Inaugural Kitsap Battle of the Bands kicks off this weekend

The first round of playoffs will be held Saturday from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Slippery Pig Brewery

The inaugural 2019 Battle of the Bands competition is set to take place with its first round of playoffs kicking off on Saturday at the Slippery Pig Brewery in Poulsbo from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Members of LoanDepot’s Silverdale branch, came up with the idea, citing community engagement in Kitsap County. LoanDepot Production Assistant Frank Portello said this event has been in the works for four months and they are starting to see the community attraction come to fruition.

“We created posters and put them all around Kitsap County in different businesses,” Portello said. “We reached out to the school districts and the band directors for the students. It just went like a wildfire from there. Summertime is the best time to do it because so many venues have things going on.”

In total, 13 bands will be competing in the playoffs through August, with the finale set for September 28 at Olympic College. The two categories will be under-18 and 18-and-over. The under-18 winner will receive a $4,000 Olympic College Foundation Scholarship, while the 18-and-over winner will receive a $4,000 cash prize from Silverdale LoanDepot.

Portello said there are currently 11 bands signed up for the over-18 category, while only two bands have signed up for the under-18 category.

“I’ve kept it open for any younger bands who want to go in,” Portello said regarding the lack of bands in the under 18 category. “Basically those two would move on to the finale since those are the only two we have. It was a little harder to get the younger ones. We kind of found that out through the process.”

Bands needed to go through an application process and had to submit two or three of their songs to the LoanDepot team to listen to, and then they would choose which ones to perform in the playoffs. A panel of judges will decide who moves on throughout the summer and will ultimately decide the winner at the finale.

The judges use a scoring system from 1-10 based on criteria including elements like creativity, synchronicity and fan reaction. Three bands will end up going to the finale for the over-18 category.

As far as community support, Portello said this area has a niche for local music.

“We have a huge music industry here in Kitsap County. There’s a lot of bands here. We are focusing on the bands that are starting off and not as well known because we want to give them the opportunity to perform and give them more exposure.”

Here are the bands slated to perform Saturday at the Slippery Pig:

2 p.m. to 2:20 p.m. – East Blue – Pop

2:30 p.m. to 2:50 p.m. – City Scapes – Indie, Alternative, Jazz

3 p.m. to 3:20 p.m. – Skinny Blue – Americana Rock

Tyler Shuey is a reporter for Kitsap News Group. He can be reached at