Thursday 20 November 2014

CENTRE STAGE 2015 the search begins


Hot off the heels of ‘Centre Stage’ winning Hospice UK's 2014 National Award for 'Innovation in Income Generation', 2015’s competition is now open for registration. Martin House Children’s Hospice, together with Leeds & Reading Festivals, have begun their new search for the act who will ultimately claim the prize of playing at next summer’s Leeds AND Reading Festivals, and a music performance video with Shot by Sodium.

The competition has gone from strength to strength since its inception in 2009 and continues to receive involvement and support from Yorkshire bands Embrace, Pigeon Detectives, The Cribs and Pulled Apart by Horses. Now in its sixth year, the competition, which raises vital funds for the hospice, is inviting young bands and soloists of ANY genre to enter. Participants must be between 11- 21 years old and from North or West Yorkshire. 

Over the coming months, registered acts will undertake their own fundraising for Martin House, who witness the therapeutic benefits of music first hand within the hospice. Once registered, acts will be automatically entered into the Heats, which will take place on 28/29/30 April at the Belgrave Music Hall, Leeds. The lucky finalists will then take to the stage at O2 Academy, Leeds, on 22nd July, following a professional mentoring day.

The competition hopes to hit the big £200,000 mark next year, in terms of funds raised. Martin House are currently looking for sponsorship for the year ahead. “Securing this would give us a huge boost and help us to make even more money for Martin House – we’d love to hear from people who would like to share our exposure and journey right through to Leeds Festival” says Centre Stage Organiser, Sarah Smith.

The competition is an invaluable link to the local music industry, especially those supportive of unsigned, young artists. It has provided connections and opportunities for many contenders, including those with BBC Introducing and M.A.S. Records. Impressively, 2012 finalists ‘Carnabells’ played this summer’s Glastonbury Festival and previous winners have taken to the road and supported both The Pigeon Detectives and Embrace!

Overall, the competition is about YOUNG PEOPLE HELPING YOUNG PEOPLE!

To enter, please register online on the Martin House website, ensuring you read the rules and regs!


“I’d strongly urge local, young musicians to enter. It really is an incredible opportunity.” Mike Heaton, Embrace

“Every year I’ve been impressed by the calibre of the young artists who participate, and blown away by the commitment and effort they put into their fundraising. I’m delighted to be involved as Centre Stage has gone from strength to strength.” Melvin Benn – MD Festival Republic

Centre Stage Background: The premise of the Centre Stage Competition is to give young bands a fantastic platform and exposure whilst raising vital funds for Martin House Children’s Hospice. Since its initial launch, by The Pigeon Detectives in autumn 2009, Centre Stage has so far provided a platform for over 150 young, Yorkshire acts and raised close to £200,000 for Martin House Children’s Hospice. The competition has the support of Embrace, The Pigeon Detectives, The Cribs, Pulled Apart by Horses and Festival Republic. In order to enter, artists must be under 21 years old and in North or West Yorkshire and must be committed to undertake their own fundraising for the hospice, ideally with the support of their school/college.
Martin House Children’s Hospice: Martin House Children’s Hospice cares for children and young people, throughout Yorkshire, who have a life limiting illness. They support their families too, through the life of their child and through their bereavement. On opening in 1987, they were only the second children’s hospice in the UK. They now have an established teenage unit, Whitby Lodge, which was the first in the world to open. Martin House needs to raise over £4.5m this year to run, receiving less than 12% from Government sources.

Contact: Sarah Smith – Centre Stage Organiser: // 01937 844569
Twitter: @centrestage2015 // @MartinHouseCH