Andes gears up for Battle of the Bands


The Andes Battle of the Bands Broadcast promises an exciting day of music and fun on Saturday, July 13 at the Andes Fire Department.

Organizers want to build upon the success of last year’s pilot event that attracted 22 young musicians and over 100 audience members.

Once again Andes Works! and the Andes Fire Department are collaborating with WIOX Community Radio to provide the venue for musicians to present (often original works) in a professional environment affording experience and regional recognition.

Whereas last year’s event had an age restriction, the second annual Andes Battle of the Bands will broaden its scope by inviting musicians of all ages to participate. Expanding upon the pilot model launched last year results in a forum that celebrates the rich artistic diversity of music found in the Catskill Mountains, while providing valuable skills for younger artists.

The format has also changed to include a preliminary “battle” competition in which Judges will chose four bands that will go on to compete in the final round later in the day. WIOX will produce the live broadcast of the final battle, over radio and the Internet.

Whether rockabilly, alternative rock, all acoustic, reggae, traditional rock, metal or folk, blue grass, country or fiddle bands – the people behind “the battle” want them to attend the event and express themselves!

Margaretville Telephone Company will again provide the Wi-Fi connection needed to broadcast live; and Grammy Winner Joe Ferla will engineer sound for the final four bands.
The people behind the scene who are making the “battle” happen seem to be involved for their interest in regional music, and “keeping the music live.”

Artie Martello, office manager and host of WIOX’s Mostly Folk said, “I’m always interested in helping to spread the word regarding the amazing amount of talent available in our area. The Andes Battle of the Bands Broadcast is the perfect opportunity to showcase this talent.”
Candace Rudd from Roxbury wanted to help mount the show because, “I have a genuine love for music of all types and am very excited to help showcase talent that may not have had an opportunity otherwise. Attending the event will be exciting to see the level of competition as well as participating in a live radio broadcast!”

Helping the “battle”
Marlene and Bill Feldman, residents of Andes, are once again contributing their time and efforts to make “the battle” a success.

Marlene said, “I wanted to have an event for the young people in our community and I think it’s important to nurture creativity and promote a feeling of community. As a member of Andes Works, the economic vitality of our town is also important and I hope this event will bring additional recognition and street traffic to our Main Street shop owners.”

Bill agreed to help produce this competition primarily because two friends asked for his help.
“I like the idea of helping to bring talent to the attention of a larger audience – broadcasting the event live over means anyone in the world with Internet access can listen in on July 13! Also, I love music, and I love Andes.  Bringing both together makes me feel like I’m doing something good for my home town.”

WIOX Production Manager Mike Teitelbaum and host of Open Mike will again be in charge of the live remote broadcast from the Andes Fire Department.

Susan Dey hosts
Susan Dey who will also be hosting this year’s broadcast along with seasoned radio host Jezz Harkin said, “I’m in this to help create a venue that promotes live music. The bands that performed last year were good! They showed such determination to come to Andes and share their passion for music with us. At the end of the day all I could think of was – can’t wait to do this again! And the bands that have signed up to date are equally, and some even more talented than last year. These musicians deserve the professional engineered showcase we provide.”

They all agreed that the biggest challenges are getting the word out to all the musicians who could benefit from this event; finding the hours needed to plan an event like this; and fundraising.
Susan said by expanding the program they upped the budget, but the producers still didn’t want to charge the bands or the public any fees. Susan said she feels lucky that others believe the Andes Battle of the Bands Broadcast is an important venue for regional musicians.

“We’ve received support from as far away as Colonial Subaru in Kingston and Music Square in Oneonta and from as close by as Decker Advertising and Price Chopper in Delhi, and Bud & Suzanne Gladstone who handed me a contribution in the Andes Post Office!

“We couldn’t put this event on without their support and the generosity of the O’Connor Foundation and MTC. And I’m not just talking financial support – their involvement put a spring in our step to continue the work needed to make this happen! Tom Murphy from Colonial Subaru still checks in with us to see how we’re doing!”

So far 11 bands have signed on – from Worcester, Gilboa, Walton, Oneonta, Delhi, Stamford, and New Jersey. The event will again be held at the Andes Fire Department Pavilion. The pavilion is located on Tremperskill Road.

Action heats up
During the Preliminary Competition, tentatively scheduled 2-5 p.m., all bands battle for placement in the final round. AFD members will be cooking up food to be served from 5-6 p.m. WIOX will broadcast the Final Round of four bands live over radio and the Internet from 6-8 p.m., The winning band receives the Grand Prize of performing in RoxFest, NY on August 25; $500 in musical gear; and an hour special on WIOX radio.

The producers want to create a festival atmosphere for the day of battle by including the Andes community as part of the event.
Marlene noted, “Andes has a swimming pool, restaurants, shops and a museum open to the public.”

For further information, please contact the producers at: andesbobb@