Bristol Folk Festival has relaunched its popular Isambard nationwide music award which will be jointly sponsored by Folk Radio UK and Songs from the Shed this year. The award will give one winner a high profile platform at the event this May – and much more!
Last year, organisers staged the inaugural contest to celebrate the first Bristol Folk Festival in 32 years with Welsh band Under the Driftwood Tree emerging as winners.
The 2012 Isambard Folk Award is a nod to Isambard Kingdom Brunel, the famous British engineer who designed the Bristol’s Clifton Suspension Bridge and SS Great Britain. The award is open to UK-based performers of any age, it will give the winner a chance to appear on the same bill as acts of the calibre of Show of Hands, Cara Dillon, Karine Polwart and Afro Celt Sound System, this year’s headliners.
Three of the hottest award-nominated young acoustic roots acts in England have also been added to the already vibrant line-up – Derbyshire singer songwriter Lucy Ward, the hugely popular alt-country band ahab and singer, guitarist and actor Blair Dunlop of the new Albion Band, see the full Line up here.
Says festival co-organiser Jan Ayers:
“Last year we had scores of diverse, high quality entries. We want to hear from both bands and solo artists – be they traditional folk, experimental or contemporary. Everyone is welcome.”
The judging panel will select four acts who will go head-to-head in a semi-final to be staged in March in Hall 2 of the Colston Hall.
The winner will get the chance to appear on the Colston Hall’s main stage during this year’s festival (May 5-7) as well as Somerfest – a one-day folk music and arts festival to be held at the stunning Halsway Manor on the edge of Somerset’s Quantock Hills (Saturday, April 7). Created by and for young people and focusing on all aspects of folk tradition, the line-up will include folk innovator Jim Moray, Dyer: Cummings, James Findlay and many more.
A bonus prize will give the winner the opportunity of having a session featured on with us, Folk Radio UK as well as a session with our good friend Songs from the Shed who have featured many a great session, some of which you can view at the end of this post.
To enter, artists need to email a link to performance footage of one song/tune on YouTube, MySpace, Facebook or any other social networking site.
Entries should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org giving the name of the band or artist, the footage link, a contact number and email and a brief description of the act. The closing date is March 1.
Says Paul Preager of co-organisers Bristol Music Trust:
“We are inviting entries from local artists as well as others from all over the country. It’s a big opportunity for emerging folk acts to play at two key festivals and significantly raise their profile.”
Songs from the Shed Session Highlights
Under the Driftwood Tree (last year’s winner)
Some Folk Radio UK Session Highlights
Gregory Alan Isakov