Battle of the Sounds: Murray Bridge heat will give local bands a shot at glory

In the spirit of the Myponga Pop Festival and 1970s rock, a musical competition hopes to unearth local talent.

Black Sabbath arrive in Adelaide in 1971 to play the Myponga Pop Festival, their first Australian gig. Could you be next? Photo: Myponga Music Festival/Facebook.

Fifty years ago this month, Australia’s biggest musical acts rocked a farm in the northern Fleurieu Peninsula.

Daddy Cool, Billy Thorpe, Bon Scott’s Fraternity and Murray Bridge’s own Steve Foster shared a stage with Black Sabbath – in their first Australian performance – at the 1971 Myponga Pop Festival, a muddy celebration of progressive culture.

Now the next generation is being invited to strut its stuff at a gig in Murray Bridge for a chance at a performing slot when the festival is brought back to life, plus $15,000 worth of music gear and studio recording time.

Battle of the Sounds – itself an echo of the competition which unearthed the band Sherbert in the early 1970s – will kick off with a heat at the Edwards Square sound shell at 6pm on Saturday, February 20.

Four acts from the Murray Bridge heat will progress to a final at Adelaide’s Thebarton Theatre on March 14, where $15,000 worth of prizes will be up for grabs.

Entry is free for acts with an average age under 25 who play original songs.

Each entrant must submit at least one audio file to register.

The competition is being promoted by Adelaide Live Events and Rob Pippan, a regular guest and trainer at Murray Bridge youth centre The Station.

The reborn Myponga Music Festival was originally scheduled for last month but will now go ahead later this year for reasons related to COVID-19.

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