G.W. Souther Wins Battle Of The Bands At Balmoral Resort
by James Coulter
Many bands claim to be for the music. G.W. Souther certainly felt that way during their winning performance at the Battle of the Bands, presented by Feltrim Sports at Florida Balmoral Resort.
The Orlando-based band was one of ten local bands that performed at the outdoor music festival. The band had performed at various musical events throughout Central Florida, from the Florida Strawberry Festival to The Great Outdoors Jam and even Lollapalooza.
The band considers itself a “modern-day representation” of classic bands such as The Rolling Stones, The Beatles, and Earth Wind and Fire. Their melting pot approach towards their music has allowed them to attain musical acclaim, according to their website.
“Yes, they play and sing their instruments the entire show,” their website states. “That means multiple leaders, sweet harmonies, and an instrumental blend that’s guaranteed to keep you engaged and wanting more.”
The band won first place at the Battle of the Bands. They were selected by a panel of three judges from the music industry. The band received a check for $1,250.
While most musicians would be ecstatic to win such a grand cash prize, G.W. Souther appreciated the opportunity to perform at the event, explained band member John Weaver.
“This is what we do,” Weaver said. “We just love music. That is all there is. The event was also awesome. We wish we could do this every month. Not even for the money prize. I feel it is good for the community.”
As for their success, they owe their big win to God, their hard work, and their community, which they plan to invest and donate their prize money towards. Receiving first place overall gave them a much-needed morale boost, especially since they are currently going through significant changes, Weaver explained.
“This competition win will give us a boost in our confidence and decision making,” he said. “We like the money prize, too.”
Third place went to No Strings Attached, an acoustic band from Miami/Ft. Lauderdale. Second place went to Cold Subject, an Orlando-based band.
Anthony Martinez, Lead Vocalist, considered the venue to be new territory. It was the first time the band had played at Balmoral Resort. Playing at such a new venue, especially an outdoor event, was an exciting experience for them.
“The stage is beautiful. The set up was awesome. It was a great feeling,” he said. “We just love being able to perform here. It is great playing outside.”
As someone who plays smaller shows, playing a larger event in an outdoor festival setting was a great relief following a yearlong pandemic. Martinez and his crew loved the opportunity to perform, and would love to play there sometime again.
“It is passion for the craft,” he said. “All of us can have our own energy and bring it all together to make a statement on stage.”
The Battle of the Bands was the first outdoor musical event to be hosted at the Feltrim Sports Village in Balmoral Resort in Haines City. From the start at 12:30 p.m. to their end around 9 p.m., the event averaged a turnout of 300 to 400 people on the hour, said Garrett Kenny, Owner of Balmoral Resort and Feltrim Sports.
Ten bands performed throughout the day. Each band was eligible to win either judge’s choice or people’s choice. Nearly 1,300 votes were cast for the many bands within one hour alone, Garrett said.
“As the organizer, I got a lot of satisfaction. The bands were very good,” he said. “What did amaze me and surprised me is that each band thanked us for setting up the event and bringing live music back to an outdoor event.”
The overall success was partly due to the weather. While windy weather may have initially deterred potential visitors, Garrett said the overall turnout managed to taper down near the end.
Overall, the main key to its success proved to be the word-of-mouth spread by the bands. Many of the musicians let their followers know about their performance that afternoon. The news was especially big, what with the event being the first time many of the bands had performed since the COVID-19 crisis started.
“The bands got the word out there that they were playing live music again,” he said. “This was our first event. We were testing the water. We are pretty impressed by the results of today.”
Balmoral Resort plans on hosting other outdoor events at their sports village. They plan on hosting music events based on different genres and potentially even a festival for the local Hispanic population.
For more information about future events, visit their website at: https://www.feltrimsports.com/