Bringing back Battle of the Bands


Annabella Mireles

Leader of Melancholy 10 Che Ulibarri sings the last song of the night.

Elisha Nuñez, Staff Reporter

The Prospector Music blared through the speakers while a crowd converged around the stage. Smoke came from the machines, fans roared with cheers and the artists’ voices echoed outside of the Sun Bowl Stadium. This was the scene for this year’s final stage at Battle of the Bands, another UTEP tradition that takes local musical talent and gives them a chance to perform for an audience. 

This relatively new UTEP tradition brings hype from the community about what local music artists have to offer. Battle of the Bands can bring these artists to the spotlight, but not without the voice of the people. There are three rounds to this custom, all of which include student and community involvement. 

“This year, we conducted an open call across social media platforms to any band on the UTEP campus and in the El Paso community, and the response was overwhelming,” said Beatriz Cruz de León, director of UTEP’s Student Affairs Marketing. “The competition was then narrowed to the best 10 groups and presented to the Minerpalooza committee members, who, in turn, voted on the top five.” 

The first round of the competition consists of five contenders. This year’s competitors consisted of Sultanes de Yonke, Low Perfection, ACID WAVE, Jamal Streeter, and Melancholy 10. These groups were to post their music videos on the UTEP web page for the event, where viewers are free to watch each video and vote for who was their favorite. After this round of the competition, two groups are eliminated. 

The three remaining groups performed after one of UTEP’s Miner Welcome traditions, the Texas Western Gold Rush. The groups performed at Centennial Plaza Aug. 22, with Melancholy 10 and Sultanes de Yonke advancing to the final round at Minerpalooza. 

We are really pumped about this. We talk about it every day,” said Natalia Sanchez, the percussionist for Sultanes de Yonke. “The only way we’re going to be losers is if we don’t make people dance, and (that’s what) we’re going to do.” 

The final part of this competition always happens at UTEP’s biggest festival, Minerpalooza. During the games, food trucks and activities, these local artists perform in front of a crowd who are ready to watch and listen. At 6 p.m. two bands fight to take the top spot in Battle of the Bands with the winning band being awarded two weeks of valuable studio time to record, mix, master and publish their music. 

“I think it’s a really cool event because it allows artists to sort of have a platform to show what they’re working on because there’s not really many places where they can do it in (front of) a big crowd,” said Rebecca Cordova, a theater education major at UTEP.  “I really hope Melancholy 10 will win because I really like their music. It’s very vibey and I love (them).” 

As the campus prepared for its biggest night so did these groups. Melancholy 10 and Sultanes de Yonke both had their time on the stage, and people were able to vote after both performances. Towards the end of Minerpalooza, it was announced that Melancholy 10 had won Battle of the Bands. 

Elisha Nuñez is a staff reporter and may be reached at [email protected]