If you go
› What: Road to Nightfall preliminary competitions (winner determined by audience vote).
› When: 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, March 10-11, Thursday-Saturday, March 16-18 (bands take the stage every half hour for 15-minute sets.
› Where: Granfalloon, 400 E. Main St.
› Admission: $10.
› Website: www.gigcityproductions.com.
› What: Road to Nightfall finals (winner decided by music industry professionals).
› When: 8 p.m. Saturday, March 25.
› Where: Miller Plaza, 850 Market St.
› Admission: $10
Twenty-nine bands will compete over six nights between Friday, March 10, and Saturday, March 25, for the right to be the headlining act at one of this summer's free weekly Nightfall concerts at Miller Plaza.
The bands have been chosen and the competition gets underway this weekend at Granfalloon. Six bands will compete on four of the nights and five on the fifth night. Each gets 15 minutes to perform a set of all-original material. Audience members will vote for the winners via text message in each preliminary round.
Road to Nightfall is presented by Gig City Productions. Owner Barrett Taylor says that, just like last year, the field includes a lot of new names.
"There are a bunch of bands I've never heard of, and there are several bands from UTC, which is very cool," Taylor says. "UTC is such a huge part of the city, and we'd love to see more students involved."
Each of the nightly winners will receive $500 and the right to compete in front of a panel of music industry professionals on the final night, Saturday, March 25. The panel will decide the winner. The finals will be held at Miller Plaza.
In addition to earning the headlining spot, the overall winner earns $1,500. Second-place winner gets an additional $500 and like the other three finalists, earns a spot as an opening act during the Nightfall series.
Doors will open at 8 p.m. each night to all ages. Admission is $10.
More than 130 musicians from 30 local bands competed last year for more than $10,000 in cash and prizes. Past winners include Nick Lutsko, Ryan Oyer Band, Function, Amber Fults and the Ambivalent Lovers, WTM Blues Band and Strung Like a Horse.
"Road to Nightfall helped escalate our band and allowed us to have the tools necessary to tour throughout the region supporting major national artists," says Clay Maselle, mandolin player for Strung Like a Horse. "The relationships that I developed during this event are directly responsible for many new working opportunities for me personally and for my band."
Friday, March 10
Sam Killed the Bea
Stone Cold Fox
Genki Genki Panic
Saturday, March 11
Courtney Holder Band
I Can Japan
Ashley and the X’s
Thursday, March 16
Over Easy SunSap
Kid Cuebas & Melancholy Dupree
Friday, March 17
Josh Driver & The Dixieland Playboys
Big Green Funk
Deacon Bluz & the HolySmoke Band
Saturday, March 18
Monday Night Special
Caney Creek Company
Rick Rushing & the Blues Strangers