Over 60 local bands will compete for cash, prizes, and a coveted spot on the 2021 PVDFest Main Stage

February 26, 2020

PROVIDENCE, RI – Mayor Jorge O. Elorza, the Department of Art, Culture + Tourism and founding creative partner FirstWorks today announced an exciting new multi-venue Battle of the Bands competition designed to introduce PVDFest audiences to new artists. Starting March 1, PVDFest will present local bands in a series of showcase events, culminating in a final face-off at The Strand on Saturday, June 13 during PVDFest weekend.

“PVDFest magic is fueled by local artists,” said Mayor Jorge Elorza. “We’re excited to highlight a diverse group of emerging musicians and to spotlight Providence’s creative economy and music scene months before the PVDFest celebration even beings.”

Battle of the Bands will expand the PVDFest experience beyond the bounds of the four-day festival downtown and into the heart of Providence’s vibrant music scene. For the bands, it’s an opportunity to demonstrate their talent and build their fan base. Music lovers will have the chance to explore live music venues throughout the Creative Capital while cheering on their favorite band or discovering new sounds. In keeping with PVDFest’s tradition of making art and culture accessible, the entire competition is free and open to the public.

During each showcase event—which will be hosted by Askew Prov, Alchemy, Fête Music Hall, The Parlour, and The Goodwill Engine Company— bands will perform for a panel of judges who will evaluate technical ability, creativity, stage presences and audience reaction. The judge panel will feature local personalities, PVDFest alumni artists and curators, and local creative leaders. After the first round of performances, the top 16 bands will move onto a semi-final round at The Met (June 7 – June 9) and the last eight bands standing will battle it out for the top spots during PVDFest weekend. Audiences can expect surprise guest emcees and plenty of opportunities to demonstrate their support for their favorite musicians.


  • 1ST Place: $1,000 cash, slot on 2021 PVDFest main stage, $1,500 recording package with No Boundaries Studios
  • 2nd Place: $1,000 cash
  • 3rd Place: $500 cash

All doors open at 7pm, performances start at 7:30pm, all showcases free and open to the public.

Earlier this year, bands applied to enter the competition through the PVDFest website. The call is now closed, but bands interested in participating next year should be on the lookout for more details.

Fans are encouraged to use social media to share their favorite Battle of the Bands moments using hashtag #PVDFestBandBattle. For additional details on the competition, including a full list of the participating bands, visit https://pvdfest.com/battle-of-the-bands/

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