Prince's Paisley Park estate has planned its first-ever battle of the bands competition. The event, dubbed "Musicology" after the musician's 2004 LP, will take place August 31st through September 3rd at the late musician's complex in Chanhassen, Minnesota.
The estate will select nine artists through video submissions via Facebook. Three different finalists will perform each night in front of a live audience at Soundstage, the site of numerous Prince shows, from August 31st to September 2nd. The three winners will advance to the final showdown on September 3rd.
The winner will receive an Artist Development Award, including studio time at Paisley Park, a "mentorship session" with members of Prince's backing band New Power Generation and additional "career development opportunities."
The Musicology event, subtitled "Real Music By Real Musicians," will also launch new tour exhibits highlighting Prince's early years and experiences with his first band, Grand Central, which included André Cymone, Chazz Smith, Morris Day, Terry Jackson, Linda Anderson and William "Hollywood" Doughty.
Many of Prince's friends and former bandmates detailed the inspiration for Musicology in a statement announcing the competition. "Back in the day, we would often practice at The Way preparing for the Battle of the Band events," said bassist Sonny Thompson, who played in New Power Generation between 1991 and 1996. "I remember other bands would always try to sneak into our space to see what we were doing, but we were always the funkiest! The Family was the name of our band."
Cymone added, "Music has taken me and my best friend and first bandmate Prince from virtual obscurity to world-wide fame, and it all started with the inspiration of competition. The Minneapolis Sound was born from the Battle of the Bands contests – we took the step and jumped into the game, who's next?"
The deadline for video submission is July 30th. Tickets to attend the event are also available; single-day passes – which also include a tour of the Paisley Park museum and a post-battle dance party – start at $100.