Battle of the Bands

Seminole Hard Rock Tampa97x

Hard Rock Rising Tampa - Battle of the Bands: Winners Announced. Battle on October 23.

Hard Rock and 97x are looking for the next big thing in the Tampa Bay area. Featuring Hard Rock Rising Tampa - Battle of the Bands, where local bands take the stage at the Hard Rock Cafe for the chance to play at this year's 97x Next Big Thing!

Musical acts will have to - quite literally - battle it out for their shot at next level fame.

Grand Prize Winner: Play at 97x Next Big Thing 2019

After 4 bands slug it out in the finale, one grand prize winner will have the chance of a lifetime to play on stage at 97x Next Big Thing 2019.

Hard Rock Rising Finalists

You will be Judged.

The live competition judges will include a variety of music industry professionals. There will be five categories included in the judging criteria.

  • Originality (30%)
  • Musicianship (20%)
  • Vocal Ability (20%)
  • Stage Presence (20%)
  • Audience Reaction (10%)

Timeline of events

Contest sign ups begin September 2 at 10am EDT and ends on September 12 at 4pm EDT.

On September 21, Seminole Hard Rock Tampa will announce 3 finalists to compete in the live Hard Rock Rising Battle of the Bands! In addition, 3 wild card finalists will be selected. The wild cards will be entered into a social media vote to determine the 4th entrant, lasting from September 23 through 27.

The wild card finalist will be announced September 30.

The stage will be set with 4 bands battling it out on October 23 on the Hard Rock Cafe Tampa stage. The winning band will play at 97x Next Big Thing 2019 on November 24.

If you have any questions about the contest, please send an email to

© 2019. No Purchase Necessary. To enter the Hard Rock Rising Tampa Battle of the Bands 2019 contest, sign up by 3:59pm on September 12, 2019. All applicants must be at least 16 years of age or older. There is a limit of one (1) entry per band. Only Bands selected from qualifying entries may perform at the Hard Rock Tampa Cafe. For all entry and eligibility requirements, prize descriptions, and full official rules and details, download the full rules.