It’s that time of year again when young hopefuls from all over North and West Yorkshire pick up their guitars and compete for a spot at this years Leeds and Reading Festival.
Now in its fifth year, Centre Stage has become of of the most prestigious and respected music competitions in the country. The event is run in aid of Martin House Children’s Hospice near Wetherby. It is open to bands under the age of 21, and with the support of many schools in our region.
The idea is for young people to help other young people, and at the same time winning the fantastic prize of playing in front of thousands of music fans, not to mention some really big names in the music industry.
With bands and musicians from Selby, Bradford, Leeds, Castleford and many other towns and cities, raising thousands of pounds by holding fund raising gigs, and indeed selling tickets to the various heats and the final, this years competition promises to be really exciting for everyone involved.
Martin House Children’s Hospice offers care, support and respite to families and children with life-limiting illnesses. Many young people have been involved in raising nearly £150,000 in this way over the last five years, it is testament to the fact that so many people have been touched by the work that they do.
Previous competition winners and finalists having gone on to have huge success, most recently Carnabells, who wowed over crowds at Glastonbury this year, as well as The Mexanines who were offered the support slot with local heroes The Pigeon Detectives.
This years finalists are Conflare, Demoralised, Bryony Drake, Random Behaviour, Arcarode, Oliver Pinder, Girls On Drugs, The Concetines, Chickadees and Shupudum. They range from the hard and heavy to folk, indie, blues, pop and everything in between.
The final takes place on Wednesday, July 23 at the O2 Academy in Leeds and will be judged by Leeds and Reading booker Jon Mclldowie, Mike Heaton of Embrace and James Brown from Pulled Apart By Horses. With tickets selling by the bucket load, the night promises to not only be super entertainment for adults and teenagers alike, but is always an incredibly humbling and inspirational night. With so many music industry figures now supporting Centre Stage, it is a great way to celebrate what a diverse and talented part of the world we live in.
Doors 6.15pm. Show starts 7pm. Tickets are available at www.o2academyleeds.co.uk at £6.50/£4.50 (concs). The event will also be pay on the door.