Up & coming acts wanted for The Great British Rhythm & Blues Festival

News: 31st January 2020 by Louise Dodgson under Live

The UKBlues Federation has teamed up with The Great British Rhythm & Blues Festival in Colne to offer up-and-coming, under-the-radar acts (solo artists or bands) the opportunity to play the main stages at the festival this summer.

Apply to play via the festival website. Deadline for applications is Saturday 29th February.

As part of the process, applicants are asked to submit a link to a sound recording, along with a link to a video of their act performing live. Applications will be perused by a panel of music professionals, who will use the submitted sound recordings and videos to select a shortlist. A mix of award-winning musicians, recording artists, event managers, radio presenters and more, make up the judging panel.

Two bands/artists will be chosen to each play a one hour slot. The judges are seeking blues-based acts with originality (no 'covers' bands please), creativity, technical ability, musical compatibility to the festival, and entertainment value, being at the core of their choices. The acts must not have played the festival within the last 3 years. The bands must make their own way to and from the festival. The available musical slots will be paid, as will accommodation.

In addition to a slot at The Great British Rhythm & Blues Festival, one of the chosen acts will be nominated to be part of the UKBlues Challenge 2020.

Steve Potter from the UKBlues Federation explains further. "Keeping the blues genre alive and fresh is a huge part of what our federation strives to do. Discovering up-and-coming artists and showcasing them in a vibrant, upbeat, busy environment, such as at The Great British Rhythm & Blues Festival, has a significant impact on both the musicians and the musical genre as a whole. We're thrilled to be involved in helping to bring forward new music to the scene, and supporting the music and musicians in any way we can."

 And there's more...
In addition to a slot at The Great British Rhythm & Blues Festival, one of the chosen festival acts will be nominated to take part in the 2020 UKBlues Challenge, organised by the UKBlues Federation. The winner of the 2020 UKBlues Challenge will be invited to represent the UK at the 37th International Blues Challenge in Memphis in January 2021 and the 11th European Blues Challenge in Chorzow, Poland in April 2021.

Five acts will take part in the 2020 UKBlues Challenge, four of whom will have been selected under a process run by the UKBlues Federation, with the fifth being selected from those acts appearing at the Great British Rhythm & Blues Festival under the project's banner.

Ashwyn Smyth, Chair of the UK Blues Federation said "Each year, the UKBlues Challenge contestants are very varied, creating differing blues soundscapes from across the genre and demonstrating the fact that blues is a 'broad church'. I am looking forward to seeing who the judges choose as the winner. I know it won't be an easy choice. I am immensely proud that since we took on responsibility for selecting the UK’s representatives at the International and European Blues Challenges, we have twice reached the semi-finals in Memphis and twice won the European Blues Challenge. As is clear from the quotes below, participating in the UKBlues Challenge really raises profiles and brings acts to a much wider audience."

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Unsigned and emerging bands and artists can apply to play The Great British Rhythm & Blues Festival


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