Gympie's answer to The Voice and X-Factor
MUSIC is a universal language and something Ande Foster, AICM Rockskool coach would love the aspiring bands in Gympie to use to connect with each other.
A new competition called Band Showdown is aiming to bring together musical groups in a Battle of the Bands type competition.
"Our focus is to get all the aspiring bands in one place, to put on a show and have fun and develop skills,” Mr Foster said.
He said the competition would feature coaches like those in reality TV programs The Voice and X-Factor who would help competitors hone their musical and stagecraft skills and broaden their repertoires.
"It will be a chance for performers to get quality feedback, as we would give for our own bands,” he said.
Some of the people providing this feedback would be industry professionals such as Lee Turner of Blue Logic Studios and venue operators looking to hire bands for live performances.
Mr Foster said the prizes on offer would be industry-specific and would appeal to anyone wishing to break into the music industry as a career, such as performance opportunities at places like the Gympie Music Muster and publicity and marketing consultations.
He also hopes to encourage further prizes from industry sponsors - of musical instruments and equipment closer to competition time.
The Australian Institute of Country Music would be the venue for the two heats and final, which will be held on the afternoons and early evening of Saturdays, July 27 and August 3 and 10.
The competition will be open to two classes, All School Aged and Open and will be limited to just 20 bands.
To enter, bands will need to submit a video audition to the AICM and RockSkool Facebook pages.
"We just want to see that band in action, it can be any quality video,” Mr Foster said.
After registration, organisers of the competition would then get in touch with the bands and give them a performance time in one of the two heats.
Depending on their performance, the best five bands in each heat will progress to the final to compete on August 10.
"As well as the finalists, the final will feature top quality local acts. It will be a great live gig with food and drink and a fun rock atmosphere,” Mr Foster said.
While the competition is open to anyone, it is definitely the younger generation of musicians Mr Foster is keen to see in it.
"There are school music programs in every school and we want to help young people aspiring to be in bands get their bands together and make it happen - get them out of the school rooms and on the stage.”
Mr Foster works with the Flexible Learning Centre teaching music and mixed media.
He said his students are enthusiastic about competing and he had noticed the beginner musicians in particular increasing their practice.
"Music is the magic bullet to put some spark of joy into their lives,” he said.