Rock in the Ravine: EKU hosts LexiFest Battle of the Bands

Seven bands performed at the LexiFest Battle of the Bands on Sept. 12 in the EKU Ravine.

Eastern Kentucky University’s School of Music played host to a leg in the LexiFest Concert series on Sunday, Sept. 12.

Seven local bands from around Kentucky performed in the Ravine for a chance to win the 2021 LexiFest Battle of the Bands competition. The winner will receive a free recording package from Best Buds Records as well as a guaranteed performance slot in the Feb. 2022 Lexington Music Awards.

The event was MC’d by Lexington based 92.1 radio DJ Max Corona. Acts included acoustic artist Jamie Crawford, alternative acoustic folk trio Sad Black Lab, classic rock band Mountain Rose, acoustic artist Vanessa Davis, alternative rock band LYRE, solo artist Marsha Lee, and pop-rock duo Rags and Riches.


In the wake of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Corona was excited to help rejuvenate the local music scene. 

“COVID stole a lot of this stuff from us,” said Corona. “We just hope to get it back.”

LYRE played songs from their newest album, released in Feb. 2020

“We played one show and then everything got shut down. That’s what we played tonight,” said their singer David Laborda.

Brothers Tanner Whitt and Peyton Whitt of Rags and Riches faced the pandemic with optimism. They spent their time optimising social media and building their brand. This did not mean things were easy for them.

“I hate not seeing people,” said Tanner Whitt. “It was rough at first.”

The winner of the competition was Rags and Riches, with Mountain Rose and LYER taking second and third place respectively. Acts were scored on such criteria as originality, crowd engagement, and cohesiveness of the performance.

“Everybody put their heart into it,” said lead guitarist of Mountain Rose, Reece Taylor. “It was a really good show.” Reece is a 19-year-old sophomore music performance major at EKU.

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