Start spreading the news; The Independent‘s Locals Only Annual Santa Barbara Music Issue is back and ready to make some serious noise in our small-but-mighty musical community. For the uninitiated, last year we here at The Indy invited local musicians of all styles, genres, walks of life, and levels of proficiency to hand over their bios, pics, and tunes. With the necessary tools in hand, we launched our very own virtual band guide (, published a comprehensive rundown of S.B. music-makers, and hosted an online band-on-band battle that created a bigger stir than we ever could have imagined. This time around we’ve made some adjustments, tweaked with a couple rules, and are ready to go at it again. So grab your guitars, keyboards, turntables, and kazoos-this is one interactive adventure you don’t want to miss out on.

1) Submit Your Stuff: Starting Thursday, June 12, through Monday, August 4, our staff will be fielding submissions from bands, singer/songwriters, rappers, and deejays. If you took part in the festivities last year, please let us know whether or not you would like to participate again by emailing Music samples can either be sent via email to, or through snail mail to The Independent, 122 W. Figueroa St., Santa Barbara, CA 93101.

2) Read All About It: On Thursday, August 7, The Indy will provide a short-but-sweet rundown of bands and artists who have sent in their goods, simultaneously launching our online Battle of the Santa Barbara Bands. Here, readers, fans, musicians, and the general public will get a feel for a couple of the artists-as well as a sneak peak into the competition and prizes.

3) Battle Royale: From Thursday, August 7, through Tuesday, August 12, will play host to an online voting poll that will determine the top four winners in each of the tri-county’s four regions (San Luis Obispo, Isla Vista, Santa Barbara, Carpinteria/Ventura). From there, our highly qualified panel of experts will pick one additional “wild card” act from each region, then take the show on the road. Between Thursday, August 21 and Sunday, August 24, the top fives from each region will compete live and in person, playing their jams to crowds of friends, fans, and music enthusiasts who will ultimately select the best of the bunch. From there, one winner from each region will play live at Alameda Park on Labor Day weekend. There, a select group of professionals will sit back, enjoy the show, and together determine who takes home the top prize.

4) The Grand Finale: And when all is said and done, there will only be one thing left to do-crown the winner with a glorious gig playing alongside some of the music industry’s biggest names. The Independent is proud to announce that, for the first time ever, this year’s winning band/performer will win a slot on the Main Stage of the 2008 West Beach Music Festival. The three-day-long fest, which runs from Friday, September 12 to Sunday, September 14, has already lined up such headliners as Jason Mraz, Natasha Bedingfield, Ziggy Marley, and Big Head Todd and the Monsters. And now they are offering up one coveted spot on Saturday’s bill to our competition’s winner. Likewise, the contest’s winner will receive free recording time, courtesy of the Indy. Needless to say, it’s an opportunity that’s truly unlike any other. So get up, get out, and submit your stuff – because this is one prize that everyone should get a chance to vie for. Stay tuned in the coming weeks for additional information and details. And email with any questions. Good luck!


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