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Big Gig Returns to Cardiff

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This year music has been placed at the heart of the City’s Development with the announcement of the Cardiff music strategy and the Council’s commitment to help secure the future of live music in Womanby Street. We are therefore pleased to announce the return of the city’s most credible music talent competition The Big Gig. Back for a seventh year this spring 2018, it looks set to be an even bigger hit for the Welsh talent search.

Cardiff is working with global leaders of the Music Cities movement, Sound Diplomacy, on the development of a new music strategy which will protect Cardiff’s music scene and boost the city’s international profile. Music is now at the heart of Cardiff’s future, as the capital has officially been declared a ‘Music City’, encouraging the production of new music and creating the conditions to support new talent being high on the agenda. Entrants to The Big Gig have an opportunity perform when all eyes are on Cardiff.

Bands who are shortlisted will get the opportunity to perform in front of well-respected music industry professionals at two semi-finals before the final held at the legendary Clwb Ifor Bach on Thursday 5th April, giving musicians the chance to showcase their music in the heart of the capital city at an iconic venue in the legendry Womanby Street, now a designated area of cultural significance.

Cabinet Member for Culture and Leisure, Councillor Peter Bradbury, said;

“Cardiff being named a Music City along with the Cabinet’s commitment to develop live music throughout the city, ties in perfectly with the return of The Big Gig 2018. Previously hailed as one of South Wales’ most credible talent searches we have assisted in discovering some fantastic new artists in the past who have gone on to forge successful careers in the music industry.

“Cardiff is such a creative city already with a huge pool of growing talent, I am thrilled to welcome back this firm favourite on the city’s calendar of events, in what is set to be an exciting new chapter for music in the Welsh Capital.”

The overall winner will receive a prize package designed to help them further their career in the music industry. This includes recording and rehearsal time at Music Box Studios, working with REM producer Charlie Francis, an interview and coverage with Media Wales, plus kit from PMT as well as other prizes to be announced.

The competition is open to all artists aged 16 and over from across South Wales; applications will be open from Monday 12th February 2018 and close at 5pm on Friday 2nd March 2018.  New for 2018, semi-finals will be held at different venues to encourage entrants from a diverse genres and backgrounds.

The 12 shortlisted acts will go on to compete in two semi-finals held on Wednesday 14th March at Fuel Rock Club on Womanby Street and Saturday 17th March at Cathays Community Centre.

Over the last six years hundreds of artists have entered the competition which has helped to launch the careers of many popular South Wales’ acts including The Moonbirds in 2017, Maddie Jones in 2013 and Rusty Shackle in 2012, as well as finalists such as The Himalayas, and Ofelia. The competition is widely recognised as being an important stepping-stone for young bands to gain following and wider attention in the industry.

Many other acts who have taken part in The Big Gig have gone on to appear at Sŵn Festival, Glastonbury and Cardiff Council’s main events programme. They have also been recognised regularly in the South Wales Echo’s top 40 new bands lists.

Judges in the past years have included South Wales Echo music critic Dave Owens, former Coldplay Manger Estelle Wilkinson, director of Swn Festival John Rostron and Andrew Shay formerly of Kids in Glass houses. Cardiff Council’s Events Development Manager Heather Brown has also been on the panel and is responsible Cardiff Council events bookings, giving many entrants paid gigs at prestigious events as a direct result of their Big Gig Application. This year’s judges will be announced soon.

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