From North London to the Gare du Nord, The King's Parade head to Paris

09 April 2014

· Rising Cricklewood band takes the train to busk in the French capital

· Young musicians urged to sign up for the 2014 Gigs busking competition

Rising London band The King's Parade are heading to Paris to busk in the French capital, after winning the Eurostar prize at the Gigs music competition organised by the Mayor of London.

The Cricklewood based musicians, who won their prize last year, today joined the Mayor at St Pancras International, where they played a selection of songs to help officially launch the 2014 Gigs competition, before boarding a Eurostar train to Paris.

The Mayor is calling on London-based musicians aged 11-25 to sign up for the competition at www.gigsbigbusk.com. All styles are welcome, from pop to classical, to hip hop to folk and shortlisted acts will take part in live performances at Gigs busking pitches at high profile locations, including at St Paul's Cathedral, Westfield London W12, as well as major rail and Tube stations.

The best acts - as chosen by expert industry judges and the Gigs public vote – will go head-to-head in the Gigs Grand Final at Westfield Stratford City on Sunday 7 September.

They will be competing for great prizes, including: a coveted year's London Underground busking licence; an all-expenses paid gig at the Matala Beach Festival in Crete June 2015; recording sessions at a top professional studio; a performance training package from The Institute of Contemporary Music Performance; coaching from chart-topping songwriters; a Gibson guitar and other music equipment; exciting performance opportunities and specialist industry advice to help them towards a career in music; the opportunity to busk in Paris thanks to Eurostar; and the inaugural Gigs 2014 Songwriting Award sponsored by PRS.

The Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: 'In the music capital of the world, one of my biggest passions is supporting talented youngsters, through our education programmes and through Gigs. Attracting thousands of entries, Gigs is giving young musicians the opportunity to hone their skills in front of live audiences, with many going onto forge careers in the music industry. As the King's Parade bring l'entente musicale to Paris, I urge other young Londoners to come forward to help make our city's streets come alive with the sound of music.'

Mary Walsh, Director of Communications for Eurostar said: 'We have a 20 year history of supporting cultural exchanges from ballet to busking, so we’re really excited to support this special event. London and Paris are two of the most cultural and musical cities in the world and with high-speed rail, the opportunity to share experiences between the two capitals has never been greater. We can’t wait to welcome London based The Kings Parade onboard and our customers are in for a real treat as well as a surprise.'

The King's Parade said: 'It was a great experience being part of Gigs Big Busk last year and we were thrilled to receive the Eurostar award as a part of it. Gigs has allowed us to perform on stages at the 02 arena, at various busking spots around central London and most of all has always supported our freedom to perform our original music around London's iconic places. Busking is part of our freedom to express ourselves through music and the Mayor's plan to make London the busking capital of the world and keep our streets alive should be an inspiration to all cities.

New for 2014 is the Songwriter Award, which is sponsored by PRS Music. Paul Clements, Director of Public Performance Sales, PRS for Music, said: 'PRS for Music is proud to sponsor the inaugural Songwriter Award at this year’s Gigs competition. This competition provides a great platform for up and coming songwriters to perform their own work in front of a live audience. Here at PRS for Music we are always looking for ways to support the next generation of great songwriters as they develop their craft, so that tomorrow’s great music is nurtured and encouraged.'

Gigs is now the capital's biggest free music festival and the largest youth music competition in the UK. Last year it received 1,800 applications (up 300 per cent on 2012) and presented 1,100 hours of live music to 1.5million people.

#Backbusking campaign

As well as the annual Gigs busking competition, the Mayor is launching the new #BackBusking campaign to support musicians playing in high streets, town centres and other public spaces around the capital. Increasing red tape and a myriad of sometimes confusing rules mean buskers are often unsure about where they can perform. Some parts of the capital now operate mandatory licensing charges and can impose potentially large fines, making it financially prohibitive for many musicians. The Mayor is worried that some parts of the capital could become no-go areas for buskers. The Mayor will be setting up a taskforce involving the music industry and key agencies, with the aim of developing a pan-London approach to make London the most busker friendly city in the world.

 

Notes to editors

Notes to editors

Gigs

· The Mayor's Gigs busking competition has become London's biggest free music festival and is the largest youth music competition in the UK. It is a key part of the Mayor's Music Education strategy, which aims to strengthen and promote music education for young people, as well as supporting London's creative industries.

· Each summer Gigs transforms the capital's busiest, most iconic public spaces into a stage for talented Londoners. Last year, Gigs had 1,800 applications (up 300 per cent on 2012) and presented 1,100 hours of live music to 1.5million people.

· This year's competition is open now to Londoners aged 11-25, who can sign-up at www.gigsbigbusk.com.

· There are three categories: Youth, for performers aged 11 – 15 on 9 August 2014; Soloists & Duos for performers aged 16 – 25 on 9 August 2014; Groups, for 2 – 20 members, aged 11 – 25 on 9 August 2014.

· This year's shortlisted acts will take part in live performances at Gigs busking pitches at iconic London locations, including at St Paul's Cathedral, Westfield London W12, as well as major rail and Tube stations.

· The best acts - as chosen by expert industry judges and the Gigs public vote – will go head-to-head in the Gigs Grand Final at Westfield Stratford City on Sunday 7 September.

· Winners will have the chance to win a coveted year's London Underground busking licence; an all-expenses paid gig at the Matala Beach Festival in Crete June 2015; recording sessions at a top professional studio; a performance training package from The Institute of Contemporary Music Performance; coaching from chart-topping songwriters; a Gibson guitar and other music equipment, exciting performance opportunities and specialist industry advice to help them towards a career in music; plus the opportunity to busk in Paris thanks to Eurostar; the inaugural Gigs 2014 Songwriting Award sponsored by PRS.

· For more information about Gigs visit www.gigsbigbusk.com / www.facebook.com/gigsbigbusk Twitter: @LDN_Culture #Gigs2014

The King's Parade

· Described by Tom Robinson as a band with "Bluesy soulful vocals and an accomplished sound worthy of reaching a far wider audience", The King's Parade are a four piece Soul/ Indie group from Kilburn, London. Taking influences from the Motown era and adding their own modern twist, the band have taken to playing in the streets full-time as a way of promoting and sharing their music. The group's recently re-recorded single 'Vagabond' has already reached over 150 000 plays on SoundCloud. www.thekingsparade.com

 

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