Now in its seventh year and still growing, the Human Rights Campaign’s 2016 Battle of the Bands is being organized by Liz Ramey and Abbey Logan, who are part of the steering committee for the Kansas City chapter.
Logan, who is a political chairman for HRC, got her start after attending one of the events years ago.
“I’m a huge music fan,” she said. “I’ve been to the BOTB before. It’s always a really fun event. So this year … I wanted to get more involved. I wanted to see what made everything work, and so I thought it would be a good opportunity for me to get my feet wet with all of this stuff.”
She’s been a member ever since she can remember.
“I’ve donated to their causes ever since I came out, so for like the last 10 years. I recently became involved at their corporate equality event held at Cerner, which is where I work. So I got some information about the steering committee, and it kind of snowballed from there. I joined as their political chairperson, and the Battle of the Bands is the first event that I’m actually heavily involved with, so I’m kind of a newbie to all of this.”
Logan has nothing but positive things to say about having attended the event.
“It’s fun. It’s very welcoming and very upbeat,” she said. “It’s kind of like hanging out with a large extension of your family, I suppose. A lot of my friends are very involved in the music scene here, so it's just kind of a good way to catch up with all of them and see what they’re doing.”
And beyond the fun, she says, the event helps facilitate a really good cause – HRC’s advocacy work.
Logan is particularly excited that Dirty Dorothy will be emceeing the event this year.
“She’s always a hoot,” Logan said. “We weren’t able to get her the past couple of years … so she’s pretty excited to be able to do it this year.”
Logan says there will be one change this year in the setup for the bands.
“We are keeping the acoustics separate from the electrics, but we’re going to have opposite set times,” she said. “We’ll be able to see every electric band, as well as every acoustic band. Which will be different from last year, since some of the set times kind of overlapped. So we’re doing away with that, so everyone has a chance to play and the audience can go see one act without missing someone on either stage.”
After all, the event is about bringing people together and showcasing Kansas City’s music scene. Local and regional music are at the forefront.
Logan says, “There’s a lot of really good talent here. A lot of the bands that are participating in the BOTB I’m not familiar with. So it’s a good opportunity for not just me to get to know them, but for the greater community at large to come and hear them play.”
One of the main sponsors for the event is Pabst Blue Ribbon, which donated an electric guitar as one of the prizes for the winners.
Logan adds, “The thing I’m most excited about is seeing everyone come together for a good cause. I love seeing our diverse community come together for events like this, and I’m really excited to see that dynamic this year.”
If you go
This year’s Battle of the Bands will be from 2 to 7 p.m. on Jan. 17 at The Point Bar & Grill, 917 W. 44th St., Kansas City, Mo. Tickets ($20 online in advance, $25 at the door) include a one-year HRC membership. Attendees must be 21 or older. For tickets and more information, visit hrc.org/battleofthebands or Facebook Events."