provided on website and application. BOPA aims to book diverse genres and populations for our festivals. Bands/musicians will be notified of acceptance into Sound Off Live! by Friday, September 1, 2017 via email. Performance day and time will also be indicated in this email. Performance times are final.

Round 3 - The Battle
Bands/musicians selected to perform in Sound Off Live! should be prepared to arrive at least 30 minutes prior to their performance time. Bands arriving late will be disqualified. Stage, sound system and basic backline will be provided.

The panel of judges will score each band/musician on a scale of 1-10 based on the following criteria: stage presence, crowd reaction, originality of sound, etc. Bands/musicians must keep the weekend of July 20-22, 2018 (Artscape) and/or September 28-30, 2018 (Book Festival), and April 2018 (Light City) open for any performance time slot.

Questions? Email [email protected].


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