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Contest Rules & Terms and Conditions

The basic requirements to participate in BOOM are simple:

  1. You must play original music. This isn't battle of the cover bands. All genres are welcome.
  2. You must be located in the Buffalo / WNY area in order to perform at, and draw audiences to local venues. Venues for this years' contest will be Nietzsche's on Allen St., and The Tralf on Main St., Downtown. You might be a great band, but if your fan base is out of town, you're not going to fare well in BOOM.
  3. You must be able to perform the music you submit in a live setting. We've hosted everything from solo singer-songwriters, to rappers to electronic music artists; but if your music falls in any of these sorts of categories, make sure you can still deliver an engaging live show. You don't have to fit the mold of a "band" but bear in mind, this isn't karaoke night either.

Age Requirements and Information

Because our live events take place at establishments that serve alcohol, and because we respect the rules of the venues hosting the contest, we have to ensure certain requirements are met with regards to age:

  1. All band members must be at least age 18 by the date your registration is submitted, period.
  2. Any band member under the age of 21, but at least age of 18, will need to have a parent/guardian in attendance if your band is selected for a live show. No exceptions, no special treatment for "being in the band." (We're in bands too, that excuse doesn't impress us.) Be of age with proper ID, or be between 18-21 with a parent or guardian present the night of the show, or be left out on the sidewalk. You have been warned.
  3. Under no circumstances will any audience members under the age of 21 be admitted into the quarterfinal rounds held at Nietzsche's. Again, no special treatment because you're "in the band." The "accompanied by parent or guardian" rule does not pertain to audience members. That means little brother and sister have to stay home. Friends under 21 have to stay home. No exceptions will be made, no excuses entertained.
  4. In the past, we have sometimes arranged for the finals to be an all-ages event. We have not yet determined the age policy for this year's Grand Finale as of yet; we shall announce it when the date is closer. Please assume the finals will also be a 21+ event until/unless we announce otherwise.


As long as you meet the basic requirements and age requirements listed above, submit a complete and thorough registration along with songs and photos of sufficient quality for use on-line and in print, we'll consider your registration valid. If you need help preparing your materials or want to be sure they're of sufficient quality, check the Registration Help page.

Note, there is no requirement that you be new to BOOM - every year is a blank slate, so if you've registered or participated before, you're welcome to again! (You must submit a registration for this new contest, prior registrations are not held over.) Registration officially opens for this years' contest as of November, 2014, and remains open throughout the contest - however those who submit early have a clear advantage as they have more chances to be selected for participation.

Initial Selections & Weekly Web Votes

Bands are initially selected to participate in the contest at Artvoice's discretion. We check out the registrations received, listen to the music submitted, and consult with friends in the local music scene and amongst ourselves to determine which bands will be selected to participate. From there, it's all in your hands. A weekly on-line web vote is held where Artvoice readers select which of the two bands of the week will move on to a live show at a quarter final round. Bands are encouraged to use social media and any other clever means to encourage their listeners to vote; but ballot stuffing will not be tolerated. One vote per person will be counted. Votes deemed invalid will not be counted. Measures are taken to automatically filter out many of the attempts to cast invalid votes, but ultimately they're human verified and counted by hand. Any band found encouraging ballot stuffing or any form of cheating will automatically be disqualified. Vote counts are final, and there are no appeals or recounts. In the unlikely event of a tie, the tiebreaker will be determined at Artvoice's discretion.

Live Shows

There are five live shows throughout the contest; four quarter final rounds, and a grand finale. Each quarterfinal round is made up of four on-line vote winners, and produces a winner that moves on to the grand finale which will host the four quarter final round winners. Live show winners are also decided by vote, with each audience member receiving a paper ballot that they may cast at any time during the show. Like the on-line vote, vote counts are final, and there are no appeals or recounts. In the unlikely event of a tie, the tiebreaker will be determined at Artvoice's discretion.

The set order of live shows is determined by random drawing at Artvoice prior to the show. Bands are expected to arrive on time, play their allotted time, and act professional and courteous. Merchandise sales have usually been allowed in the past for bands who desire to do so, but please check in with us prior to the show to discuss what you might have in mind. In some cases due to time or space constraints, we may require bands use backline equipment. These details will covered in more depth with the bands who earn slots at the live shows.

Our schedule for this year's (2014-2015) contest will have live shows for Round 1 on Friday, January 16th; Round 2 on Friday, February 27th; Round 3 on Friday, April 10th; Round 4 on Friday, May 22; and the Grand Finale on Friday, June 5th. If at all possible bands who sign up for the contest should plan in advance to keep these weekends free.


This year's prize will again be at least $5,000 cash. The prize is awarded to the winner of the grand finale event. This may be subject to change - though we will only add on to this prize if any changes are made. Cash prizes will be payable by check after the conclusion of the contest (sorry, we won't literally hand you a stack of cash the night of the finale.) Applicable tax reporting information may be required prior to payout.

Other Terms & Conditions

Please note, that by registering for this contest, all band members must accept the following terms;

  1. Contest participants agree to abide by the contest rules above or face disqualification at Artvoice's sole discretion.
  2. In the unlikely event of harm or damage to property or persons throughout this contest, contest participants will not hold Artvoice or the hosting venue(s) liable. Bands are responsible for themselves, their equipment and their merchandise at all times and will not attempt to hold Artvoice or the hosting venue(s) liable for any injury, loss, theft, or damage.
  3. Materials submitted for use in the contest, including band bio information, photographs, and songs are being submitted with all band members' approval. The items submitted must not infringe on any existing copyright. Submitting these materials gives Artvoice permission to use them in print and on-line. Minor edits may be made to text and photographic items, such as grammatical corrections or image cropping. Audio files may be converted to different formats or bitrates to meet the technical needs of the BOOM website.
  4. For any situation that may arise that has not otherwise been covered by the above rules, decisions will be made at Artvoice's sole discretion.