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Support Gainesville native in quest for stardom
Gainesville native Allison Weiss performs during the "Future Stars in the Round" portion of last year's Bruce Burch & Friends Honor John Jarrard Concert at The Smithgall Arts Council Depot. Weiss performs Saturday as part of a regional band competition in Atlanta.

Allison Weiss

When: 8 p.m. Saturday
Where: Center Stage, 1374 W. Peachtree St., Atlanta
How much: $6, $3 if you order tickets online using the promo code ALLISON

Allison Weiss, the Athens songstress who cut her teeth playing at local coffeehouses while a student at Gainesville High School, is a finalist in the first Campus MusicFest competition.

She will be competing Saturday at Center Stage in Atlanta against three other bands, picked after an online competition to be the best of the bands in the Southeast. And the more hometown fans show up, the greater her chance of winning, she said.

"I believe the judging is not only based on songwriting and how well your songs go over with the audience, but also how many people you bring," she said. "The more people that are there to see you, the more of a reaction you'll get.

"They told me the competition is basically judged on your performance and your songs."

Weiss will be playing acoustic, since her band can't make it to the show. But facing off against three electrified bands isn't a problem, she said.

"I guess my strategy is to play my heart out and hope the judges like it," she said. "I'm not worried about it at all."

The competition is part of Campus MovieFest, a national Internet-based competition that involves colleges from across the country. The winner will move on to the national competition, held in June in Los Angeles. Prizes include a new computer and music editing software, a custom CMF Epiphone guitar and access to record label executives, along with cash prizes.