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The Buzzpoets, winners of the 1998 Battle of the Bands

With the help of co-sponsors including RollingStone.com, Drum Workshop, Evans Drumheads, Line 6, TAXI, NAMM, and Guitar World magazine, the Ernie Ball Battle of the Bands 3 bursts onto the music scene for 1999 - bigger and better than ever. “Battle of The Bands 3 – Live and Loudr” will take place in more than 100 North American markets, with prizes in excess of $500,000, including a first-place cash grand prize of $25,000.

An estimated 7,500 bands are expected to enter the eight-month competition at their local participating retailer throughout the U.S. and Canada from June through September. Winners of the local battles will automatically advance to round two, receiving international exposure in an on-line voting contest on RollingStone.com at www.rollingstone.com, music’s most recognized publication and one of Tunes.com’s music Web sites. The bands’ bios, photos and sounds will be posted on the site, where millions of monthly visitors will listen to the bands and vote for their favorite. As a bonus, local Battle winners will perform at the 1999 Vans Warped Tour in cities where the Warped Tour stops.

The sixteen bands receiving the most on-line votes will compete in one of four semi-final battles in January 2000. The winners of the four semi-finals will be flown all expenses paid to the Final Showdown scheduled for February 3, 2000 in Los Angeles at the Winter NAMM Show. Bands will perform in front of music industry professionals and before a worldwide Internet audience via a live webcast on RollingStone.com. The winner of the Final Showdown will take home a $25,000 check.

Ernie Ball initiated the Battle of the Bands in conjunction with their sponsorship of the Vans Warped Tour in 1997. More the 1,850 bands entered the competition in twenty-three markets.

In 1998, close to 5,000 bands entered local competitions in thirty-three North American markets, winning more than $200,000 in prizes. Winning bands from each market went on to perform on the Ernie Ball sponsored stage at the Vans Warped Tour and to four semi-final competitions held in conjunction with the Boardriders Expos held in Denver, CO, Boston, MA, San Mateo, CA and Long Beach, CA. The four winning semi-finalists were flown, all expenses paid, to Los Angeles where they performed at the Final Showdown at the Hard Rock Cafe in Beverly Hills on January 30, 1999. Celebrity musicians including members of Reel Big Fish, 311, Goldfinger and Save Ferris, plus Dweezil and Ahmet Zappa, Steve Lukather and Paul Gilbert judged the finals. The standing-room-only audience included more than thirty music industry professionals representing major record labels, publishers, management and booking companies. The Buzz Poets from Pittsburgh, PA won the title and the right to perform on the 1999 Vans Warped Tour in fourteen cities starting in Chicago and ending in Miami. The Buzz Poets are now exploring recording and management opportunities with several of the companies represented at the Final Showdown. The band is also performing on the Warped Tour from Chicago to Miami.

For more information, contact the Ernie Ball company at (800) 543-2255, or visit their website at www.ernieball.com.

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