Ends on September 10, 2019

Sound Off Live!

This application is for up-and-coming bands/musicians who wish to participate in Sound Off Live!, which is a live audition at the Hard Rock Cafe in Downtown Baltimore for performance slots at Artscape, Light City and/or Baltimore Book Festival.


What is Sound Off Live!?
Presented by Hard Rock Cafe Baltimore, Sound Off Live! (SOL!) is Baltimore's premier "Battle of the Bands" event for emerging artists located in Maryland and the surrounding region. Taking place right in the heart of Light City & Baltimore Book Festival on November 6 & 7, 2019 - SOL! showcases two packed evenings of live music from 18 of the region's most exciting up-and-coming bands/musicians. Competing bands will each have fifteen minutes to perform up to three songs in front of a live audience and panel of judges at Hard Rock Cafe Baltimore: 601 E Pratt St., Baltimore, MD 21202. The winning bands that are selected have the opportunity to perform at up to two festivals produced by the Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts. The highest scoring band receives a $100 Hard Rock Cafe gift card and a guaranteed Main Stage performance slot at Artscape 2020!


Who is eligible to participate?
Any genre of music is encouraged to apply. However, bands/musicians must meet the following criteria:

  • Majority of members (60%) must reside in any of the following locations: Baltimore City, one of Maryland's 24 counties, the DelMarVa Region or Washington D.C.
  • At least 90% of the music performed must be original.
  • NO explicit lyrics or profanity, this is a family friendly atmosphere.
  • Have NEVER been booked at Artscape, Light City or Baltimore Book Festival. Please note: If you have performed at any of the festivals mentioned,  your information is in our database.


How does Sound Off Live! work?
Round 1 - Applications.
Bands/musicians submit the online application no later than September 10th, 2019. Applications missing music samples will not be considered. Bands/musicians must keep two evenings available for performance slots at the competition on November 6-7, 2019.


Round 2 - Selection to Perform
Selection committee reviews all applications to decide who will perform at Sound Off Live! Bands/musicians are selected from audio, video, and other information provided on their application and website. BOPA aims to book diverse artists and genres for our festivals. Bands/musicians are notified of acceptance into Sound Off Live! via email by Saturday, September 20th, 2019. Performance date & time will be indicated in this email. Performance times are final.


Round 3 - The Battle
Bands/musicians selected to perform in Sound Off Live! should plan to arrive at least 30 minutes prior to their performance slot. Bands arriving late will be disqualified. Stage, Sound System and Basic Backline will be provided.

The panel of judges score each band/musician on a scale of 1-10, based on the following criteria: stage presence, musicianship/sound, originality, professionalism, and visual entertainment. Winning bands/musicians must keep the weekend of July 17-19, 2020 (Artscape) and/or November 6-15, 2020 (Light City/Book Festival) open for any performance time slots.


Questions? Email:   shuber@promotionandarts.org