Glastonbury Festival has revealed that its Emerging Talent Competition 2020, once again generously supported by PRS for Music and PRS Foundation will be open for entries from Monday 27 January. The free entry competition offers new UK and Ireland-based acts of any musical genre the opportunity to compete for a spot on one of the main stages at this summer’s 50th anniversary Festival. The eventual winner will also collect a £5,000 Talent Development prize from PRS Foundation to help take their song writing and performing to the next level, while two runners-up will each receive a £2,500 PRS Foundation Talent Development prize.

Entries are open for ONE WEEK ONLY from 9am Monday 27 January until 5pm Monday 3 February 2020 via the Glastonbury website. To take part, acts send in a link to one original song on SoundCloud, plus a link to a video of themselves performing a song live in any context from bedroom to concert hall. Glastonbury co-organiser Emily Eavis commented: “It’s always such a pleasure to hear the latest crop of amazing, undiscovered music that’s out there. Over the years, the Emerging Talent Competition has helped us to unearth so many incredible artists from across the genres – dozens of whom have been given slots at the Festival. I can’t wait to hear this year’s entries!”

Once those entries are in, a panel of 30 of the UK’s best music writers including your modest correspondent will help compile a long list of 90 acts. This then will be whittled down to a shortlist of 8 artists by judges including Glastonbury’s Michael and Emily Eavis. To decide the outright winner, the last eight standing do battle in April at the live finals held at Pilton Working Men’s Club, close to the Worthy Farm festival site.

Photo of Marie White and Michael Eavis by Jason Bryant

For the past five competitions, all finalists were offered slots at that year’s Festival. Many of these have gone on to bigger things. The 2019 winner, soulful singer-songwriter Marie White, has since signed with Decca Records and Universal Music Publishing Group following a year of highlights which included her performances at Glastonbury, a 6 Music live session and supporting Keane at the Royal Albert Hall.

To improve the chance of making the cut, any aspiring act could do worse than taking note of these tips.

  1. Pick your best original song – if you are a soloist, you probably know it already but it’s also worth asking someone you know and trust for a second opinion. If you are a band, this can cause arguments among band members but you’re worth it!

  2. Make your SoundCloud link public. If you get through, you’ll have to make it public anyhow or your track won’t appear on the longlist on the Glastonbury site.

  3. Don’t send in an inferior live version of the same song on video. In fact, don’t repeat the same song whatever. Choose a different song – it can be an original or a cover – that showcases your ability in terms of vocals, instrumentation and/or arrangement.

  4. Your video has to be a live performance so don’t submit a lip sync video. It can be set literally anywhere – at home, in a rehearsal studio, in the park, not just on a stage somewhere.

  5. Make sure your SoundCloud and YouTube pages are up to date and reflect your wider repertoire in the best possible light.

Bonne chance, mes braves!

FIFTY3 champions

outstanding new music through Fifty3 Fridays and occasional features. 


Music is a great passion of mine. In my teenage years I was an avid record collector and concert goer. Stints as a booking agent, running folk clubs, promoting gigs and even a crack at artiste management followed. While it never became my main occupation, music was always on my personal radar.


During the past 11 years I have written for the leading US music website Consequence of Sound and breakthrough act site, BestNewBands. I am a judge for Glastonbury Festival's Emerging Talent Competition and have reviewed the festival for both the above sites.


Nothing gives me more pleasure than unearthing good, original new music and championing independent musicians. You’ll find many of them on this site alongside the occasional legend of times past and I hope they will bring  you as much joy as they give me.

Tony Hardy



Selected dates in the London area:

Thurs 5 Aug: Flo Perlin, Green Note, London NW1

Tues 17 Aug: Nicky Phillips, The Bedford, Balham, London SW12


Wed 18 Aug: Trust the Doc Live, Amersham Arms, London SE14


Tues 28 Sept: Kings of Convenience, St John's Church, Kingston

Thurs 30 Sept: The Lunar Keys + Alex Hall + Denney, The Bedford, Balham Check out the Events page for all live shows in Kingston, Surrey

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