Hundreds of people turned out to watch this year’s Horsham Battle of the Bands (BOTB) only months after the contest’s future was in doubt.
Last year Horsham District Live Music Alliance, which has run the event in the past, revealed it may not be continuing the festival after 20 years of it being a mainstay of the town’s live music scene.
However some of its key supporters offered to take over organising the event and formed a sub-committee. On August 9 and 10 it made a welcome return and was as popular as ever.
Sub-committee chairman Matt Andrews said: “Every one of us on the team worked late into the night and over weekends - most of us giving up around 18 hours on the originals day and a further eight hours the following day for the acoustic final - to make it happen.
“The result was the biggest stage, biggest venue and biggest sound system the event has ever seen along with the largest crowds and most band entries for some years.
“Over the weekend we saw more than 20 bands perform with an audience of over 400 for the originals event on the Saturday and around 100 for the acoustic event on the Sunday.”
After a close contest the alternative rock band Sonic Deluxe won the originals heat held in the Human Nature Garden in Horsham Park.
The punk band Fruit Cake scooped second place and indie rock band Troubled Minds came third.
In the acoustics final, held in the Holbrook Club, guitarist Robin Tunnel won the top prize followed by guitarist Jak James and singer Jodie Munday in second.
The duo Underhound, which describes itself as a ‘two-piece playing original indie folk with hints of jazz and blues’ came third.
Matt added: “It was also one of the toughest competitions with the highest quality musicians for years. The feedback we have received is fantastic and we are looking at how to grow and improve for next year as this year was an astounding success.
“Congrats go to Sonic Deluxe for winning the originals final and Robin Tunnel for winning the acoustic final.
“This really was a team effort this year and all eight in the sub committee worked really hard to ensure this was a success it would not have happened if any one of them had not stood up and got involved.”
Nick Parsons, of Sonic Deluxe, said: “It was great to take part in the new look Battle of the Bands! The competition is really important to the local music community and offers you the opportunity of playing songs that you’ve written to lots of people on a big stage through a pro sound system... you don’t get many chances like that these days around Horsham.
“There was a real mix of musical styles and abilities on show throughout the event, and we were all really chuffed to be voted first by the judges on the night.”
Sonic Deluxe’s debut five track EP ‘Glory Over Gold’ is now available to download priced £4.00 from bandcamp.com.
Work has already started on organising Horsham BOTB 2015. Entries will open early next year. In the meantime supporters can follow the team on Facebook, visit the website at www.horshambotb.co.uk or email firstname.lastname@example.org more information.