‘Battle of the Bands’ event takes center stage in Basalt | AspenTimes.com

‘Battle of the Bands’ event takes center stage in Basalt

Aspen Times Staff Report

“The Sound of Silence” was almost the featured song at Basalt’s Battle of the Bands this year.

The 3-year-old event was nearly scrapped when co-creator Dan “Pastor Mustard” Sadowsky contemplated leaving Aspen behind for upstate New York. But Sadowsky couldn’t leave, and once he decided to stay he knew the bands must play on.

So the popular event that has raised thousands of dollars for school music programs returns for a fourth year to Basalt on Saturday, May 11. There will be 32 bands – playing everything from ranchera to speedpunk to folk to jazz – on two ramshackle stages. The music plays from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Admission is free.

“It’s a family setting and a great way to just break down and admit that summer is, like, here, baby,” co-organizers Sadowsky and Chris “Biff” Phillips said in a press release.

They started the event in 1999 to try to offset budget cuts that often seem to hit school music programs. The event is organized by their nonprofit Fränzl Foundation Inc. (The Battle of the Bands name was already taken.)

The Fränzl Foundation hopes to keep communities aware of the perennial need for arts and music in school.

Recommended Stories For You

All the talent at the friendly “battle” is provided by local kids, with a few pro musicians taking their turns on the stage. The acts perform 10-minute sets on two stages, back to back.

Middle and high school bands from Glenwood Springs to Aspen perform interspersed with garage bands and cameos by local and national professionals. All types of bands can compete.

Bands are judged by a panel of locals. All participating schools share the net proceeds, and winning talents receive donated prizes.

This year KDNK will join the event to present its first Summer Sports Swap. It will be a chance for buyers and sellers of various sporting goods to get together.

Sellers should drop off equipment at Basalt Lions Park between 8 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. The swap opens at 11 a.m. and runs until 5 p.m.

Sellers must pick up all unsold items by 6 p.m. on Saturday. KDNK receives 20 percent of all sales.

The organizers say they need all the help they can get. Volunteers should call Biff at 927-BIFF. To contribute silent auction items or prizes, call Patti Stranahan at 922-2432 or 923-3614.

Concessionaires and exhibitors looking for booth space, call Liz at the Basalt Chamber of Commerce, 927-4031.