When we were starting out as a band, there were a lot of times where it felt like our wheels were spinning. We were trying so hard and often it felt like we weren’t gaining any ground. What helped us to keep moving forward were the glimmers of excitement and validation that would come every once in a while. Someone on the street telling you they liked your band or a band you played with telling you that you sounded good. Nothing ever made us feel like we were on the right track more than getting a chance to play a well attended show to a room full of people. A real opportunity to play your songs and be your best because if you could make that room full of people smile, it could be the validation or the spark that a band needs to know that they’re on the right track. We put this contest together to try and give 29 different bands that jolt of energy that we felt like we needed at times. A chance to play your songs and be your best in front of a room full of people.

The rules are pretty simple. We are only accepting submissions from bands that are not signed and aren’t touring. The definition of those things are at our discretion. That’s pretty much it. We won’t disqualify any bands based on genre or even our opinions of them. If you are a local, unsigned band, you are welcome to be a part of the contest.

The contest is fan voting. This means that your fans or friends will come and vote and whoever gets the most votes will open the show in their city. The contest will live on the Bayside website for everyone to see with links to all of the band’s music. We encourage our fans to listen to these bands that are working hard and give them a shot. If you’re a Bayside fan just heading to our site to pick up tickets or the new record, we would love for you to listen to the bands that are submitted for your city and vote. You may find your new favorite band right in your backyard.

“Pay to play” has become a popular term to describe the practice of local bands having to either buy on to bigger shows or sell advance tickets to earn their spot. This isn’t that. We have always tried to treat every band that opens for us as a valued member of the show or tour. Everyone deserves to be there and we are thankful for everyone whether they are in the crowd, on the stage, or working the box office. You will be paid to play. You can set up merch. You can soundcheck.

To submit your band fill out the form HERE and send us your music, social media, and info. You have until Friday, September 27 to submit. Voting will begin on Monday, Sep. 30 and run through Friday, October 25. Be sure to share your city’s specific voting page per your band’s social media pages and ask them to vote as many times as they’d like. The winning band in each market will be notified by email on Monday, October 28. Good luck!!

Contest slot not available for 11/17 in Huntington, NY.


  • Set length will be 20 minutes

  • Soundcheck and set time will be determined by Bayside's tour manager

  • Merch will be limited to space only

  • We reserve the right to remove a band from the lineup for any reason.