The One competition for young musicians in Mid Sussex has received more than twice the number of entries compared to last year.
Thirty two bands and singers have entered and will compete in the first stage heats on Friday and Saturday at Martlets Hall in Burgess Hill.
Not only have the number of entries more than doubled, but the regional spread has widened with every part of Mid Sussex represented, say the organisers.
The competition is looking fierce and last year’s winners, Metal Chickens, are back to defend their title.
The judging panel includes:
• Julie Hall – Burgess Hill based singer/songwriter who trained in violin and voice at the Royal Northern College of Music.
• Hereward Kaye – former member of The Flying Pickets and owner of the Haywards Heath-based Rok Skool
• Paul Williams – Programme Controller and presenter on Bright FM
• Rebecca Dowden – chair of the Mid Sussex Competitive Music Festival who trained at the Royal Academy of Music.
The judges will be joined at the final by Tim French MBE who has over 20 years’ experience promoting events in Mid Sussex and Rosie Langhorn (ex Legs and Co & Guys and Dolls) who will present the event.
The bands and singers will perform one number each at the first stage and the finalists will be announced on Sunday (March 2).
They will go on to compete on tFriday March 14 athe Martlets Hall in front of the judges and audience, who each have 50 per cent of the votes.
The prize winners in each category will have the chance to record an eight-track studio album and be invited to perform at three local live gigs including a showcase at The Haunt in Brighton and supporting Motown Band, No Town Like Motown, in Burgess Hill.
Robert Eggleston, co-promoter of The One said: “I’m absolutely delighted to have so many young musicians taking part this year and am looking forward to the first stage heats.
“Last year’s inaugural event was well received and the Metal Chickens set the bar very high: there is a lot of young musical talent in Mid Sussex and we’re all in for a treat.”
It is free to attend the first stage heats on Friday February 28 and Saturday March 1.
Tickets for The One final on Friday March 14 cost £4 (£3 concessions) and are available now online at www.freedom-leisure.co.uk, by calling 01444 242888 or directly at the Martlets’ box office.