March 16, 2011


Hometown Favorite, Seven Years Past, Wins Local Competition at Hard Rock Cafe Tampa;

Awaits Judges’ Decision to Advance in International Hard Rock Battle of the Bands


With its 40th Anniversary, Hard Rock International is giving local bands like Sarasota’s Seven Years Past a chance to open for

Bon Jovi at Hard Rock Calling 2011 in London’s Hyde Park, June 24-26


TAMPA, Fla. – Sarasota’s Seven Years Past ( won the Hard Rock Battle of the Bands Tampa area final on Mar. 3 at the new Hard Rock Cafe Tampa. The band now anxiously waits until early next month when judges will select 10 groups from four international regions for the next phase – an online public voting round at The four bands with the most votes will win a chance to open this June for Bon Jovi at Hard Rock Calling 2011 – one of the world’s most iconic music festivals – at London’s Hyde Park.

In celebration of Hard Rock’s 40th anniversary, “Hard Rock Calling” returns to Hyde Park – one of the United Kingdom’s finest outdoor music events. In addition to Bon Jovi, this year’s headliners June 24-26 include music legends Rod Stewart and Stevie Nicks, along with specials guests.

As part of their victory, Seven Years Past will play later this year in a paying gig at the state-of-the-art Hard Rock Cafe Tampa. Each band member also received $200, and can look forward to enjoying a complimentary stay at the beautiful Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino.


The two runner-ups, (Lovestruck Robot ( and Mr. Bella, ( also won future paying gigs at the Hard Rock Cafe Tampa and a free Seminole Hard Rock Hotel stay for each band member. The judges of the Tampa Bay area Hard Rock Battle of the Bands final were 98Rock’s Jesse Kage, Lauren, and Killabrew.

“We’re proud to be representing Tampa in the Hard Rock International Battle of the Bands.  All of our fellow contestants really brought their ‘A’ game and we couldn’t be happier to have earned the victory,” commented Bret Calltharp, Seven Years Past bass guitarist.


“Our fans really showed up for us and I think that helped us come out on top.  Everyone at Hard Rock has been great to work with throughout the contest, and we’re excited to see if we will be advancing.” In addition to Calltharp, Seven Years Past band members are: Lisa Larkin, vocals, Mark Medeiros, guitar, and Brett Jones on drums.


Starting on March 21, a judging panel will review video footage of each finalist’s top-rated original song, as well as their cover of “Livin’ on a Prayer” by Bon Jovi.  That panel consists of acclaimed industry experts, including Little Steven Van Zandt of the legendary E Street Band, Pete Wentz of hit rock group Fall Out Boy, Live Nation Vice President of Promotions Toby Leighton-Pope, Hard Rock International Chief Marketing Officer John Galloway and Absolute Radio Director of Marketing Clare Baker, will help narrow down the choices from across the globe.


They’ll choose 10 winners from four regions (40 total) who’ll then be judged on from April 12-25.  Anyone can log on and vote for their favorite band.  All four subsequent winners, to be announced on April 28, will be flown to London, treated like rock stars, and given a spot on the bill at Hard Rock Calling 2011.


But only one band will open on the main stage for Bon Jovi, and that big winner be determined once-and-for-all by a final worldwide fan vote on from April 29-May 5. The runners-up will rock out on one of the many different stages at Hard Rock Calling.


About Hard Rock Calling 2011

Hard Rock Calling, the three-day musical celebration being held on from Friday, June 24 through Sunday, June 26, with more than a dozen top bands performing each day on two stages, has established itself as one of the most important London events on the UK musical calendar over the last five years.  Past acts have included Aerosmith, Eric Clapton, Neil Young, Paul McCartney, Stevie Wonder, The Who, Pearl Jam, Peter Gabriel, Bruce Springsteen, The Killers and The Police, who created what is now identified as the “must see” concert event on the UK festival circuit. Additional artists for the 2011 line-up will be announced leading up to the event and tickets for the festival are available at


About Hard Rock International

With a total of 171 venues in 52 countries, including 134 cafes and 15 Hotels/Casinos, Hard Rock International is one of the world’s most globally recognized brands. Beginning with an Eric Clapton guitar, Hard Rock owns the world’s greatest collection of music memorabilia, which is displayed at its locations around the globe. Hard Rock is also known for its collectible fashion and music-related merchandise, Hard Rock Live performance venues and an award-winning website. In addition to the two flagship Seminole Hard Rock Hotels and Casinos in Tampa and Hollywood, Fla., Hard Rock Hotels/Casinos are located in Las Vegas, Biloxi, Orlando, Chicago, San Diego, Pattaya, Bali, Macau, Penang, Singapore and Punta Cana.  Additional hotel and casino projects have been announced in Panama, scheduled to open in 2012; and Hungary, Dubai and Abu Dhabi, scheduled to open in 2013.  Hard Rock International is owned by Seminole Hard Rock Entertainment, Inc. For further details on Hard Rock Hotels and Casinos, visit  For more information on Hard Rock International, visit


About Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Tampa

Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Tampa, Fla. Is Florida’s ultimate entertainment destination with nearly 190,000 square feet of non-stop gaming action casino featuring Blackjack, Mini and Midi Baccarat, Pai Gow Poker, 3 Card Poker, Let it Ride Poker, Casino War and Texas Hold ‘Em Poker along with over 4,100 of the most popular slot machines plus Florida’s newest, smoke-free poker room, with 50 live action tables dedicated to Texas Hold ‘em, Omaha Hi-Lo and Seven Card Stud.  For the fifth year in a row, the American Automobile Association (AAA) has awarded this 250-luxury room hotel its prestigious Four Diamond rating.  Enjoy a variety of critically-acclaimed restaurants and bars, including the stunning Hard Rock Café Tampa, Council Oak Steaks & Seafood premier steak restaurant, and Fresh Harvest for a seven live-action kitchen dining experience. Garage parking is free and valet parking is also available. The hotel & casino is located off I-4 at North Orient Road and Hillsborough Avenue, between I-75 and I-275, about 10 minutes east of downtown Tampa.  For more information, call 813-627-ROCK (7625), 1-800-937-0010 or visit


About Hard Rock Cafe Tampa

Located inside the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Tampa’s only Hard Rock Cafe occupies 17,500 square feet, offers world-class entertainment, and legendary cuisine. And, it’s the first Hard Rock Cafe to offer slots and blackjack. Enjoy an expanded menu with offerings from the world famous Martorano’s Italian Restaurant, a luxuriously laid-back vibe and nightlife like no other. Hours are; Dining Room: Monday, Tues., Wed. & Sun. 11:30 a.m. – Midnight; Thurs., Fri. & Sat. 11:30 am – 4 a.m. The Hard Rock Girls Blackjack Pit is open 8 p.m. – 4 a.m. Wed. through Sun. This is the place to experience everything that rocks — LIVE! For more information visit or call 813-627-7625 (ROCK).





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