ERNIE BALL ANNOUNCES 15TH ANNUAL BATTLE OF THE BANDS COMPETITION

Ernie Ball Inc., the world's premier string and accessory manufacturer, today announced the launch of its 15th annual Ernie Ball Battle of the Bands. In the largest and longest-running unsigned artist competition of its kind, Ernie Ball will give talented, undiscovered artists worldwide a platform to play live on the 2011 Vans Warped Tour and win a 3-song EP with multi-platinum producer Matt Squire, in addition to an incredible prize package which includes a $15,000 Guitar Center shopping spree.

Ernie Ball Battle of the Bands is entering its 15th year of providing a platform for thousands of undiscovered bands to get mainstream exposure. The competition continues to transform Ernie Ball Music Man's legacy of encouraging growth, quality and opportunity in music by supporting unsung talent.

"We truly believe that live music is the lifeblood of our industry," said Brian Ball, of Ernie Ball Inc. "Over the past 15 years, we've been committed to providing a springboard for emerging talent to play live and enhance their exposure. In partnership with the Vans Warped Tour, we couldn't be more excited to launch the 15th Annual Ernie Ball Battle of the Bands."

To enter the competition, bands can sign up at www.BattleoftheBands.com and upload music and create their artist profiles, beginning today. The deadline to submit music is June 1st, at which time a panel of judges will select the bands that show the most promise, focusing on musicianship and songwriting, and will offer them an opportunity to perform live on Vans Warped Tour 2011. There are four slots at each stop on the tour. In 2010, 186 bands were chosen to perform on the tour, selected from almost 16,000 entries, and 2011 promises to be even bigger.

Ernie Ball's panel of expert judges will also review each show on the tour, selecting the top four from across the country to compete in Hollywood at the Vans Warped Tour official after party taking place at the end of 2011. After playing for celebrity judges and a who's who of music industry legends, America's best undiscovered band will take home an exclusive prize package and the title of "2011 Ernie Ball Battle of the Bands Champion".

The Grand Prize Package Includes:

$15,000 Shopping Spree at Guitar Center · 3-Song EP with producer Matt Squire · 2-Week Slot on Vans Warped Tour 2012 · One year of paid TuneCore service · Custom Atticus Apparel Package & Custom Vans Shoes · Select Music Man instruments · Ernie Ball Guitar and Bass Strings Ernie Ball has joined forces with a host of partners to make this competition the opportunity of a lifetime for aspiring artists. With the help of Van's, ReverbNation, Guitar Center, Electro-Voice, TuneCore and Atticus, Ernie Ball Battle of the Bands 2011 offers more impressive prizes and even more opportunities for bands to get the exposure they deserve than ever before. The top four bands will also be invited to play at Vans Warped Tour 2012.

For more information on Battle of the Bands, including stories behind recent competitions, visit www.BattleoftheBands.com.

About Ernie Ball
In 1962, veteran player and teacher Ernie Ball created Slinkys®, the iconic light gauge electric guitar strings widely revered by hundreds of guitar greats including Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Keith Richards, Jimmy Page, The Edge and John Mayer. In addition to hand crafting high-end Music Man® guitars and basses, Ernie Ball Inc. offers state-of-the-art instrument accessories that are carried in more than 6,000 stores in the U.S. and 110 countries worldwide. The family-run company maintains its founder's dedication to preserving the musician's playing experience and delivering superior sound quality through the development of new products, such as the revolutionary Element Shield Packaging which hermetically seals guitar strings keeping each set as fresh as the day they were made. The company also fosters artist development through musician-focused programs such as the Golden Pick promotion featuring Slash and Eric Clapton, and the world's largest and longest running Battle of the Bands, where unsigned bands compete each year for the chance to win a $15,000 Guitar Center shopping spree and more. Visit them online at www.ernieball.com.

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