Are you a musician living in the Northwest who is 21 years old or younger? Then you should enter Sound Off!, the EMP's annual battle of the bands!

Sound Off! is so much more than a competition, though. Yes, one band does win (prizes include gear, studio time, and a slot at next year's Bumbershoot!), but all 12 semifinalists get a professional photo shoot and get to attend a Q&A panel where local music-industry professionals answer whatever questions you might have. And because the local music community supports Sound Off!, usually the bands will get some press (including The Stranger!) and radio airplay leading up to the shows. It's more about camaraderie than competition—it's a great way to get experience and form relationships with other local bands and musicians.

All genres of music are welcome; the only rule is you have to be 21 or younger and a resident of the Northwest (Washington, Oregon, British Columbia, or Idaho). Get all the details and apply online at The deadline is November 3. Good luck!