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How Tweed Battle of the Bands is helping local kids find their groove

We as parents, all know the benefits of our kids belonging to a sports team: team work, commitment, making new friends, good role models in their coaches, fitness, keeping those hands from the devils playground etc etc. But what if your kid isn’t sporty? What if they prefer to lock themselves in their room and tinker on a guitar, or a uke, or, a drum kit? What do you do with them?

Tweed Battle of the Bands is so much more than a competition

You need to give them opportunities to be with their own kind: with kindred spirits, but that can be easier said than done.

This is where grass-roots groups like the Tweed Battle of the Bands come in. Established 7 years ago to cater to 12-25 year olds with unearthed musical talent, and nowhere to show or share it, the event, and it’s online Facebook community, have achieved way more than they originally set out to do.

Fresh off winning this year’s Australia Day Award for Arts and Culture on the Tweed, committee President Kristie Hedley shares the benefits she’s witnessed, expected and unexpected, of giving young creative peeps somewhere to be themselves.

1. Self belief

Most of the acts we have encountered over the years have given their very first live performance to an audience consisting of more than mum and dad, on our stage.

It never ceases to amaze me how despite how talented these kids can be, they’ve really got no idea, because they’ve never had honest feedback.

Take one of our early acts, Double Lined Minority (feature image) from the Gold Coast. They took out second place and were so overwhelmed with the audience’s reaction.

I’ll never forget them saying “We didn’t really know if anyone would like us”. A short time later they scored themselves a gig at the Big Day Out.

Tweed Battle of the Bands audience watching live music

Fans look on appreciatively Photo by Tweed Battle of the Bands

2. The Music Lovers

Any established band will tell you, getting people to turn up to your gigs is one of the hardest things to achieve, and the most gratifying.

The yearly Battle has allowed for our young acts to build a loyal following. As a music appreciator myself (with zero talent), I started to see how important it was to the underage kids turning up to watch and support their mates. They’d previously had nowhere local to go, free of booze and drugs, to appreciate live music.

3. The Networking

This was one of the unexpected outcomes of the Battle. Not only have the contestants met amazing industry judges who have mentored and guided them, but they also met each other.

Being a young muso can be a lonely gig, but the event and the online space have allowed for a lot of collaborations, and more experienced bands helping the less experienced. They’ve gone on to record together, put on their own gigs, and even launch tours together. It’s been amazing to witness.

Sepia image of a band sitting on floor backstage at Tweed Battle of the Bands

A back stage sing-along in 2011 Photo by Tweed Battle of the Bands

4. Professionalism

From turning up to the gig early for sound check, to making sure you’ve bought spare guitar strings, there’s a lot to learn in the way of preparedness for young musos. Luckily we have an amazing team of experienced but nurturing industry experts who guide the young people along.

Sound check at Tweed Battle of the Bands

2016 winners ‘Weather Permitting’ on stage supported by Kingscliff PA on sound Photo by Tweed Battle of the Bands

How to get involved in Tweed Battle of the Bands 2017

2017 Tweed Battle of the Bands entries are open now to solists, duos and bands, aged 12-25. Go to the Facebook Page and click on the blue ‘Sign Up’ button.

  • Heat 1 – Friday June 2
  • Heat 2 – Friday June 9
  • Outdoor Final – Friday June 23 – with stalls and food trucks 5pm – 10pm

All 3 nights at Cudgen Leagues Club, Kingscliff.
*These are all ages events, drug and alcohol free.

Photo of author

Janine Mergler

Janine Mergler is a veteran Queensland teacher, graduating from QUT with a BEd majoring in Social Sciences. After many years in the classroom, Janine moved on to academia. She has proudly trained new generations of teachers in her role as a lecturer at Queensland University of Technology Faculty of Education. She has also worked in the Queensland Government as an education specialist, developing education resources and delivering community awareness programs to help families conserve water. Currently she is the owner and editor of Families Magazine, a publication specifically targeted at parents who value a quality education for children.  Janine leads a team of professionals who write about family lifestyle, early childhood, schools and education information and family-friendly events.

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