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The Intersection to host final round of 15th annual Heavyweights competition

The Intersection will host the final round of the long standing Heavyweights battle of the bands competition on March 7th. Five bands will compete to see who is the best of the best in West Michigan.

15th Annual Heavyweights 2015

Where: The Intersection, 133 Grandville Avenue Southwest, Grand Rapids, MI 49503

When: March 7, 7:30 p.m.-11:00 p.m.

For more information, see


On Saturday, March 7th, The Intersection will be hosting the final round of the 15th annual Heavyweights Battle of the Bands competition. The event showcases local metal bands in and around the Grand Rapids area. Tickets are $5 in advance or $7 day of, and can be purchased at The Intersection box office or at The show starts at 7:30pm and ends at 11:00pm, and will be held in the Intersection’s front lounge, better known as The Stache.

The Heavyweights started fifteen years ago at the original Intersection, located in Eastown just off of Wealthy St. It has since become an important part of Intersection tradition, bringing attention to local bands and helping them gain exposure. According to advertising and promotions coordinator Jimmy Rains,

“It started just as a local hardcore music competition for West Michigan to see who is/was the best of the best. It is a long running tradition we are known for and, from what we know, the longest running heavy competition running in Michigan. As for GR, I think it is more of a platform for bands from West Michigan to reach out and spread the music around.”

The competition judging is leveled between fan vote and a panel of judges, who are yet to be decided. There are three preliminary rounds where winners are based on fan votes, and finals are based on fan votes with a built-in equation of judging. The panel rates bands on a multiple point scale.

The application process used to be via mail, but has since moved to a convenient online application process. According to Rains,

“Bands can apply on our website under the “Apply for heavyweights” tab. After bands apply I go through and listen to CDs, Facebook, Reverb Nation, Soundcloud, etc. and pick a wide range of styles through the genre and then I will have a few other employees come in and we narrow down the bands to the ones who will be in the competition.”

Several companies donate small prizes, and there is also a $2500 cash prize to the winner. Additional prizes include recording time, tattoos, and gift certificates.

Muskegon veterans Infinite Design have a more relaxed outlook, using the event as more of a way to play in front of new people and open doors than about competition. Guitarist Jason Ingersoll weighs in:

“Each band may approach it in their own way because some may need recording time. We are in it to network and have fun because we do not need the studio time. All in all The Intersection is a great place to play and it is cool to have seen all the exposure that the other bands that have won it have had.” 

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