The annual Heavyweight Championship is the only long-standing, all-local battle of the bands in West Michigan, and only the best heavy bands in the area are selected to participate. If you think your band has what it takes, here’s what you’ve got to do:

To enter, fill out the online entry form at The form requires links to band pages online (Facebook, Reverb Nation, Twitter, etc.) plus three songs, a band bio and contact info.

Sounds simple enough, right? It doesn’t take any money to put your band in the running, but it does take talent and an obvious drive to make something of your band.

Heavyweight Battle of the Metal bands at The Intersection

The inside scoop on getting your heavy metal horns in the ring

“We pick bands based on their marketing and promotion skills, but most of all on what we are hearing… We are looking for quality sound, tightness, originality in sound and lyrical content as well as if they bring a different overall package to the local scene,” says Jimmy Rains, an advertising and promotions manager at the Intersection.

Active web pages for the band should include

• Frequent, meaningful activity (proves you are promoting your band and shows, connecting with fans and networking)
• Decent-sized fan list (shows you have a following and can sell tickets)
• List of upcoming shows, page for music, photos, band bio and booking information
• Music that represents your overall sound and is some of your best work (and decent recording quality will give your band a better chance)
• Don’t include anything too vulgar
• Include links to the exact web pages for your songs (no one has time to search your page for music)

November 20 is the deadline to submit your entry form. Bands will be chosen in early December and notified via email. The Heavyweights will again be held at the Intersection in Grand Rapids with tentative show dates for preliminary rounds Jan. 10, 17 and 24, with the finals taking place in early February.

Each preliminary round will feature six bands, with two winners from each week advancing to the finals, where the crowned Heavyweight Champion will take home not only the glory and bragging rights, but prizes like a couple grand in cash, gift certificates, MoshPitNation gear and more.

Winners will be chosen by a combination of audience vote, judges’ vote and number of tickets sold. A big equation is being set up by the accountant dude so it’s all mathematical and fair.

Whether your band makes the preliminary cut or not, these four nights of local metal are awesome for getting to know other local bands, getting your music in front of new people, meeting new metalheads and generally spreading good metal vibes across West Michigan.

Guitarists, make sure to sign up for the Ultimate Shredder contest on

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