Tuesday 24 January 2017

The Glastonbury Emerging Talent Competition 2017 - Entry Information

Today saw the announcement of the 2017 Glastonbury Emerging Talent competition. It offers the chance for new UK and Irish acts the chance to compete for a slot on one of the main stages of the festival and also bag a £5,000 Talent Development prize from the PRS Foundation, with two runners up getting £2,500.

Entries open for one week only on Monday 30th January until 5pm on Monday 6th February via the Glastonbury website.

For musicians that wish to enter you simply need to supply a link to one original song on Soundcloud and a link to a video of themselves playing live – even if it’s only recorded in their bedroom.

All entries are listened to by a panel of 40 UK music writers (of which I am one) and from those entries a longlist of 120 acts is compiled. They are then whittled down even further to a shortlist of just 8 by judges including Glastonbury organisers Michael and Emily Eavis and are invited to play at live finals at Pilton WMC – which having attended on a number of occasions, I can confirm, is a really enjoyable evening.

If you’re an artist (of any genre) and fancy having a go, I highly recommend it. There are some people out there who think that music shouldn’t be turned into a competition, but for me the Glastonbury Emerging Talent Competition is very different type of competition. This isn’t about celebrity, it isn’t about commercial success and being a star, it isn’t about the judges – it’s just about finding a talented act that can really deliver a great live performance and the competition is a process to do that, with a great reward at the end. 

As one of the judges, here are a few basic tips that I suggest any act entering should consider. Whilst these tips are really all just common sense, I must point out that these are purely my tips and not published by the Emerging Talent Organisers themselves – although I’m sure they’d agree with all of them!

1. This competition is judged at a live final. Therefore, make sure you can actually perform live. That’s the point of it.

2. Make sure you follow the instructions. When it says ‘submit a live video’ it means a recording of you actually playing live. Not miming. Not one with non-live sound overdubbed over a stage performance. Actually live. 

3. Make sure when you submit your links they actually work. Each year of judging I normally find someone with some incorrect links or private links with no access details.

4. Make sure you submit your best song and best video performance. Don’t hold anything back at this stage – you only get one chance a year.

5. Read and re-read the entry instructions. The judges have a lot to get through – you aren’t doing anyone any favours by not following the (simple) instructions. Eg: Original means original. Not a cover.

6. Don’t hassle the judges if you know who some of them are. They have a job to do and asking ‘have you got my entry in your list to listen to’ won’t help.

7. Be good. Be brilliant. Be astounding. Then I might just see you somewhere in a field in Somerset this summer.

Here's last year's winners She Drew The Gun, a band whom I'd actually written about on the blog before they entered the Emerging Talent Competition and whom made one of my favourite songs of last year - the spellbinding and thought provoking Poem, which you can see them playing here live at last year's final (look carefully and you might spot me).

She Drew The Gun - Poem Live at Pilton WMC 

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