Bands from seven Leeds schools are preparing to follow in the footsteps of chart-toppers including Kaiser Chiefs and Adele to perform on stage at the city’s O2 Academy.
The budding rock stars are finalists in the AMP Awards, competing for the chance to perform at Leeds Breeze Festival this summer and open the O2 Media Awards in Leeds in July.
The battle of the bands contest, which promotes both music and business enterprise, is now in its third year in Leeds after launching in Harrogate in 2008.
This year’s finalists come from Ralph Thoresby High in Holt Park; Allerton Grange High; Boston Spa; Cockburn School in Beeston; Roundhay School; Wetherby High; and Horsforth School.
Co-founder of the awards, Marian Farrar of St Aidan’s High in Harrogate, said: “We are very excited about the 2013 Leeds final. There are some brilliant bands in the line up.”
To encourage originality, covers are not allowed. All the songs and lyrics are written by the young musicians.
But the aim of the contest is not simply to discover the stars of the future, but also to inspire youngsters interested in the business side of the industry.
Each school has a business team working to promote their band and the final on March 25. An eighth business team – from West Oaks SEN Specialist School and College in Boston Spa – is also competing.
And they have all been allocated mentors from O2 to develop their event management, marketing, planning and presentation skills.
Each school team has taken responsibility for a different task, from designing the poster, to sourcing merchandise, pre-show hospitality, social media messaging and selling tickets.
The winning business teams will scoop cash to spend on enterprise education in their schools.
The innovative contest is backed by organisations including the Big Lottery, O2 Think Big and Procter & Gamble.
This year’s judging panel includes Tony Wright from Bradford indie-rockers Terrorvision.
Student photographers, mentored by Itchykoo director Rick Parsons, will also be competing on the night.