The next generation of indie rock acts get a helping hand

Cramped tour buses, bare bones budgets and dizzying tour schedules are all rights of passage for up-and-coming bands trying to catch their lucky break. For indie rock acts on the rise, Taco Bell is back to Feed the Beat, in the hope of helping bands achieve their biggest dreams, including getting valuable marketing support to push a new breakthrough single.

Taco Bell announced today that its Feed the Beat program returns for a third year, rewarding winning bands with free Fourthmeals – the late night meal between dinner and breakfast – to fuel indie rockers on tour. Taco Bell will conduct a nationwide search for 100 bands —up from 50 in 2007— and provide them with one month’s supply of Fourthmeal ($500 in $5 Taco Bell Bucks per band) while they are on tour.

New for 2008, Taco Bell will also dedicate marketing resources to support Feed the Beat bands. A new interactive Feed the Beat Virtual Music Fest Web site will debut this fall at and feature music, helping to build a valuable fan base and coalesce a community for these up-and-coming acts. The centerpiece of the site is a “Best of the Beat” competition where three bands will win a larger prize package and drive even more exposure for their careers.

These three winning bands will work with Taco Bell to identify and hire a well-known indie rock producer to record a single for them. The singles will then be promoted on and through online advertising and in-store efforts in the Spring of 2009, as the Web site address will be featured on Taco Bell’s iconic Sauce Packet, which reaches more than 208 million people in about a month. More than 35 million customers come through Taco Bell’s 5,600 restaurants every week.

Bands from across the country that are touring this fall can fill out an online submission form by Thursday, September 18 at to apply for Taco Bell’s free food tour support. Feed the Beat bands will be announced on Thursday, October 9 with the launch of Eligible alternative or indie rock bands need to have a dedicated fan base, be on tour during the fall and have either a band Web page or MySpace page. For more information and full rules, bands can check out www.feedthebeat.comfor the entire band submission criteria and guidelines. There is no fee to enter the contest. Registration process begins September 4, 2008 at 12:00:01 a.m. (ET) and ends September 18, 2008 at 11:59:59 p.m. (ET). Band members must be 18 years or older to enter and located in the 50 United States or District of Columbia. Void where prohibited.

Feed the Beat alumni bands include some of the hottest touring acts today including Girl Talk, We Are the Fury, Meriwether, Manchester Orchestra, the Myriad, Amber Pacific, Daphne Loves Derby and Prospect Hill. Numerous Feed the Beat alumni bands are on this year’s Van’s Warped Tour billing, congrats to A Day to Remember, BlameShift, Mayday Parade and Dropout Year.

By René Carson

René is a designer, journalist, coder, photographer and filmmaker based outside of New York.

He is the founder of Hit Pictures and Hit Handouts.