In effort to appeal to more students, Freakfest event planners have presented a campus-wide Battle of the Bands competition for this year’s Halloween event.

The side stage of Freakfest will be hosting music voted on by the public this year with the introduction of a Battle of the Bands competition.

In conjuction with Frank Productions and the city of Madison, the competition is hosted by WomStreet, a local startup created by University of Wisconsin alumni that provides an online platform for video and photo contests, founder Matt Ford said.

According to Ford, the contest, which is in its first year, is open to the entire city of Madison. The vying bands must post a video of their music to the WomStreet website. One band will be chosen as the winner by popular vote, also collected online, Ford said.

The winner will play on the Frances Street stage, Ford said, adding although the band will be “technically” opening for the headliners, the main stage is by the Capitol.

Despite being open to all local music, Frank Productions Promotion Manager Charlie Goldstone said the event is tailored for and targeted toward UW students.

The idea of bringing Battle of the Bands to Freakfest came with the success of WomStreet’s previous competition held for WSUM, Ford said, adding Frank Productions was very excited by the idea after hearing the numbers and participation regarding the previous contest.

Ald. Scott Resnick, District 8, said the concept of bringing local music to Freakfest is “not a completely new concept,” though he commented the increase in student involvement will affect the event positively.

Ford said he is pleased with reception to the event. Currently, there have been 26 entries and more than 6,500 votes, the WomStreet website said.

The vast majority of applicants have been UW students, Ford said.

According to Ford, the competition provides an opportunity for local bands to get their music heard, which Ford said was previously unavailable to them.

Many bands in the area have been trying to find a place to play, Ford said, but have not been able to.

Ford added by bringing students to the Freakfest stage, the entire event will also gain more appeal.

“In the past, even when I was a student, seriously, I didn’t care at all about the music, including the headliner,” Ford said. “It didn’t appeal to the students, but with a local band it will appeal to the students and get people interested in the side stage as well.”

Resnick said he agreed with Ford in praising the increased student involvement.

According to Resnick, Freakfest has always been for the students and has continued for and because of the students.

“Any addition to the event that adds student involvement, whether it be in planning or on stage will better it,” Resnick said.

The university is not involved with the event.

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