Buzz is Percolating as Partnership Celebrates Rock 'n Roll and Provides a Stage for Aspiring Garage Bands

Contest Finalists to Compete for Chance to Play Dunkin' Donuts Main Stage at Major "Underground Garage" Concert Festival this Summer

Randolph, MA (February 24, 2004) - Dunkin' Donuts and Little Steven Van Zandt announce the creation of the Underground Garage Battle of the Bands, a national competition that will seek out up-and-coming garage bands from across the country and provide hopeful musicians with a chance to catch their big break. Famous for buzz-generating performances on stage and off, Little Steven has joined forces with another best in class performer, Dunkin' Donuts, the country's leading purveyor of coffee, to emphasize the importance of rock 'n roll music to American culture; together they seek to discover and reward the country's most talented garage bands. Finalists in the competition will perform against one another in 10 battle of the bands events; winning bands will vie for a chance to perform on the Dunkin' Donuts main stage at a major "Underground Garage" festival planned for this summer.

"Dunkin' Donuts support for the Underground Garage makes events like this possible," said Van Zandt. "The 'Underground Garage Battle of the Bands' will go a long way in helping us continue our mission to bring the coolest music in the world to a whole new generation, and it's just the beginning. Welcome to the rock 'n' roll revolution."

The competition is an extension of "Little Steven's Underground Garage" radio show. Expanding quickly in the nearly two years since its inception, the internationally-syndicated weekly show is widely credited with bringing excitement and personality back to radio, and a growing audience back to rock 'n' roll. "Underground Garage" delivers a mix of classic and contemporary garage rock from the Ramones, the White Stripes, Jet, and the Yardbirds, to the Donnas, the Kinks, the Hives, the Killer Barbies, the Boss Martians, and more.

"Dunkin' Donuts is proud to support Little Steven in his passion to help reawaken rock 'n roll," said John Gilbert, Vice President of Marketing, Dunkin' Donuts. "As a company, Dunkin' Donuts represents many of the same unpretentious and authentic characteristics of good old rock 'n roll that we celebrate with this effort. It's a great time in music to support garage bands and we are excited to be a part of the movement."

Send Us Your Demos!!!
Bands interested in entering the competition can log onto www.rockingarage.com to download an official form to enter the "Underground Garage Battle of the Bands" contest. Bands will be asked to submit their demo CDs to Renegade Nation, Van Zandt's production company, for review by their panel of music experts. From the CDs submitted, up to twenty bands will be chosen to compete in regional playoffs in one of each of the nine cities listed below. The winning band in each city will be eligible to compete in New York City on July 22nd to select the best of the Battle of the Bands contestants. The winner of the New York competition will play alongside the hottest new Garage bands before thousands of people in Little Steven's Underground Garage Rock Festival.

The events, scheduled to begin in April and run through July, are scheduled to take place in the following markets:

  • Boston, MA - The Matrix at The Roxy (April 15, 16, 17)
  • Washington, D.C. - The 930 Club (April 22, 23, 24)
  • Providence, R.I. - Lupos in the Strand Ballroom (April 29, 30, May 1)
  • Philadelphia, PA - The Pontiac Grill (May 13, 14, 15)
  • Miami, FL - I/O Club (May 20, 21, 22)
  • Chicago, IL - The Metro (June 8, 9, 10)
  • Cleveland, OH - The Beachland Ballroom (June 17, 18, 19)
  • Long Island, NY - The Crazy Donkey (June 22, 23, 24)
  • Asbury Park, NJ - The Stone Pony (July 8, 9, 10)

*** Dates/locations subject to change; further information regarding the venues to be released shortly.

Lattes On the Rocks...
Just as the competition begins to heat up, Dunkin' Donuts will cool things down with their new Iced Latte beverages. Coming on the heels of their recent launch of espresso-based beverages, including hot cappuccinos and lattes, the Iced Lattes are a perfect complement to Dunkin' Donuts coffee and will be available in a variety of flavors including caramel swirl, and mocha swirl in regular and decaffeinated.

The Goods...
Winning bands from each market will receive a suite of new, high-end equipment from Gibson, one of the world's leading manufacturers of music gear; speakers from Klipsch known as "a legend in sound;" as well as entry in the finals in New York City. The overall winner of the "Underground Garage Battle of the Bands" will be invited to perform at the festival, which will feature top acts from across generations of rock-n-roll.

Founded in 1950, Dunkin' Donuts is the number one retailer of coffee-by-the-cup in America, selling 2.7 million cups a day, nearly one billion cups a year. Dunkin' Donuts is also the largest coffee and baked goods chain in the world and sells more donuts, coffee, bagels and muffins than any other quick service restaurant in America. Dunkin' Donuts has more than 5,800 stores in the United States and 29 other countries. Based in Randolph, MA, Dunkin' Donuts is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Allied Domecq PLC. For more information, visit www.dunkindonuts.com.

On April 7, 2002, coincidentally the same date in 1967 that Tom Donahue kicked off "progressive FM radio" on KMPX in San Francisco, Steven Van Zandt's Little Steven's Underground Garage had its inaugural broadcast. Being the "coolest D.J. in the country" is just the latest chapter in a long and distinguished musical career for Van Zandt. He is an acclaimed record producer for artists such as Bruce Springsteen, Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes, Artists United Against Apartheid, Darlene Love, Lone Justice, Gary U.S. Bonds, Michael Monroe, Lords of the New Church and the Arc Angels. A gifted songwriter, he has written songs for artists including Jimmy Cliff, Southside Johnny, Gary U.S. Bonds, Brian Setzer, and Darlene Love. In addition, Steven is a well-known musician in his own right, performing as a founding member of Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band as well as with his own band Little Steven and the Disciples of Soul.