Mayor’s Gigs competition gears up for its 10th Grand Final

22 August 2018
  • BBC Radio1 and BBC Music Introducing host Abbie McCarthy will present the live Grand Final on Sunday 2 September  
  • Finalists will compete in front of judges including Newton Faulkner at Westfield London in Shepherd’s Bush
  • The Grand Final marks 10 years since the annual busking competition was launched

Talented young musicians will go head to head next month in the final of the Mayor of London’s annual busking competition, Gigs. 


With the public vote for the last remaining finalists just days from closing, the annual contest is preparing for its biggest-ever Grand Final at Westfield London in Shepherd’s Bush.  

On Sunday 2 September musicians will compete across three categories to win prizes worth £15,000, including studio time, paid gigs and musical equipment.


Since it launched a decade ago, Gigs, in association with Gibson, has been the Mayor’s flagship competition for emerging musical talent. For 10 years the competition has celebrated the wealth of musical talent from the capital and provided young Londoners with vital opportunities to perform, hone their skills and create connections.


As well as showcasing global artists at events such as International Busking Day, the Mayor’s Busk in London initiative has helped revive the capital’s street performance scene. The Gigs competition has opened the door to a variety of performance opportunities and given musicians the chance to perform in some of London’s most famous locations.


After a live judging process, five acts from each of the three categories have already been chosen to compete in the Grand Final. There is the opportunity for an additional finalist to join each of the categories for the final, following an audience vote. Closing on 26 August, the competition has seen more than 30,000 votes placed so far.


This year’s final will be hosted by Abbie McCarthy from BBC Radio1 and BBC Music Introducing, and the judging panel will include critically acclaimed singer-songwriter Newton Faulkner.


As part of the Mayor of London’s commitment to supporting young budding artists, all acts performing original pieces are also eligible to enter the Gigs Songwriting Prize.


The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “Buskers are a familiar sight on the streets of London and our city has one of the most vibrant and diverse busking scenes in the world. Music is a universal language and whether you are a commuter or a visitor, live performance helps bring Londoners together. Now in its 10th year, Gigs continues to offer an incredible platform for up-and-coming musicians and helps them bring their art to a new audience.”


Singer-songwriter Newton Faulkner said: “I’m really looking forward to seeing all the performances at the Gigs Grand Final - busking is the soundtrack to the underground and the streets, it’s part of living in London. I don’t think the city would be the same without it.”


Abbie McCarthy, BBC Radio1 and BBC Music Introducing, said: “I am so excited to be presenting the Mayor of London’s 10th anniversary Gigs Grand Final at Westfield London. There is so much fantastic grassroots talent out there and this competition helps put the next generation of artists on the map.”


Myf Ryan, CMO Europe and Group Director of Brand and Strategic Marketing for Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield commented: “We are thrilled to host the 10th Grand Final of the Mayor’s Gigs at Westfield London and proud to have been involved with this brilliant initiative since 2012. We look forward to seeing the musicians perform at the Grand Final and are pleased to be able to given emerging talent a platform to showcase their talents.”




Media wishing to attend must contact [email protected] or call 0207 983 4796

Notes to editors

Notes to Editors

  • This year’s public vote for finalists opened on 21 July and will close on 26 August.
  • Members of the public are encouraged to back their favourite buskers by voting online at
  • Gigs celebrates the musical talents of buskers aged 11 and up. Performers compete in three categories – Youth (11-15 years), Soloists and Duos (16 – 25 years) and Open (11years+ with up to 8 members).
  • Gigs Songwriting Prize finalists will take part in a day of masterclasses with platinum selling song writers while the overall winner will perform at the Feast of St George event in Trafalgar Square.

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