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Bradenton Band Competes for a Chance to Play Warped Tour, You Can Help!


BRADENTON – For the 2nd year running, local rockers A Gentlemen Army (AGA) are competing to secure a spot on stage at this summer’s Warped Tour, and they need your help. 

The touring rock and roll super-carnival kicks off this week in Texas, and will hit 42 American cities with an all star lineup of today’s most popular bands and artists. For unsigned groups, playing Warped Tour is like a holy grail. The exposure can’t be matched, and it looks damn good on any band’s resume. Luckily, at each stop Warped Tour saves room for a handful of local acts from the area to play on a specific stage. This stage is called the “Ernie Ball Stage,” and it is the one A Gentlemen Army hopes to play on. This is where you come in, to help them earn it—

There are many ways to get your band on stage at Warped Tour, and all of them require musicians to sacrifice at least some dignity. Though, there are less-shameful ways, and probably the least shameful is to compete in a contest called the Ernie Ball Battle of the Bands, which is held online and creates a forum where fans can vote for bands they’d like to see play at Warped. 

Competing bands are ranked on a website, with their place being determined not only by votes, but also by the amount of song-plays and comments on their profile. It’s a matter of activity: Fans can vote daily, and of course have the option of commenting and listening as much as they want; so if you really want to see A Gentlemen Army play at Warped Tour, go to their page and listen to the songs over and over, while leaving lots of comments.


All of these song-plays and comments and votes contribute to something called the band’s Buzz Rating, which is “a proprietary system developed by Ernie Ball ... [that] gives you a real time snap shot of each band’s overall exposure level.” Buzz Rating takes into account a band’s viral reach, as well as “real world factors that produce a rating percentage system” which gives “an accurate reading on each band’s relevance within the industry.”

The Top 100 Buzz Rated bands and artists for a given venue—meaning the city the festival stops in—will be judged by “a panel of industry professionals,” that includes Warped Tour founder Kevin Lyman, as well John Feldman, of the popular ska band Goldfinger, who has found off-stage success as an A&R man for Warner Bros. and Maverick Records. 

Then, after these industry heavies sort through the data, a handful of bands are chosen to play Warped Tour when it stops near the bands’ hometown. 

Last year, A Gentlemen Army was among the winning bands from the Tampa Bay Area who got to play the Ernie Ball Stage. It was awesome. This year, they want to do it again. And why shouldn’t they? 

“I’m super excited for the fact that we have the opportunity to go and play again,” said AGA drummer Ryan Massey. “You know, it was a lot of fun last year.” 

Right now, A Gentlemen Army’s Buzz Rating is a solid 79%, and they are in 18th place out of 100, so to speak—well within the range needed in order to be considered—but Bradenton’s favorite band is far from home free: The contest still runs for another month, and anything can happen. So if you want these local boys to represent B-Town at Warped Tour, head to this page and vote! 


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