Local musicians set to rock the Forest Roberts Theatre

Jamie Glenn

Local and out-of-town bands and DJs will come together for the first ever Forest Roberts Theatre Battle of the Bands competition, in collaboration with Double Trouble entertainment. The battle will take place at 7:30 on April 22 at the Forest Robert Theatre (FRT).

Seven bands will be competing in this event. Those who attend can expect to hear tastes of folk, indie rock, funk and metal while at the show.

DJs will be performing in between sets, said David Pierce, the technical director and production manager for the FRT.

“Not only are we going to be showcasing a lot of the local bands from the U.P. but then we’ll also be helping to showcase a few of the local DJs that are in the area as well,” Pierce said.

Judging will be based on stage presence, entertainment value and audience reaction. Judging will include Dan Truckey of the Beaumier Heritage Center, and Mollie Hollebeke from WJMN Local 3 News. The third judge is still being determined.

Raffles and prizes will include cakes, gift certificates and a raffle for a $500 scholarship.   Proceeds from this event will benefit the First Nighters Club, an NMU foundation that creates opportunities for student artists and supports the FRT and its productions.

“There will be cakes from Joe’s Cakes. I think we’re going to get some gift certificates to Digs,” Pierce said.

Pending the success of this first event, the group looks to make adjustments for the years following, he added.

“This is the first time we’ve ever done an event like this, so I think we’re just kind of excited to see where it goes and what the audience thinks of an event like this. I think it’s got a lot of potential to be a fairly large event for us.”

Events like this boost student résumés by offering opportunity to practice real world skills, Pierce said.

“We’re using this as a learning tool for some of our theater majors. I’m incorporating this event into my Entertainment Technologies II class, they are able to learn things like focusing an instrument, programing the light board and setting up a sound system, now they are able to learn that stuff and apply it to an actual event. It really opens doors and really opens their eyes to the possibilities they have outside of Northern once they graduate.”

Tickets are available at any NMU tickets offices or online. The tickets cost $10 in advance and $12 at the door.