FAIRMONT – The first Bacontown Throwdown is scheduled to open Friday. The event is a two-day battle of the bands hosted by the Fairmont Opera House.
The director of the opera house, Blake Potthoff, said the impetus for the event was a desire to feature more local artists and to diversify the opera house’s performances. Outside of community theater and some educational projects, most of the opera house’s performers are from outside of Minnesota.
“The facility and the organization wouldn’t be there if it weren’t for the local people … we need to focus better on that and bring that kind of local entertainment to our community.” said Potthoff.
In total, the event will feature six performances by five different music groups. All actors are from Minnesota.
“For me this is the first step; Find and incentivize local bands and entertainers to perform here,” said Potthoff.
The first night will feature the three musical groups participating in the Battle of the Bands, two of which are based in the Martin County area.
The Limit is a Fairmont-based rock ‘n’ roll band whose performances are a mixture of ’90s alternative rock, indie rock and hair metal. The band formed in 2020 as a project band, but since then they have released their first EP and started playing live shows. Blue Dirt Road was founded earlier this year by three middle school students from Fairmont and Blue Earth; They play a mix of county and rock and roll. The last candidate is Perfectly Still. The group hails from the Fargo-Moorhead area and plays a mix of hard rock, pop-punk and metalcore.
Bands are judged by a four-person panel of judges consisting of Lakes FM DJ Jen Black, sound producer Paul Stibble, Martin County Pork Producers mascot Marty the Pig and Potthoff.
The winning band will perform at the opera house’s New Year’s Eve party and record a live album at the opera house. The band that receives the most votes on the opera house’s website will receive an audience award.
The winning band will also perform alongside FuZZrd and A Rising Force on the second night. FuZZrd is a Minneapolis heavy rock band that describes themselves as a combination of Black Sabbath, Motörhead, Bon Jovi and Def Leppard. A Rising Force is another original Minnesota hard rock band who released their debut CD Undertow in 2020.
The event was funded by the Fairmont Opera House and sponsored by Martin County Pork Producers. On the first night, Martin County Pork Producers will be selling pork chops and the regular Opera House concessions will be open both nights
Should this event prove to be a success, the Fairmont Opera House plans to host it again next year. The Opera House is also looking for suggestions for future events and performances.
“If there’s something you like or dislike that you’d like to see and haven’t seen, I want to know.” said Potthoff.
Tickets for the Bacontown Throwdown are available both online and at the door.