Stars from The Cribs and Embrace to judge battle of bands for Leeds and Reading Festivals

Embrace drummer Mike Heaton.
Embrace drummer Mike Heaton.

Top music industry experts – including members of The Cribs and Embrace – will choose a young band to play at Leeds and Reading Festivals.

The Centre Stage competition at the O2 Academy in Leeds next week will see bands from across Yorkshire play off for a slot at Bramham Park and Reading in August.

Judges including Ross Jarman from The Cribs, Mike Heaton and Mickey Dale from Embrace, Max Kafka from Leeds and Reading Festival, and Sara Garvey from Out of Control Records, will choose one of 11 bands vying for the top prize.

Mike Heaton said: “Centre Stage is an incredible event – it gives young artists the chance to make their mark on the music scene, and for the winners it gives them an amazing platform.”

The contest is Organised by Martin House children’s hospice in Boston Spa and also acts as a fundraiser for them. Centre Stage has raised more than £225,000 for the hospice since launching in 2009.

Mr Heaton, an ambassador for Martin House, said he was proud to be on the judging panel.

Sarah Smith, Centre Stage organiser at Martin House, said: “We have a strong line-up of bands in this year’s final, so it should be a fantastic evening.”

The final will involve bands from Leeds, Wakefield, York, Halifax and Barnsley who were chosen in a series of heats in April. They have received a mentoring day as part of their preparations for the final.

The final will take place at the O2 Academy in Leeds on Thursday, July 26. The show will start at 7pm. Tickets cost £8 and £6 for concessions, from the venue’s website or on the door.