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Glastonbury Festival has revealed that its 2023 EMERGING TALENT COMPETITION, once again with the generous backing of PRS for Music and PRS Foundation will be open from Monday 30 January. The free-to-enter competition offers new UK and Ireland-based acts of any musical genre the opportunity to vie for a spot on one of the main stages at this summer’s Festival. The eventual winner will also collect a £5,000 Talent Development prize from PRS Foundation to grow their song writing and performing prowess, while two runners-up will each receive a £2,500 PRS Foundation Talent Development prize.

Entry is open for ONE WEEK ONLY from 9am Monday 30 January until 5pm Monday 6 February 2023 via the Glastonbury website. To enter, acts need to supply a YouTube link to one original song, plus a link to a video of themselves performing live in any context from bedroom to concert hall. Glastonbury co-organiser Emily Eavis remarked: “Showcasing new music is a hugely important part of what we do at Glastonbury, and the Emerging Talent Competition has helped us to discover so many incredible artists over the years. It’s amazing to be able to offer this platform to some of the brightest talent out there, and 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 (their words) including your humble writer will help compile a longlist of 90 acts. This then will be whittled down to a shortlist of eight artistes by judges including Glastonbury’s Michael and Emily Eavis. To decide the outright winner, the last eight standing then do battle in April at the live finals held at Pilton Working Men’s Club, close to the Worthy Farm festival site.

2022 Winner Lewis McLaughlin

In addition to the winner appearing on a prestigious main stage, in previous years all finalists have been offered spots at the festival, although this is not a given. Many past winners and finalists have gone on to bigger things, including names like She Drew The Gun, Declan McKenna and Izzy Bizu.

To improve the chance of making the cut, any aspiring act could take note of these tips.

· Read the rules and entry form, filling it in carefully and choose the genre that is the closest fit for your music.

· Pick your strongest original song – you probably know it already but it’s also worth asking someone you know and trust for a second opinion.

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

· Don’t submit an inferior live version of the same song as your video entry. In fact, don’t repeat the same song whatever. Choose a different live song – an original or a cover – that showcases your ability in terms of vocals, instrumentation and/or arrangement.

· Your video must be a fully 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.

· Make sure your YouTube page is up to date and reflects your wider repertoire in the best possible light. It’s worth ensuring that your social media links are also current and joined up.

Here is a reminder of the song that took the gifted young Scottish singer-songwriter Lewis McLaughlin to Glastonbury in 2022. He has since seen his star continue to rise with a series of acclaimed TV, radio and live performances.


FIFTY3 champions

outstanding new music

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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:

Fri 7 Jun: Alexandra Leaving/Frankie Morrow, The Waiting Room, London N16

Sat 8 Jun: Bat For Lashes, St John's Church, Kingston

Sun 9 Jun: Blanid, The Black Heart, London NW1

Mon 17 Jun: The Mysterines, St John's Church, Kingston

Thu 20 Jun: Charm of Finches, The Lexington, London N1 See the Events page for all live shows in Kingston


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