UK/EIRE: AKG's British and Irish unsigned band competition, Unsigned Heroes, is to return for the third year running. A newly-minted association with Strummerville - the charity which develops and promotes new music in the memory of much-missed Clash/Mescaleros frontman Joe Strummer - means that the triumphant act in the 2008 contest will play live on the Strummerville stage at the next Glastonbury Festival, writes David Davies.
The victorious act will also have one of its tracks remixed by UNKLE's Aidan Lavelle and receive four VIP tickets to the new ZooThousand festival in Kent. The two runners-up will also have the opportunity to play live at UK festivals, namely Jersey-Live (second-prize winners) and ZooThousand (bronze medallists). In addition, all three winning acts will become AKG endorsees and receive a complete set of live microphones for use on stage, complete with wireless receivers and transmitters.
As in 2007, bands will enter their music via the Unsigned Heroes website (first link below), with all entrants to the competition receiving discount vouchers for AKG C5 and D5 stage microphones, irrespective of whether their bands are selected to play. In a break from past years, however, the best three brands to enter each month will be picked to play live at the Comedy Caf_ in Shoreditch, London, at monthly 'face-offs' in February, March, April and May. The winning bands from each of these four heats, plus four other runners-up, will then be put to a public online vote in June.
"Last year's competition was a great reminder of how much fantastic music talent there is in Britain and Ireland. We knew we could run another competition this year and shine a spotlight on some more great unheard music," commented Amanda Chester, marketing manager at Harman Pro UK. "This year's competition is for over 18s only, but we will be running Unsigned Heroes mini-competitions [later in 2008], rather like the recent events at the Music Live festival in November.
The AKG Unsigned Heroes website will be open for CD and MP3 submissions to the 2008 competition from January 21st. Bands that enter must be unsigned to any record label, must contain at least three members (all over 18), and must be able to reproduce their submitted tracks (all original compositions) live on stage.