Courtesy of Romophos
A battle is approaching Ohio State’s campus.
Five Ohio-based bands are set to gather in Columbus to compete in Romophos’ 15th annual Battle of the Bands Friday at Newport Music Hall at 7 p.m.
The five combatants plan to battle for the grand prize: seven hours of recording time at Oranjudio Recording Studio.
Romophos, one of two sophomore honoraries at OSU, put together the event to benefit CityMusic, a community-based organization whose focus is to “provide musical outreach to at-risk children and young adults in and around the Short North District,” according to the organization’s website.
The five bands preparing to battle on Saturday are Buckles and Boots, Cape Canyon, The Castros, The Up All Nights and The Yacht Club. Three a cappella groups – Dynamic Contrast, Key of Gee and Scarlet Fever – and “a kid who is beat boxing” are also scheduled to perform during the downtime between sets, said Miranda Onnen, a second-year in political science and economics and Romophos’ treasurer.
“We’re super stoked for it,” said Jordan Nichols, bassist of The Yacht Club and second-year student at Mount Vernon Nazarene University, located in Mount Vernon, Ohio. “It’s for a good charity and we want to help out and just play a sweet show.”
Jessi Maxwell, who makes up the country-folk duo Buckles and Boots with her husband Brian Maxwell, also said she and her husband look forward to participating in the competition on Friday.
“For me, this isn’t really about the competition,” said Jessi Maxwell, Buckles and Boots’ vocalist, guitarist and percussionist. “I really just want to play on Newport’s stage, with their sound system.”
Brian Maxwell, who plays the upright bass, banjo and mandolin for the group, said he supports getting kids involved in music.
“It’s going to be really fun, and at the same time supporting a community initiative that enriches the lives of Columbus residents,” Onnen said.
Romophos held its first Battle of the Bands in 1999.
“Romophos decided to start doing the Battle of the Bands a while ago, and I guess it’s just kind of become a tradition,” Onnen said. “It’s one of the bigger events that the honoraries put on, which is kind of funny, since we’re the youngest of the honoraries.”
Honoraries are student organizations that distinguish the high-achieving members of each class, excluding freshmen. Sophomores, juniors and seniors each have two class honoraries at Ohio State, making six in all.
“It’s a community service and social club,” Onnen said. “So we do community service events but we also hang out a lot outside of serving the community.”
As Romophos’ treasurer, Onnen said her responsibilities include overseeing the fundraising for the event and management of the organization’s funds. She said the most difficult part of putting the Battle of the Bands together was raising the money.
“It’s not cheap to rent out the Newport,” she said. “One hundred percent of ticket sales go towards the charity, so the $3,500 for the Newport we are responsible for raising ourselves.”
But after holding fundraisers at local restaurants and businesses, in addition to helping clean up the Schottenstein Center several times, Romophos was able to raise the money needed to hold the event.
“Ultimately, I think the hard work is going to make it that much more rewarding when we put it on and it’s successful,” Onnen said.
Apart from the challenge of raising money, Onnen said the honorary’s sophomore-only policy creates complexities of its own in putting the event together.
“Romophos is a sophomore-run organization, so there’s a completely new group of people who are putting it on every year,” Onnen said. “I think that makes it all the more difficult, because we don’t have anyone who’s experienced it before.”
However, Onnen said the organization’s ever-cycling constituency also benefits the battle because it leads to more variety in each year’s presentation.
“I think it’s cool, because every year it’s a little unique, which is not something that you generally get with events that happen year after year,” Onnen said.
Tickets for the event are $7 in advance and $10 at the door. The Newport Music Hall is located at 1722 N. High St. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.