SOLANA BEACH — The city’s 2020 Fiesta Del Sol might still be a ways away, but local bands are gearing up to ‘battle’ over a spot on the beloved event’s mainstage.
For the first time, Solana Beach’s Chamber of Commerce is hosting a “battle of the bands” at the Belly Up Tavern on Sept. 16. Audience members and a panel of judges will choose which of six participating bands will get to play at Fiesta.
Fiesta Del Sol is an annual celebration in Solana Beach that brings together merchants, artists, musicians and food vendors for a weekend summer celebration. The longstanding event draws thousands every year to the small coastal city.
There are typically about 25 to 30 bands playing per year, between two to three different stage areas. But the mainstage, located in a large city-owned parking lot, draws the biggest crowds. The top two performers at the “battle of the bands” will be able to take the mainstage — the first-place pick taking stage at Fiesta on Saturday, and the second place on Sunday.
The chamber, which plans and sponsors Fiesta Del Sol, has long partnered with the Belly Up to help select which bands play the event.
But this year, the Chamber of Commerce wanted to let the community to decide.
“There’s so many local bands interested in playing on the mainstage, and there’s not a fair way of choosing which ones do,” said Chamber of Commerce CEO Maryam Hintzen. “This is a way of getting the community and the crowd involved in choosing who will be on the stage.”
The chamber recently finalized the six participants: April and the Funk Junkies, Mud, Pearl Jammed, Shaken and Stirred, Static on the Stereo, and The Good Pour. The bands may come as no surprise to readers — many have played at local bars The Kraken or Saddle Bar, with some having graced the stage of the Belly Up in the past.
The bands will be evaluated by a panel of judges from across the county, of few of which will be city or county representatives. But the final outcome will equally rely on the audience: a sound meter will be putting a number to the crowd’s reaction.
The event will also be a fundraiser for the Chamber of Commerce and include raffles throughout the night. Tickets cost $10 and can be purchased through the Belly Up or the Chamber’s office in Solana Beach.
Doors open at 5 p.m. and the 21-plus event will start at 6 p.m.