Our PLAY Warped Tour Contest (formerly known as Ernie Ball Battle of the Bands) has given up-and-comings acts the opportunity to perform at some of the largest events across the country. Thousands of bands join the contest yearly in hopes of graduating from unsigned hype to rockstar status like alumni James Valentine and PVRIS.

This year, we had over 11,000 bands compete for 41 Vans Warped Tour mainstage slot and one grand prize: a 3-song EP produced by Chad Gilbert from New Found Glory, $10,000 cash, and a ridiculous bundle with gear from Blackstar, Zildjian, and more. All summer, our PLAY Warped Tour winners rocked the Vans Warped Tour mainstages in hopes of catching the eyes and ears of Gilbert and fellow judge Kevin Lyman (founder of the Vans Warped Tour).

Now, we finally have our winner!

The Weekend Classic


Congratulations to The Weekend Classic, this year’s PLAY Warped Tour grand prize winners! Chris Webster (lead vocals, guitar), Ryan Wells (guitar, vocals), Christian Richards (drums) and Matt White (bass, vocals) impressed our judges with their 25-minute Vans Warped Tour set and beat out the competition thanks to their unique sound and songwriting chops.

“Their excitement level was really high, but the main reason they won for me was their songs. I really like bands that you can hear their influences, but you can’t fully pin it on one thing.” – Chad Gilbert (via Alternative Press)

The band wins our massive grand prize package valued at over $50,000. Here’s the full list.
  • 3 song EP produced by Chad Gilbert of New Found Glory
  • Mentoring session with Kevin Lyman, Chad Gilbert, and Hopeless Records
  • $10,000 CASH
  • Ernie Ball Music Man instrument endorsement
  • Year supply of Ernie Ball strings
  • $10,000 Guitar Center gift card
  • $500 Journeys  gift card
  • Blackstar HT Venue 100 head and 4×12 cabinet
  • Zildjian cymbal pack, bag, and swag
  • DW Performance Series 5 piece drum set with hardware
  • Mark Bass Little Mark Ninja Head and Cabinet
  • Electrovoice EKX powered speakers and ND microphone package
  • DTS Paradigm PW800 speaker
  • TC Electronic pedal board with 8 pedals and power supply
  • Blue Lola headphones and Blueberry microphones
  • Apogee Duet with Waves Plug Ins

The band is currently working on an EP with Seth Henderson (Real Friends, Knuckle Puck) and plan to go back in the studio to record six more songs in early November. Listen to their Spotify playlist, including a new track featuring Joe Taylot from Knuckle Puck, and watch their video for “Dread the Weather” below.

Congrats to The Weekend Classic once again and watch out for them in the future. We expect big things!

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