Local DJs and EDM Artists Battle at Monarch Theatre on Saturday for Gig at Identity Festival

Tomorrow evening is gonna be a big night in the life of local beat-juggler Luke Romero. The same goes for such other local mixer wizards as Brett Ortiz, Tonic Kemestry, Party Reaper, and Nemo.

All five of these Valley EDM artists, turntablists, and producers are finalists in the Hometown Heroes DJ battle (as are The Pilots, Alpha1 and Blakeland, PastriesWithTeeth, Oneson, and The Agency) that is being staged tomorrow night at the Monarch Theatre.

Up for grabs is the chance for three or four finalists to perform on a side stage at next weekend's Identity Festival at Ashley Furniture Homestore Pavilion. Local EDM event promoter Relentless Beats will be running the stage and is organizing tomorrow night's competition at the Monarch.

Organizers of the Hometown Heroes battle pored through entries from 40 different local DJs, producers, and EDM artists before choosing the finalists.

According to a Relentless Beats spokesperson, a four-judge panel made up of local scene veterans Dave Sankey (a.k.a. CIK), Timothy Heit, David Epstein, and J. Paul from HavocNdeeD will judge each competitor during their 30-minute set tomorrow night on their technical skills, programming, and track selection.

Winners of the battle will each get a gig on the Relentless Beats stage at the Identity Festival on August 19, which will also host performances by Turner & Heit, DJ Soulman, Tranzit, and Lujan.

Per the aforementioned Relentless Beats spokesperson, it's currently up in the air whether three or four slots will be offered at Identity Festival and will be determined during tomorrow night's battle.

"[It] just depends how good they are," they stated. "If we like what we see, more, and if not, less. Obviously [we're] not gonna compromise quality."

Relentless Beats' Hometown Heroes DJ Battle takes place at 9 p.m. on Saturday. Admission is $7.

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Benjamin Leatherman is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times. He covers local nightlife, music, culture, geekery, and fringe pursuits.