7 September 2014
Gigs Champion 2014 Announced
The Tailormade from Ealing have been crowned Gigs Champion 2014, following a five month search to find London's best busker. They beat off 200 other acts from across the capital to take top honours in the grand final of Gigs Big Busk, the UK's biggest street music competition.
Organised by the Mayor of London, Gigs originally attracted more than 500 entries, with 200 acts being selected to perform live at 24 busy London locations during the summer. Sunday's final at Westfield Stratford City saw 18 of them, as chosen by music industry insiders and the public, compete in three categories, before the overall winner was decided by the judging panel.
Harry Houseago from Lambeth won in the Soloists and Duos category (16-25 years), picking up a much coveted year's licence to busk on the London Underground, courtesy of Transport for London. Natalie Shay from Enfield won in the Youth category (11-15 years) and gets a Roland Cube Street amp, plus microphone and stand. The Tailormade from Ealing won in the Groups category (up to 20 members) and gets recording time in a top studio.
Anjelo from Croydon gets the Eurostar Prize, with the opportunity to busk in Paris. Tom Butler from Wandsworth is the overall winner of the Gigs Songwriting Prize, sponsored by PRS for Music. Olivia Dean from Waltham Forest gets a bespoke package of training and coaching at the Institute of Contemporary Music.
Guy Fletcher, Chairman of PRS for Music, who judged the songwriting award said: "Tom’s winning song was well developed and nuanced but, above all, it was original. Lyrically, his metaphors and imagery were insightful and refreshing.
‘He combined these with subtle, clever melodies and a genuine performance to create an arresting song. It has been exciting to see all of these young songwriters honing their craft as part of this competition. We hope to see a lot more of their work performed on London stages in the future."
Amongst other prizes, all Gigs 2014 performers will be invited to a series of workshops later in the year and will receive mentoring and advice from a range of industry professionals.
The Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: "Huge congratulations to The Tailormade and to everyone that took part in our Gigs competition. London is brimming with musical talent and this summer these talented artists have been bringing pleasure to thousands of people at locations across the capital. Gigs is about giving aspiring musicians the opportunity to develop their craft and gain more live experience and I wish all those wanting to pursue a career in the industry every success."
Today's announcement comes ahead of more details being unveiled of the Mayor's Busk in London scheme, which is being set up in the wake of the #BackBusking campaign he launched in April. The campaign was initiated in order to bring together key agencies, from TfL to the police and the boroughs to landowners, to develop a pan-London approach to support busking by musicians across the capital.
The compère at today's final was acclaimed Xfm DJ Phil Clifton. The judging panel comprised: Guy Fletcher, Chairman PRS for Music; Maggie Crowe, Director of Events & Charities, BPI; Eddie Evelyn-Hall, Talent Producer, Syco; Ian Edwards, Head of Admissions & Marketing at ICMP; and Kimberly-Anne, singer-songwriter and winner of 2014 Young Songwriter/Composer at London Music Awards 2014.
Notes to Editors
About PRS for Music
PRS for Music represents the rights of over 118,000 songwriters, composers and music publishers in the UK. As a membership organisation it ensures creators are paid whenever their music is played, performed or reproduced, championing the importance of copyright to protect and support the UK music industry. The UK has a proud tradition of creating wonderful music that is enjoyed the world over and PRS for Music has been supporting the creators of that music since 1914.
PRS for Music provides business and community groups with easy access to over 10m songs through its music licences. In an industry worth over £4.1bn PRS for Music is uniquely placed to be a voice for music and music creators. Collecting £537.4m in 2015, PRS for Music is one of the world’s most efficient combined rights organisations. With over 100 representation agreements in place globally, PRS for Music's network represents over two million music creators.
For information about Gigs go to www.gigsbigbusk.com. For details of other initiatives the Mayor is supporting to nurture and support young musicians go to www.london.gov.uk/priorities/arts-culture/access-participation.