UK: Record producer Jez Coad and DJ Kris will be among the judges at the final of AKG's Unsigned Heroes competition, to be held at London venue KOKO on April 26th. The band that emerges triumphant will take away prizes including a recording session with a name producer, PA equipment worth over _10,000 and the chance to play the Isle of Wight Festival on the Platform 1 stage, reports David Davies.
The winner of the contest - which has focused on "the MySpace community" in its bid to track down the best as-yet unsigned band in the UK and Eire - will also play the Brit Bus stage at the Kent Festival, alongside headliners the Feeling, the Ordinary Boys and the Ghosts.
Joining Coad and DJ Kris on the judging panel will be independent A&R Kelly Maxwell, KOKO head of music Daveid Phillips and AKG's director of European sales, Toni Scherrenberg.
They will assess the final trio of acts - The Standards (who won by public vote), The Kashmirs (the North winner), Flamboyant Bella (South winner) - to have emerged from a lengthy selection process that began with 801 qualifiable entries. All three will perform at KOKO alongside headliners The Cooper Temple Clause.
"The competition has well exceeded our expectations," Amanda Chester of AKG distributors Harman Pro UK tells PSN-e. "The anticipated 200 entrants turned out to be a staggering 801, and we then went on to receive over 12,500 votes at the 'vote off stage'_ it just goes to show how good these bands are at marketing themselves and the effect that MySpace has had on the industry.
"We are extremely excited about the final and at the same incredibly nervous, although nowhere near as nervous as the bands themselves, I bet! [_] They are really good bands but have extremely different styles. I wish them all the best of luck."
Tickets for the final are on sale now via the competition's dedicated website (see below) or direct from KOKO, at _10 each.