Since 2014, Bandsketball has served as a means of bringing musicians from all ends of Milwaukee’s music scene together in an unconventional and incredibly fun way. Each summer, a combined 32 bands or hip-hop outfits have taken to a court in Riverwest weekends throughout July and August to compete for local music hoops supremacy in a three-on-three band basketball tournament. This time around, Bandsketball founder Johanna Rose was kind enough to ask Milwaukee Record (and contributor Maggie Iken) to get involved in this year’s event. Of course we agreed, and together we’ve come up with some exciting changes.

1. Instead of being spread over seven or eight weekends like previous years, the entirety of Bandsketball 2016 will take place over the course of a single weekend: Saturday, August 13 and Sunday, August 14. Teams must be available for the entirety of those two days.

2. In an effort to expand beyond a single neighborhood and its bands, the tournament will be split between Bay View (Rounds 1 and 2, August 13) and Riverwest (the final three rounds, August 14). As usual, games will be played to 11 points, with every basket counting for a single point. However, the first two rounds will have 30-minute time limits. The semi-finals will have a 45-minute time limit, with the Final Four and Finals not being timed.

3. To let more players in on the fun, participants can only play for one team. Every team’s players must consist of official members (of past collaborators) of the act they’re representing.

4. Bandsketball will be a benefit. Bands selected will be charged a $20 buy-in fee, which will be donated to a worthy local organization (which we’ll announce soon). Participants are encouraged to seek sponsorship from local businesses to cover the cost, which will be mentioned in all our Bandsketball coverage.

5. Each day will culminate with a show/party featuring non-Bandsketball participants. Saturday’s show will take place at Cactus Club, and Saturday’s will be at Company Brewing. High Dive will host a pre-game breakfast on Sunday.

6. Beyond glory and a trophy, there will be prizes for bands that reach the Final Four. They include:

• A $500 music store gift card
• An album mastered by Mystery Room Mastering
• A “Band Bonding” gift pack (prizes TBA)
• A band photo shoot
…and more

Interested acts should email: bandsketballmke@gmail.com by Thursday, July 20. The 32 participating “bands” will be selected and notified at the end of July. The bracket will be unveiled during a live selection event at Riverwest Public House in August.