In the spirit of one of Prince’s earliest singles, “Let’s Work,” Paisley Park will encourage young musicians to give it their all by hosting a battle of the bands competition over Labor Day weekend. The four-night event at the Chanhassen museum, Aug. 31-Sept. 3, has been dubbed Musicology in the spirit of Prince’s back-to-the-basics 2004 album and will be open to talent from around the globe.
As was the case with the four-day Celebration at Paisley Park in April, tickets for the Musicology marathon are perplexingly expensive at $100 per day even without any performances by established acts. The price does not include parking ($20 extra), but it does come with the usual museum tour and a short dance party that will follow the amateur band performances (all still due to end by 11 p.m.). Tickets can be purchased now via the ticket calendar at OfficialPaisleyPark.com.
Paisley Park’s promotion team is marketing the event as a throwback to “band battles that were commonplace in North Minneapolis in the 1970s,” singling out The Way community center at 1913 Plymouth Av. as a hotbed for such musical throwdowns. Their press release doesn’t mention what The Way’s cover charge was, though.
The Time’s drummer Jellybean Johnson, who jammed in Flyte Tyme back then, is quoted in the press release to trumpet Musicology: “When I grew up in the North Side the competition was fierce! It helped my musical growth immensely,” he said. “The Family, Grand Central, Flyte Tyme, Cohesion, Mind & Matter, it was a great time in my life! We need that feeling again in our musical community!”
As for the actual competition, it will work this way: Amateur acts have until July 31 to submit a video entry via Paisley Park’s Facebook page. Three acts will be chosen to compete for each of the first three nights (nine total), and then one winner from each show will perform again to claim the final prize on Sept. 3.
Per the release, the winners will receive “a unique Artist Development award package, consisting of studio recording time at Paisley Park, a mentorship session with members of Prince’s supergroup New Power Generation, and additional career development opportunities soon to be announced.”