Three young Ealing musicians have hit the streets in a bid to be crowned London’s busker of the year.
Emily Snee, 23, Joseph Wander, 21, and Jai Blue, 15, are described as being amongst Ealing’s most talented young musicians and are hoping to beat off hundreds of other young Londoners to be crowned busker of the year at Gigs.
Gigs, the country’s biggest street music competition, is the Mayor of London’s annual search for the capital’s best young musicians.
As well as giving them the opportunity to perform at landmark locations around the capital and gain valuable experience of playing in public, the competition gives them the chance to compete for a host of music prizes, including a licence to busk on the London Underground, a busking trip to Paris, and recording time at a top professional studio.
Gigs has already helped kick start the careers of several musicians and bands, including singer-songwriter Robbie Boyd, who is now touring around the world and recently released his first album; James Riley, who is also building a following playing gigs across America; Tom Butler who picked up the Gigs 2014 song writing prize sponsored by PRS for Music, giving him the chance to play at this year’s Glastonbury Festival; Charlotte Campbell, whose album is out now; and The King’s Parade, who were spotted as a result of their busking prize in Paris and are now touring regularly in Germany and France and release their first record this month.
Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: “Busking is one of the best ways for young talented musicians to get performance experience, especially in a vibrant and creative city like London with its strong appetite for outdoor arts and live performance.
“I’m thrilled that Gigs is up and running once again this summer and that this year the public will have more opportunities than ever to catch amazing street performances across the capital with the Busk in London Festival and the first National Busking Day.
“Our Gigs competition has already proved to be the stepping stone for hundreds of fresh, young acts as they bid for stardom, so look out for our performers over the coming weeks and you might spot the next big thing!”
Londoners and visitors to the capital should look out for performers from Ealing, along with dozens of other talented young musicians, who are playing across an exclusive circuit of Gigs busking pitches over a three-week period, which started on Saturday (July 18) and runs until Saturday August 8.
Performances from the 131 acts are taking place at iconic locations such as St Paul’s Cathedral, Trafalgar Square and Leicester Square Gardens, and at special events like the Summer Streets festival on Regent Street and on the first ever National Busking Day.
There will also be pitches on London Underground and at a number of major mainline stations.
There are three categories: soloists and duos, for people aged 16-25; youth, for people aged 11-15; groups, for up to eight members aged 11-25.
The public is being urged to vote for their favourite performance over the three weeks via the Gigs website.
The Gigs Grand Final takes place on Sunday September 6 at Westfield Stratford City, where finalists will compete before a panel of industry judges and thousands of Westfield visitors.
The judges will decide a winner in each category and one act will be crowned Gigs Champion 2015.