Nick Lutsko Band performs at Road to Nightfall 2016 finale at the Revelry Room. Photo contributed by Phil Thack.

By Sylvia Shipman, Assistant Features Editor — Move over, Nashville, because Chattanooga is about to become Music City.

28 bands will be battling it out on March 10-11 and 16-18 in the Road to Nightfall competition.

Out of the 28 local bands, five will be voted by viewers to perform in the Road to Nightfall finals round on March 25.

From there, a panel of judges will decide which artist will get to play their own set at the infamous Nightfall concert series this May.

Gig City Productions is the company that hosts Road to Nightfall because it sees the value in Chattanooga’s local music scene.

Barrett Taylor, owner of Gig City Productions, feels that Chattanooga’s music scene is often overlooked due to its proximity to Nashville and Atlanta.

“The idea with Road to Nightfall is to support the local music industry,” said Taylor. “[Nightfall promotes] everything from bands, sound guys, stage, lighting and marketing locals.”

Everyone’s music tastes will be covered in the competition because Road to Nightfall won’t be confined to one genre; artists will range from rap to bluegrass.

“We don’t judge the artist by what type of music that they do,” said Taylor.

As long as the bands have a base like a website and have played gigs, Road to Nightfall is a viable option for them. Additionally, the bands have to play original songs.

“Bands get a lot of promotion and business when they do it,” Taylor said. “A lot of bands that win [Road to Nightfall] get booked at other venues and gigs. We create a networking opportunity.”

Bands who participate get in for free every night so they can scope out the competition and make connections.

Local fans may be able to meet and take photos with their favorite bands from each night.

Even if a band doesn’t win, the experience usually gives them more followers, connections, exposure and experience.

Road to Nightfall is a way for locals to catch live performances of up-and-coming bands before their ticket prices go up.

One success story is that of Nick Lutsko, a Road to Nightfall winner who has since gone on to play shows all over the southeast and be interviewed on News Channel 9.

Road to Nightfall is an interactive experience since viewers will get to text in their votes each night.

The concerts will be held at 400 E. Main St. at 8 p.m. on March 10-11, and 16-18. From there, the bands with the most votes from each night will perform in front of a panel of judges on March 25.

Each night of Road to Nightfall is $10. A draw for five free tickets is currently happening on the Echo’s Twitter account: @UTC_Echo.

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