Local youngsters compete in Gigs Champion 2013
Two young musicians from Wimbledon are among those battling it out to be crowned London's best busker.
Becca Nunneley and Chloe Leigh (pictured right) join 17 other young people from Merton who are competing against other Londoners in a bid to be crowned Gigs Champion 2013.
Gigs, one of the country's biggest music competitions, is organised by the Mayor of London and gives young Londoners aged 11-25 the chance to gain exposure and performing experience.
Londoners and visitors to the capital will be able to catch this year's entrants at locations around the city and vote for their favourites online.
The young hopefuls will be playing across the capital, from the Underground to the O2, popping up in top tourist spots St Paul's Cathedral, Westfield London W12 and Green Park, for the Prudential RideLondon cycling event.
This year's competition attracted over 4,000 entrants, more than three times as many as in 2012 and the biggest number in the competition's history. Soloists, groups and even choirs entered, covering many styles, from pop to classical and country to hip hop, with a youth category for talented musicians aged 11-15.
There will be a winner in each category (soloists and duos, groups, and youth) and one act will be crowned Gigs Champion 2013.
The Mayor is now calling on the public to vote for their favourite at www.gigsbigbusk.com until August 31.
Other hopefuls from Merton in the competition include Ryan Rodrigues from Mitcham; Rodium, from Mitcham; Pupfish, from Copse Hill; Lucy & Ciara, from Raynes Park.
Whilst bidding to be crowned London's best young musician, there are also prizes up for grabs, to help winners develop their music careers. These include the chance to head to Paris and busk around the French capital, courtesy of Eurostar; a highly coveted licence to busk on the Tube, courtesy of Transport for London; a one-year tailored course at the Institute of Contemporary Music Performance; recording time at a top studio; mentoring from industry professionals; equipment, and further performance opportunities.
New for 2013, there will also be a prize for best original song, with the winner receiving support from a top writer and producer to develop their song-writing skills.
The Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: "We are stunned by the number of entries for this year's Gigs competition – it makes the contest even more exciting. I'm delighted that we can give some of London’s fine young musicians the opportunity to gain experience by playing to new audiences around the capital. Our city has a musical heritage that is second to none and it is vital that we nurture budding talent to help them scale the heights – there might even be an Adele or Mumford and Sons in the making."
Gigs has provided a launch pad for emerging London artists, including Robbie Boyd, Jamie West, Natalie Shay and James Riley, and is increasingly seen as a go to event for music industry talent scouts.
The grand final takes place on Sunday 8 September from 12pm at Westfield London W12. 18 finalists will compete on a specially built stage in the main atrium before a panel of industry judges and thousands of Westfield visitors
July 31, 2013