The annual BYTE Battle of the Bands, which will feature up to 10 groups, has been taking place for over a decade and has teamed up for the second year with Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous as an affiliated event at Shipyards Park.

The event takes place on Thursday, Feb. 22 and is open to youth bands – which are defined as having members under 30 years of age.

What’s Up Yukon is excited to be providing a prize of a feature article on this year’s winner in a future issue.

The Battle of the Bands attracts a wide variety of acts, according to BYTE Community Outreach Coordinator Tayo Adamek. “It is open to any genre of music and in the past we’ve seen all kinds of acts; from jazz to metal to hip hop/rappers,” Adamek said. “This year we have jazz bands from Vanier, rapper Antarcticus, and some other hip hop artists, to name a few. We also expect a couple of rock bands.”

Ukes of Hazard members Aiden Tentrees (left), Patrick Docherty, Zacharie Pelland, Cain Rogan, and Paris Pick won last year’s Battle of the Bands

Past winners include some of the better-known names in the Whitehorse music scene and have gone on from the Battle of the Bands to perform shows including the Dawson City Music Festival, the Atlin Arts and Music Festival, Canada Day celebrations, and have even embarked on Canadian tours.

Whitehorse-based Ukes of Hazard won in 2017 and took on all of these after performing last February.
(Ed. note: Ukes of Hazard were featured in the April 19, 2017 issue of WUY, see below)
They played both Dawson and Atlin festivals and embarked on a 23 day tour playing 15 venues in British Columbia and Alberta.

The 2013 winner Vision Quest, a First Nation hip hop group, also launched onto larger performances in the Yukon and Outside. “Vision Quest toured across Canada after they won Battle of the Bands,” Adamek said.

The show is judged by a panel of volunteers invited to participate by the organizing committee. They are targeted individuals with some expertise in music. “The judges are people who are involved in music,” Adamek explained. “Like people with Music Yukon, or other musicians in the territory.”

Adamek noted that BYTE tries to involve youth as much as possible, so this year the Master of Ceremonies will be a young man who has been developing his hosting skills at a variety of events. “We intend to involve as many youth as possible,” Adamek said. “This was another way to do that.”

Tickets are available at the door and for more information about the event itself, contact BYTE at BOTB@YukonYouth.com.

Setting sail for uncharted waters