On Feb. 19, 2022, the Student Union Ballroom will be filled with local bands jamming out for a chance to showcase their work and win WHUS Radio’s third annual Battle of the Bands.
WHUS, UConn’s non-commercial radio station, is home to all things creative, harboring students with interests in broadcasting or media production. Music, news and sports recaps are just a few types of auditory entertainment the organization provides.
As of late, WHUS has been producing podcasts such as “Save the Earth,” hosted by UConn Praxis coordinators, and “Edge of Empathy,” a series focusing on death penalty witnesses. Students at WHUS have also been producing digital zines, the latest of which utilizes embedded video and audio clips to offer a multidimensional experience.
With Battle of the Bands, students are given an opportunity to participate in WHUS’ vision through live performances in front of UConn students. In the past, winners have been chosen by the audience, who vote via Kahoot. This year, however, the music department will also have a hand in judging.
Participating in the competition is a great way to get a small band’s name out there, with the winning band potentially performing as the opener for the WHUS Spring Fling concert.
In 2020, “One Time Weekend” took the spotlight as the first winner of Battle of the Bands.
Earlier this year, the event was conducted virtually through pre-recorded setlists and a bracket system to determine the second winner, “Cyborg Village.”
WHUS is enthusiastic about returning to live performances, but planning an event of this scale is no easy task. Celia Klotzer, events coordinator for WHUS, has to start the process months in advance.
“We have to receive applications from the bands, hold auditions, figure out necessary production companies, find a venue, and do many other things, especially paperwork,” the fifth-semester human rights and sociology major said.
Applications to secure an audition spot are due by the end of Dec. 3 and can be accessed online. To partake in the program, at least one band member must be a current student at UConn and a preliminary audition clip must be sent to email@example.com. If chosen for a live audition, bands will perform a 15 minute set, similar to what would be performed at the actual show. At least half of the set must comprise original songs. The number of bands chosen to compete depends on the number of applications received, but Klotzer is shooting to have four to five groups make it to February’s event.
Battle of the Bands is not just a spectacular showcase of music, but also a celebration of local artists; these bands might not show up on people’s Spotify Wrapped, but their talent warrants just as much praise.
If you’re interested in multimedia art or getting involved with WHUS behind-the-scenes, there are plenty of committees with all sorts of focuses to choose from! And if you want to check out some student-run radio, tune into 91.7 FM!