Thursday 21 March 2019

Glastonbury 2019 Emerging Talent Competition Longlist Announced (And My 3 Selections)

Every year since 2011 I have been one of the judges for the opening round of the Glastonbury Emerging Talent Competition, the winner of which gets to play a main stage slot at the festival and receives £5,000 from PRS Foundation to help take their songwriting and performance to the next level.

This year was no different and today the festival has announced the 2019 longlist from which a shortlist of 8 will be chosen.

How It Works

Every year there are thousands of entries for this competition. Whittling them down to an eventual winner is a three-stage process and my involvement is in the first stage alongside 29 other judges. 

Each judge is sent an individual list of around 170 acts that have entered the competition. I’m required to pick three acts from that list that are then placed on the shortlist. Each judge can request to listen to specific genres or take a selection of acts from all genres. I take this second option, mainly because it makes the judging process more fun; the thought of listening to 170 indie rock acts for example could become hard work. Each artists submission is a recording of their music on Soundcloud together with a video of themselves playing live and that’s what I use to pick my three acts. Their online statistics, if I’ve heard of them before and other such factors are discounted. My choice is based purely on what I consider to be the acts with the most talent, what moves me the most and which live performance videos show that the artist is ready and able to play a main stage at Glastonbury – as that is the eventual prize.

For 2019 my experience was that the quality of artist submissions was higher than ever before. I really struggled to choose my final three – I could have easily chosen nine or ten acts that were worthy of the longlist. You can see (and hear) my choices below.

Once the longlist of ninety has been selected another panel of judges from the festival whittle those acts down to a shortlist of eight who are invited to come and play at a live final at Pilton Working Men’s Club in April infront of an invited audience. It’s based on that live performance that the eventual winner of the competition is chosen by a panel representing the festival.

For further information on the competition, including the full longlist, hop on over to the official Glastonbury website by clicking here and do take a listen to my three choices for 2019 below.


Amahla has an effortlessly beautiful tone to her voice. She sings the most gorgeous and soulful songs, marking her as a huge talent for the future.

Amy Vix

With elements of country, Americana and rock incorporated in her music, Amy Vix also possesses a wonderful pop sensibility, displayed in radio friendly songs like Over The Wreckage, which has some similarity to Taylor Swift.

Anoushka Lucas

It takes just one listen to the warm elegant vocals and jazzy atmospherics of Anoushka Lucas to be impressed. Superb stuff.

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