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The day-long festival benefits the Crossroads Centre Antigua and will feature music from the legendary Eric Clapton and friends, including The Allman Brothers Band, BB King, Buddy Guy, Jeff Beck, John Mayer, Sheryl Crow, Steve Winwood, Vince Gill, ZZ Top and more.
To enter the contest—also hosted by Ernie Ball partners Premier Guitar, Guitar Center and Reverb Nation—musicians register at playcrossroads.com by creating a profile including 1-5 MP3 files, photos and a bio. The winning artist or band will receive roundtrip airfare to Chicago, hotel and a 30-minute performance slot on the Ernie Ball Village Stage, which will also feature inspirational master-class sessions from Joe Bonamassa, Robert Randolph, and many more. The winning artist will also receive a full Ernie Ball Music Man endorsement, a feature in Premier Guitar and prizes from Guitar Center.
“We're tremendously honored to be associated with Eric Clapton's Crossroads Guitar Festival. Supporting the Crossroads Centre, in addition to Eric Clapton's charitable efforts is very important to Ernie Ball,” notes Brian Ball of Ernie Ball Inc. “Offering an unsigned band this tremendous opportunity to play live alongside the collection of legendary guitar players is also something we're very excited about.”
Fans have the opportunity to help choose the winner by voting for their favorite artists at playcrossroads.com. The 500 bands/artists with the most votes will be reviewed by a panel of judges comprised of Ernie Ball representatives and contest sponsors. The judges will select the winning artist/band based on criteria including musicianship, originality, authenticity and songwriting.
The winner of the first Ernie Ball Play Crossroads contest—who performed at the last Crossroads Guitar Festival, held in 2007—was then 16-year-old prodigy Tyler Dow Bryant. Bryant went on to work with Paul Simon, Edie Brickell, Chris Duarte, Brent Rowan, Albert Lee, Steve Lukather, Don and Donnie Nelson, Sean Neff, Wes Jeans, Alan Haynes, Dickey Betts and many others.
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