Pensacola, Florida
Sunday June 24th 2018


Battle of the Bands to Fill DeLuna Slot

By James Hagan

Just a few weeks out from DeLuna Fest, three Gulf Coast bands will battle it out head-to-head to see who fills one of the last slots for the three-day music festival.

Pensacola’s Cardinal Sin won a fan vote held by radio station TK-101 to decide the Pensacola selection that will compete against The Undecided Majors, the Ft. Walton Bch., Fla. winner, and L.F. Knighton, the Mobile, Ala. winner. The competition, taking place August 31 at Seville, will see the three bands perform two songs in front of a panel of judges, including Gus Brandt, tour manager for the Foo Fighters, and Scott Mitchell, manager partner of DeLuna Fest, to determine which bands gets to perform a 45-minute Saturday set on the Main Stage at the festival.

Cardinal Sin won for their song “Waste Away,” off their upcoming E.P. “Fate,” outpacing such other local favorites as Dinosaur Daze and Terrific Kid.

“We’re pretty excited that out of 32 bands we won,” said Cody Fortag, drummer for Cardinal Sin. “We’ve only been together a few months and to beat out bands with thousands of ‘likes’ on Facebook is definitely exciting.”

Fortag describes the band’s sound as being influenced by such bands as Shinedown, Alter Bridge, and Papa Roach, but said that the band’s sound shouldn’t be limited to one genre.

The band formed in May of this year and has already played stand-out shows at venues such as The Handlebar. The band, which is comprised of Fortag, his brother Evan, who plays guitar, and lead singer Justin Smith, have a thumping hard rock sound that’s counter-balanced by catchy riffs that will appeal to any metal fan, old or new. Fortag hopes, however, that if the band makes it to DeLuna Fest that they will be able to expose their sound to a different audience.

“We want to have a broad fanbase and not just appeal to metal heads or one particular type of fan,” he said.

After the announcement of Cardinal Sin’s win, TK-101 DJ Mark “The Shark” praised the band’s sound.

“They’ve got that straight-ahead TK rock sound. Their song had some real good production,” he said.

Alongside the Main Stage slot, the winner of the Battle of the Bands will receive a $1,000 gift certificate to Blues Angel Music, alongside other amenities.

Fortag hopes that if the band wins the Battle of the Bands then DeLuna Fest will be a springboard to further success and an opportunity to promote “Fate.”

Regardless of the result, however, Fortag promises a good show for all the fans.

“I don’t know who we’re competing against, but we’re bringing what we have. I just hope everyone likes our songs, and everyone enjoys the show,” he said.

The Battle of the Bands will conclude with a headlining gig by a DeLuna Fest band to be determined.

WHAT: Battle of the Bands with Cardinal Sin, The Undecided Majors, L.F. Knighton
WHEN: 7 p.m. Friday, August 31
WHERE: Seville Quarter, 130 E. Government St.
COST: Free
DETAILS: All ages. Visit