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Battle of the Bands Begins Tonight

Local bands vie for supremacy at Hamden venue.

Rock and Roll returns to Hamden as popular all-ages music venue kicks off its seventh annual “Battle of the Bands” tonight, March 4, featuring local favorites like Parachute Stage and Matt Talmage.

More than 40 bands, representing everything from punk to indie rock to heavy metal, will compete in this multi-round event for their shot at the grand prize.

Round one spans the entire month of March. Two nights a week, ranging from Friday to Sunday, five local bands will be judged by a panel of three music industry professionals, who will select their favorite act to advance to the next round. The band that brings the most fans will also move on.

In the first round, bands will be grouped by sub-genre (metal, indie, punk etc.). Winners will be announced at the end of the night, encouraging audience members to stay for the entire show.

“Normally the fans will stick around for the whole night instead of just going and seeing their friend’s band and then leaving,” said Eric Alfisi, The Space's manager and booking agent.

Round two starts in April, again featuring five bands per night, twice a week, and taking the top two acts from each show. Those eight bands compete in the finals in May, where two will be crowned champions.

The grand prize includes $300 cash, one day of free recording time at Adorea Studios, a professional photo shoot with Simone Gutkin Photography, air time on rock station WPLR and consideration for an opening slot during one of The Space’s national acts.   

Each night costs $10 admission, with doors opening at 6:30 p.m. A variety of refreshments including Snapple and baked goods will be available for purchase.

The Space has been at its current location on Treadwell Street for eight years and is now aiming to attract an older audience. In addition to the original venue, it has a new building called “The Outer Space.” Alcohol is prohibited at The Space, but “The Outer Space” will feature a 1920s themed beer and wine bar, as well as the option to bring your own liquor.

“It's a small room. We're trying to have more an adult crowd [at the Outer Space],” said Alfisi of his efforts to attract the 21+ crowd. 

Alfisi noted that the main Space building will remain all-ages and reiterated management and ownership's commitment to keeping the venue a safe place for teens to come and enjoy music.

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