The College Music Journal’s Music Marathon is marking its 30th anniversary with its latest five-days-and-nights festival, hitting venues around the city from Oct. 19 to Oct. 23.

The event has long been a tastemaker for audiences in college and beyond, giving up-and-coming bands the chance to play for hordes of music fans, press and industry executives.  The bands chosen by the College Music Journal represent more than 30 countries and many states in the U.S.

The NYCity News Service staff set out show – in words, sound and images – what it’s like to be in the middle of this annual battle of the bands, sampling groups playing everything from French Rock to Hip-Hop to Indie Pop.