Drum roll, please: The Battle of the Bands competition is headed to town.

The new entertainment feature kicks off at this year's Umatilla County Fair, and talent is in high demand.

If you think your band has the chops to compete toe-to-toe with fellow music enthusiasts, the fair encourages you to submit an application, demo CD orĀ  YouTube video as an audition.

The fair's mission is "to bring unknown, local talent to the forefront of the entertainment at the fair."

Fairgrounds manager Peggy Clough said, "This is giving our local bands huge exposure."

Finalists will have the chance to win cash prizes and play on the main entertainment stage at the Umatilla County Fairgrounds from 7-10 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 11.

According to Clough, a panel of professional judges will pre-screen the auditions and select the finalist to perform on the main stage in order to keep the competition within a three-hour window.

Contestants will be scored on vocal and instrumental performance, musical interpretation/originality and stage presence. Bands will also be evaluated according to fan reaction at the final performance by the use of a decibel meter.

The winning band will receive $750 cash, 10 admission tickets into the fair and a special guest interview on the radio with 102.7 KORD or 98.3 The Key, depending on the band's genre. Second place will receive $500 and third place will receive $250.

"Not only will they get cash money ... it might pose for an even bigger opportunity to expand their music careers," Brooke Harshfield, marketing and communications director for the Hermiston Chamber of Commerce, said

Each selected band will be allowed the opportunity to have a table in the media tent to sell merchandise.

"It would be good for people to come see what we have in the area," Clough said,

Band applications are available on the fair's website, www.co.umatilla.or.us/fair, or at the fair office,  515 W. Orchard Ave., Hermiston, Ore.

Applications and promotional material must be mailed or dropped off no later than 5 p.m. Friday, July 1. Selected bands will be notified by July 20.

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