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Glastonbury Festival has announced the 90 acts through to the longlist from the many thousands who entered its Emerging Talent Competition 2024 in January. For the longlisted artistes, the possibility of a main stage appearance at this summer’s festival is now a step closer, as is the chance of securing a useful bursary courtesy of sponsors PRS for Music and PRS Foundation.


The free-to-enter competition for independent acts based in the UK or Ireland saw a record entry this year. This made it even harder for the 30 UK music writers, including your scribe here, to select just three acts each from the individual lists allocated to us. The 30 x 3 will next become a shortlist of just eight to compete at April’s live final for a spot on one of the main stages at the Festival in June. The winner of the competition will also be awarded a £5,000 PRS for Music Foundation Talent Development prize to aid their songwriting and performing, while two runners-up will each receive a £2,500 award.


Once again this year, the quality of the entries shows the depth of songwriting and performing talent there is out there. Having set out to find outstanding songwriting, characterful vocals, fine musicianship and acts who were wholly convincing in their live video submissions from my batch of entries, here are my three choices for Glastonbury ETC 2024. Please lend them your ears and give them some social media love.

Photo of Maya Lane by Melody Berkery

Maya Lane – “Bump Into Me” 

Maya Lane simply has star quality, adept at blending bright pop tones with the bohemian Laurel Canyon vibe she carries at her core. She sounds as good live as on record, marrying vocal purity with an impressive range backed by a writing maturity beyond her years.

Eighty Eight Miles – “Sophie”   

Eighty Eight Miles oozes personality with a sound that is not immediately easy to pigeonhole. There are nods to classic pop spanning the decades yet the music is delivered with a freshness and wit all its own. Music to swoon to, not least over those glorious chord changes.

Juju – “Just Okay”

Juju brings a theatricality to her music that makes her a natural, magnetic live performer. Her songs take on a life of their own, employing strong storylines and killer hooks as she brings alt-rock and dark pop influences to bear on her highly individual world.

Congratulations to Maya Lane, Eighty Eight Miles and Juju along with all the other acts who made it through Round 1.  You can check out a YouTube playlist of all 90 now. The vast majority are new names to me – something that again highlights quite how much great new music is being made.


I was really pleased to see a Fifty3 Fridays alumnus – the marvellous Retropxssy – had been picked by a fellow judge. To the many other worthy entrants, keep the faith and play live whenever and wherever you can. You never know who might see you and where that might lead. There is scarcely a better way of honing your art than through the medium of a live stage, large or small.


News of the ETC 2024 Live Final will follow at the end of April and Fifty3 Fridays will be back next week with more emerging music to titillate your sensibilities. In case you are wondering, the video below is the very first track in the longlist but stick with it and you can hear all 90 of them (well 85 as I expect 5 acts haven't got round to taking 'private' off their entry).


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.


In the past 15 years I have written for leading US music website  Consequence and breakthrough  site, BestNewBands. I am a judge for Glastonbury Festival's Emerging Talent Competition and have reviewed the festival for both sites. I am now pleased to curate my very own music site.


Nothing gives me greater pleasure than unearthing great, 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:

Tue 16 July: Griff, St John's Church, Kingston upon Thames

Wed 17 Jul: Squirrel Flower, The Lexington, London N1

Tue 23 July: Sabina Chantouria, The Bedford, Balham, London SW!`2

Wed 24 Jul: Coming Up Roses, The Social, London W1

Thu 1 Aug: 86TVs, St John's Church, Kingston upon Thames See the Events page for all live shows in Kingston


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