Ernie Ball announced recently that it will be sponsoring its 17th annual Battle of the Bands this summer. The band that wins will get to play on the Ernie Ball Stage during Monster Energy’s Aftershock Music Festival happening in Sacramento, Calif. on Sept. 14 and 15.

Not only does the winning band get to play at the same festival as acts like Avenged Sevenfold, Testament and Megadeth, but the trip will be all expenses paid courtesy of Ernie Ball. To top it all off, the winning band will receive an endorsement deal with Ernie Ball.

Bands can enter the competition now through Sept. 6 online at the Battle of the Bands website. The top 100 ‘buzz-rated’ bands that sign up will be eligible to win. Acts can go to the site to create a profile and upload an mp3 of one of their songs. They then use the promotional toolkit provided through the website to get their fans to vote for them as best band. Ernie Ball said their ‘Buzz Rating’ system will give them “a real time snap shot of each band's overall exposure level.

The system takes into account both viral reach and real world factors that produce a 1-100 rating system giving an accurate reading on each band's relevance within the industry.” The groups should also make sure to provide a link to their public Facebook page within their Battle of the Bands profile.

The top 100 bands from this ranking system will then be looked at by a panel of judges who will determine the winner. Ernie Ball will announce the winner of the competition on Sept. 9. The band that wins the grand prize will be able to play the festival on Sunday, Sept. 15.

For more details on how to enter, visit the Ernie Ball website.

For more information on the Aftershock Festival, check out their site.