Inaugural Street Fair Battle of the Bands begins Saturday afternoon with Chester Fest slot on the line

Photo from Chester Fest Facebook page. A band performs a soundcheck during preperations for Chester Fest in September 2021. Winners of the inaugural Downtown Street Fair Battle of the Bands will have a chance to perform on the main stage at this year’s festival in July.

This year’s Downtown Street Fair will include a new musical attraction design to spark some healthy competition.

The inaugural Street Fair Battle of the begins Saturday afternoon with four bands competing for prizes, including a Main Stage slot at this year’s Chester Fest. Organizer Joel Rohs said they’ve held similar competitions at ChesterFest, but wanted to try something new in 2022.

“We did one in 2020, actually, which was totally awesome,” Rohs said. “We figured it’s a great opportunity to do it again so we can get some more local acts to play Chesterfest as well.

“I think it’s kind of a cool different thing that hasn’t happened (at Street Fair) before.”

Each band will have 20 to 25 minutes to play a set. While the main stage slot at Chester Fest is the big prize, there are also chances to win a second slot on a smaller Chester Fest stage. Prizes also include a Campcasteres kit, so competitors can build their own guitar.

“It’s important for people to come out and support some local groups.,” Rohs said. “For the first one we had tons of people come out. (It) was awesome to see lots of people out for that.”

There are four acts set to perform on Saturday. The list includes Ray of Sunshine, Sammy featuring Samantha Burnouf, Loose Stone, and solo artist Barrett Prokopie. All of the acts are local, with one being from Saskatoon.

The Battle of the Bands starts at 3 p.m. on the 11th Street Stage located at the corner of 11th Street and Central Avenue. Rohs said they expect to announce the winners at around 6 p.m.

The judges will be music teacher Mike Mogg from Prince Albert Collegiate Institute (PACI) and North Sask Music Zine writers Scott Roos and Will Yannacoulias.

“I think it’s going to be awesome times,” Rohs said.