Things to Do in Fort Wayne and Beyond

Bands gather to raise funds for pit bulls

Battle of the Bands brings together six acts


Michele DeVinney

Whatzup Features Writer

Published July 1, 2020

The upcoming Battle of the Bands is an excellent chance for music fans to get back into the world again.

Taking place outside of Copper Canyon Tobacconist at the corner of St. Joe and St. Joe Center roads, the battle will bring live music to a more flexible outdoor venue while also helping to benefit a good cause. 

Rescuing Pit Bulls

Fort Wayne Pit Bull Coalition has a mission which has evolved in its decade of existence. First established in 2010 as a resource rather than a rescue, Pit Bull Coalition now provides both to the community. Funds are vital to keep things moving forward.

“Animal Care and Control have pit bulls available for adoption, but they can only do one or two at a time,” said Megan Close, president of the FWPBC board of directors. “They are allowed to transfer them to regulated rescues, so in 2012 we got into rescuing them, and we’ve just grown and grown since then.”

FWPBC also provides resources for those who have pit bulls. Close shared a recent example of how the not-for-profit organization can step in to help save a pit bull in crisis.

“We got a call from a man with a one-year-old neutered male that had eaten something, some foreign object, and it was causing a blockage,” she said. “The surgery was going to cost anywhere between $1,500 and $4,500, and he couldn’t afford it. His only other option was euthanasia. We were able to step in and work out a plan with a veterinary clinic on Covington Road that we have a good relationship with, and we’re paying for the dog’s care.”

Finding Friends and funds

While rescuing pit bulls has become a particular passion for Close and providing important resources for the care of pit bulls is a significant part of their efforts, money has been tight this year since some fundraising events have had to be canceled or postponed in the wake of the shutdown. 

Looking for a good summer and outdoor event to replace some of those and hopefully become an annual event itself, FWPBC volunteer Jessica Garr had been considering a Battle of the Bands for a couple of years anyway, and this seemed the ideal opportunity to roll that out.

“We have a great relationship with Copper Canyon, and they’re big pit bull lovers, so they jumped right in,” Garr said. “That’s when we really got the ball rolling. We have six bands donating their time to help us out, and we’ll have two food trucks there. Copper Canyon will have cigar specials. We’re really excited about it.”

Bands ready for battle

This inaugural Battle of the Bands will include The Paper Heart, The Kickbacks, Jupiter in July, Withered Veins, Calloused, and Secret Garden Arcade. 

A couple of the bands have performed at previous FWPBC events and then helped recruit the rest of the lineup. Performances take place on Saturday, July 11, from 4-8 p.m. Those who attend pay a $5 cover to get in and then vote for the band with a cash or card donation to the organization. The band which raises the most money for the Coalition will be declared the winner and will earn the opportunity to perform at the 2021 Fort Wayne Music Festival. 

Each band is already campaigning with videos on their respective Facebook pages so attendees will be introduced to what they can expect. 

There will also be tasty food available from 5-8 p.m. via food trucks Mercadito Taqueria and One Love Food Truck. 

Close has a couple requests of those who plan to attend.

“We want it to be a safe event, and we’re encouraging everyone to socially distance and to wear masks,” Close said. “The bands have already started playing shows again, so they have some experience now with what needs to be done to accomplish the restrictions which will still be on. With it being outdoors, we think we can provide a safe environment for everyone, but it would help if people purchased their tickets online in advance so we have some idea how many will be here and how best to provide that safe environment for everyone.

“We also ask that people not bring their own dogs to the event,” she added. “We will have some of our dogs rotating through for a meet and greet, but having dogs there at an event that is going to be loud and not knowing what the weather will be like that day, it puts a lot of stress on animals. It’s a 21 and over event, and there will be an area roped off for alcohol sales so if there are dogs there, it causes a bit of a problem.”

More information about the Battle of the Bands can be found at fwpbc.org and on the Fort Wayne Pit Bull Coalition Facebook page. A link to the Eventbrite site for tickets is available on the FWPBC Battle of the Bands Facebook event page.

“We’re so excited about this event,” Close said. “We’re all huge music fans, and what better way to raise funds for those dogs that are sometimes labeled as misfits than with these amazing bands. No other rescue has an event like this so we hope it goes well and helps us stand out a bit.”

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