Battle of the Bands

In 2012, IRRMA began the process of developing the Battle of the Bands Competition. Each year, IRRMA gives out music scholarships to Iowa students pursing music in college. This competition is designed to help increase our scholarship endowment to allow more students to receive money for college and also to encourage live music and artistic collaboration from our Iowa youth.



2017 Registration Form


Battle of the Bands Rules and Regulations


Rock bands comprised primarily of musicians ages 21 and younger are invited to compete in the annual statewide Battle of the Bands presented by the Iowa Rock ‘n Roll Music Association (IRRMA), in partnership with Catamount Studios, Drake University, and Caseys General Stores. The competition is open to bands playing all genres of rock music and is free to enter.  For the second year in a row, first prize includes a free recording session at Catamount Studios in Cedar Falls, Iowa – one of Iowa’s premier recording studios – and an opportunity to perform at the annual Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame Induction Concert in Arnold’s Park, Iowa in September.

The statewide competition was created by IRRMA to give Iowa students an opportunity to showcase the music they love for an audience while competing for prizes and the annual title.  The competition is one of many programs sponsored by IRRMA in its mission to preserve Iowa’s rock and roll heritage and promote the continued participation in live music across the state.

This year’s competition occurs in two stages.  First is the Qualifying Round, which will be held at Drake University in Des Moines on June 3rd, in which rock bands will audition for the opportunity to compete in the Final Round. A panel of independent judges will determine which bands are selected to proceed to the Final Round. 

The Final Round of competition is held in Arnolds Park as part of IRRMA’s annual Hall of Fame Induction Weekend, held every Labor Day weekend.  The 2017 Battle of the Bands competition will be Saturday, September 2.

Anyone having difficulty registering on line or needing additional information is encouraged to contact Joe LeValley at or 515-240-6594.  Bands must consist of at least two members to compete. Pre-recorded music is not allowed; all music must be performed live. 

Students must be 21 or under during the 2016 Calendar Year. All styles of music are encouraged, but bands must consist of at least two members to compete. Pre-recorded music is not allowed, all music must be performed live.

The 2015 Battle of the Bands winners were Liberty Hall Collective from Storm Lake, Iowa. This diverse 3 piece band formed from a mutual necessity for music making in the Storm Lake area. The group is founded on a unique blend of 60s and 70s bred pop, modern-rock and a foundational love of all kinds of music. Literty Hall Collective recorded at Catamount Studios in January of 2016.

"From getting our trophy during the same cermony that saw so many great musicians being inducted, to the performance on the awesome stage, we felt truly valued... The coolest thing we've gotten to do thanks to IRRMA, however, is probably the time spent at Catamount Recording Co. It was an awesome space to see our songs brought to life by the wonderful engineers." - Chase Harrison, Liberty Hall Collective  

The winner of the 2014 Battle of the Bands was a group of young musicians from Carroll, Iowa called “Bad Authority” (formerly Black Diamond). Bad Authority continues to perform all over Iowa, and opened for Arch Allies on the Arnolds Pak Green Space Labor Day Weekend 2015.


2017 Registration Form


Battle of the Bands Rules and Regulations