Five month search almost over as 18 acts compete for top honours
Event: Gigs Big Busk Grand Final
Venue: Westfield Stratford (The Gallery, Ground Floor), London E20 1EJ
Date: Sunday 7 September 2014
A five month search for rising musical talent will reach its climax on Sunday 7 September when 18 acts take to the stage for the Grand Final of Gigs Big Busk, the UK's biggest street music competition.
The young musicians and singers have emerged as the frontrunners in a contest that originally attracted more than 500 entries, with 200 acts being selected to perform live at around 20 busy London locations during the summer.
Music fans, shoppers and A&R executives looking for new talent are now being urged to head to Westfield Stratford City this Sunday, to hear the 18 musical acts play as they bid for top honours in Gigs 2014. Aimed at young people aged 11-25,
Gigs is organised by the Mayor of London and offers aspiring artists the opportunity to hone their skills and gain valuable experience of performing to the public.
For Gigs 2014, a series of talent development workshops and music industry awareness sessions are also being offered to all competitors thanks to the support of Arts Council England. The following acts will play live at the final, which is hosted by XFM DJ Phil Clifton.
One act in each category has been chosen by public vote.
The judges will decide a winner in each category and one act will be selected from the three categories to be crowned Gigs Champion 2014.
SOLOISTS AND DUOS (16-25 years old) Harry Houseago, Lambeth Rory Scott, Lambeth Russell Akbar, Tower Hamlets Sophie DeBattista, Greenwich Tom Butler, Wandsworth Katie Nicholas, Hammersmith and Fulham
GROUPS (up to 20 members) Jazz Mino, Hackney Mushana, Hammersmith and Fulham Pareace Laranza, Lewisham Sara And The Vynes, Hillingdon The Tailormade, Ealing Girl Cubed, RB Kensington & Chelsea
YOUTH (11-15 years old) Anjelo, Croydon Danny Starr, Wandsworth Natalie Shay, Enfield, Olivia Dean, Waltham Forest Rosie Alena, Croydon Maya Delilah, Islington
As well as thousands of Westfield visitors, the 18 finalists will be playing in front of a panel of industry judges: Guy Fletcher, Chairman PRS for Music; Maggie Crowe, Director of Events & Charities, BPI; Eddie Evelyn-Hall, Talent Producer Syco; Ian Edwards, Head of Admissions & Marketing at ICMP; and Kimberly-Anne, singer-songwriter and winner of 2014 Young Songwriter/Composer at London Music Awards 2014.
There are great prizes up for grabs, which are intended to help them develop their musical ability and support their aspirations to build a career in the music industry.
They include a licence to busk on the Tube, courtesy of Transport for London; a training and coaching package from the Institute of Contemporary Music Performance; recording time at a top studio; equipment; mentoring from industry professionals; and further performance opportunities. One winner will also get the chance to head to Paris to busk around the French capital, courtesy of Eurostar and another prize will see the winner heading off to play at the Matala Beach Festival in Crete.
There is also a prize for best original song sponsored by PRS for Music.
The Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: 'Busking is a familiar and much loved part of city life, particularly in London and our Gigs competition is a fantastic opportunity for talented young musicians to shine in front of the public. Over the years Gigs has provided a platform for some great musicians wanting to carve a career in the music industry. We might have a budding Ed Sheeran or Ellie Goulding in our midst.'
Notes to editors
1. Gigs Big Busk is the Mayor of London's annual competition to find the capital's best young musicians, as part of the commitment to support musically talented young Londoners. It gives musicians the opportunity to perform at landmark locations around London, and compete for a host of music prizes including a coveted official London Underground busking license and studio recording time.
2. Since 2009 over 1,500 young London musicians have taken part in Gigs and over 140,000 public votes have been cast online. Last year 500 young musicians performed all over London the Gigs 2013 busking competition. Between them they played over 1,000 hours of music to over 1.5 million people. Rising stars from earlier competitions include Robbie Boyd, the King's Parade, Charlotte Campbell, James Riley.
3. Gigs Big Busk 2014 Partners: Network Rail; Westfield London W12; Westfield Stratford City; City of London; Eurostar; Institute of Contemporary Music Performance; London Underground; Northbank Business Improvement District; Musician's Union; Roland; Wendyhouse Productions Ltd; Regent Street – Summer Streets.