The Scene Magazine (a new central Pa. entertainment publication not to be confused with Lock Haven Express' "The Scene" entertainment section) will hold a "Playing for Pink" contest for local bands to raise money for breast cancer awareness.
The contest runs from October through mid-January to fundraise for breast cancer awareness, according to Harry Swank, of South Williamsport, who co-owns the magazine with his fiancee, Jen Rupert.
The top four bands that raise the most money go on to the second part of the contest. Then the bands will be paired up to perform for the first three Saturdays in February at pre-selected venues.
Audiobox will compete to raise money for breast cancer awareness in The Scene Magazine’s “Playing for Pink” contest. The winner will get a chance to play at the Cell Block, 154 W. Third St.
The team that raises the most money in those three weeks will go on to play Feb. 22 at the Cell Block. The winners must play that night with some kind of "pink" theme, such as a pink shirt, pants or hair.
Swank said the idea for the magazine came about a year ago as a way to promote events happening at local bars and venues. He said the magazine formed a committee of volunteers after he and Rupert realized the difficulty of putting on the first Battle of the Bands with little help.
He said credit for this particular fundraiser should go to Matthew Colegrove of local band Audiobox.
"He knows how hard it is for local bands to get their foot in the door at the Cell Block, so the ultimate prize is a chance to play there," Swank said.
Swank said he met with the owner and management of the Cell Block to lay out the ground rules for the contest. At this point, two bands are confirmed - Audiobox and Skinny Rinkus - with more expected each week.
"We've been getting the word out on Facebook and we are waiting on several other bands to get everything together to submit to us," Swank said.
Swank said each band performs their normal gigs from October through January, and the top four bands that raise the most money will move onto the second part of the contest.
In February, the bands will perform at the Mill Tavern, Montoursville; the Angus Inn, Hughesville; and the Valley Inn, DuBoistown.
"We're looking at new venues, too, to help them get the word out so people can support local businesses, bars and restaurants," Swank said.
At the final event, a check will be presented to the American Cancer Society. Swank is hoping to raise between $5,000 and $10,000 with the contest, and pull in local entertainers, as well as bands from outside the Williamsport area.
Swank said there's no cut-off for bands to join, but the later a band joins the contest, the more money they have to raise between now and January.
At this point, Swank is busy putting together contests and not sure when the first print edition of The Scene Magazine will be available.
"I'm so involved getting this going ... I've been too busy," Swank said.
Swank said a Battle of the Bands at the Valley Inn on April 6 to benefit Wise Options is in the works for next year, along with a rock 'n' roll festival in June and a possible Williamsport-based record label.
"I'm a drummer, so my passion is music," Swank said. "This area is full of entertainers, and it's so hard for bands to get the word out."
Swank said the idea to raise funds during Breast Cancer Awareness Month is because the issue is very personal for him.
"My sister just went through it [breast cancer]," he said. "I know a lot of people affected by it." For more information, visit www.thescenecpem.com/default.html.