The Beautiful Days Festival is the best new festival in Britain, taking place at Escot Park in Devon on the weekend of August 21 and 22. Click here for more info on the event.
Following a month of accepting entries for this exciting opportunity to open the main or the second stage at the festival we have now stopped accepting new submissions - but given that we received in excess of 300 entries (even with quite strict entry conditions!) we've already got plenty of excellent music to listen to!
In the next week or so we will announce a shortlist of ten bands who will be put forward to the next stage of the competition. We'll offer readers links to the bands' music on-line, details of how to buy any CD's that might be for sale or dates and venues of upcoming gigs.
Voting will be mainly by SMS texting, with each texted vote costing just 50p - the proceeds of which will go to help the Strummerville Foundation for New Music.
When we close the voting we will be left with just four bands - our aim being that these will be potientially some of the best new festival acts in the UK today!
The final decision as to which of the two acts will get to play at Beautiful Days will be made at a live gig (probably in Exeter - just up the road from the festival) where we expect to have a very special guest headliner and a panel of judges which will include members of The Levellers - quite possible the greatest festival band of all time, and therefore superbly qualified to make what will surely be a difficult decision on the night!
We'd like to thank every band who took the time to submit an application, and we can assure you that we have listened to every track you have sent us. Selecting the shortlist will be no easy task because we are having to choose between a hugely varied selection of genres, and to make matters even more time consuming we are considering more than just the music we've been sent. We're looking for bands who know how to perform as well as play...and that usually means that we are after acts with a track record of live performance - because delivering the goods on stage can be very different from putting down a track in the studio.
This means that we're backing up our initial opinions of the music with a bit more research. We want to see what bands look like, and we want to find out what other people have thought about them in the past. Both of these things are sometimes as important to a band's success as the individuality and quality of their music. Looks and popularity will never outweight musical talent, but if you're going to be more than a good quality demo then you have to be able to offer your audience more that a tune and a melody.
How are we doing this part of the judging? Simple - we're using Google! How a band presents itself or is featured on the web often reflects heavily on how they come across in the flesh. This isn't aslways necessarily true, but as the Internet becomes more and more important as a source of opinion and information then bands will have to recognise that their 'virtual' personas will soon be as crucial as their 'real' ones.
Look out over the next week or two for the final shortlist, and then get voting...you CAN make a difference!!