The entry process is very straightforward with bands simply having to supply a link to a web page where their music can be heard and name one song / track that the judges should listen to. This year the job of whittling the bands down from the thousands of entries to a longlist of 120 acts has been bestowed upon a selection of UK music bloggers, of which Breaking More Waves is one. From this long list a shortlist of 10 will be selected by judges including the organisers of Glastonbury themselves – Michael and Emily Eavis, before live finals in April determine the winning act. It’s basically like X-Factor with a lot more credibility (after all it’s purely about the music) and less tears. So basically Michael Eavis is a warped Somerset version of Simon Cowell and Emily is Cheryl Cole who knows about milking cows.
So, with the usual disclaimer that these are the opinions of this author only and do not represent any other blogger on the judging panel or Glastonbury itself, here’s a few tips if you're a band and about to submit an entry.
1. Myspace is now totally redundant – the player is shockingly bad and so slow, so don’t send a link to your Myspace page. It has the potential to wind up the judge who is listening to your music before they’ve even started. Instead use something like Bandcamp or Soundcloud which are far simpler and have arguably better sound quality. Also these players are easily embedded onto a web page, so this gives the blogger judge the opportunity to potentially embed your track on their blog if they like your music, so even if you don't get through to the long list or short list, you may still get a feature on a blog, and some of the blogs on the voting panel are quite high profile and well respected. Realistically does your band even need that Myspace these days? It’s a graveyard and nobody looks at it. Maybe time to re-think how you promote yourself?
2. If your link is for a Facebook site that has music on it, make sure the site is open to all. The judge won’t have time to befriend you and may not even be on Facebook.
3. Make sure your music is in a player – the judge doesn’t want to waste time having to download it - remember a pissed off judge is less likely to vote for you, irrespective of how good your music is - it is unfortunately human nature.
4. Don’t bother sending emails to the judges trying to influence them – it won’t work – we have integrity.
5. Likewise don’t expect to follow a judge on twitter and that they in return will follow you back. Our own blog twitter only follows other music bloggers, promoters, DJ’s, selected bands that we have grown to love over time and a few personal friends that are interested in music.
6. Make sure you’re free in April if in the (unlikely) event you get selected to play in the final, and make sure you’re well-rehearsed.
7. Remember that bloggers listen to a lot of new music, so make sure that your selected song kills from the word go. Personally we will do our best to listen to every song we get sent links to, but if we’re halfway through it and not enjoying it we’re not going to wait till that killer guitar solo near the end.
8. Be utterly amazing. No, A.M.A.Z.I.N.G. Because if you’re not, frankly you don’t stand a chance. Quite good is not acceptable.
Good luck everyone, and we’ll see you in a field this summer. Maybe. Here's the link (here) for the entry form, you have till 5pm on the 17th January to get your entry in, but we suggest you do it before that 'just in case'.
Now here's some lovely tuneage from last years winners - Ellen and the Escapades.
*Update - if you're reading this once the competition has closed try the links below for some of the entries that are in our judging cluster that we've been enjoying whilst judging.