New Sponsors

Surface Festival is back for a new season in 2013 with some brand new sponsors on-board as well two new cities – Madrid (Spain) and Cape Town (South Africa). New sponsors include:

ConfliktArts

ConfliktArts’s staff are experts in the music business, both technically (sound engineers) and musically (artists), as well as in fields like artistic development (former label manager) and the visual arts (graphic designers). Offices are in Rennes, Paris, London and Barcelona. Their services are available via our online store in the following sections:

• CD/DVD replication
• Vinyl pressing
• recording, mixing, mastering
• printing (flyers, posters, stickers…)
• merchandising (tee shirts, textiles, advertising items…)
• graphic design (logo design, cd sleeve design…)
• digital distribution (via Zimbalam)
• routing (storage – shipping posters and flyers to different venues…)
• Ticketing system (via Moxity)
& many more…

Bandwagon

BandWagon is the UK’s fastest growing live music business platform in the world, bringing together live music promoters with bands, DJs and solo artists to create and book gigs and shows. Adopting a freemium model, BandWagon co-operates with live music promoters and venues by simplifying the gig booking and event management process. Promoters create and manage multiple events. Bands and solo artists apply for/play various gig opportunities in their local area and further afield. With 3,700 artists and 550 music promoters on board our easy-to-use platform, BandWagon has since its inception in 2012 created more than 2,000 opportunities for artists, resulting in over 1,500 deals.

The Music Production Show

The UK’s only show dedicated to recording music. Whether its hardware or software, The Music Production Show has it all. Alongside the exhibition floor run two, free to attend seminar halls. Featuring a mix of industry pro with tips and tricks and manufacturers explaining how to get the most out of their gear. The Music Production Show is held every November at the home of Arsenal FC, the Emirates Stadium.

The Great British Guitar Show

The UK’s biggest guitar show. Visitors can get face to face with some of the most iconic brands in music. The live stage features performances all day long, plus you get to meet the odd famous face signing on one of the many stands at the show.

Audio Rokit

Are You Ready to be Discovered? Audio Rokit have 6,000 musician members who have access to hundreds of industry gatekeepers, including PR, A&R, managers, publishers, radio and song placements. If your music is professional, you should be a part of that circle and get discovered right now! Yes, it’s very easy to submit music to top industry gatekeepers. There is a free plan which allows one submission per month. If you are serious about your music you should join on a paid plan, starting at just £6.99/month. No “pay per pitch” fees and no contracts. Save 15% Reach top industry gatekeepers for even less. Get a 15% discount on any new membership! Sign up today and enter the following promo code: ar0113

Ents 24

Get your gigs listed on the UK’s largest online guide to live entertainment! With over 2 million monthly readers – Ents24.com is the principal source for all live music listings. Over 150,000 bands already list their gigs on Ents24, so let us help get your events noticed! With Ents24 Backstage you can control your listings and profile with many easy to use functions whilst getting bigger and better promotion for your events – all for FREE!

These functions include:

• Getting your events in front of Ents24′s 2 million unique monthly users – growing your popularity by finding new fans.
• Reach thousands of music fans by promoting your event on our weekly newsletters.
• Automatically update your Facebook page with any events you’ve added to Ents24 through your own Facebook app.

Ents24 send out free event alerts to your registered fans – over half a million people currently rely on our event alerts to keep them up to date.

Zildjian

The Avedis Zildjian company has been manufacturing some of the world’s finest quality cymbals since 1623. Originally founded in Constantinople, Turkey, it was a man named Avedis that found a secret process of blending, Copper, Tin and some trace elements of Silver to create an extremely musical Bronze alloy. From this alloy he made cymbals and was awarded the name Zildjian “Son of a Cymbal Smith “ by the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire “. This secret process of manufacturing musical cymbals was past down from generation to generation and today Zildjian creates cymbals for all musical genres and is played by many of the world’s greatest drummers. Zildjian is also renown as a quality Drumstick manufacturer, played by artists such as Dave Grohl, Taylor Hawkins and Ringo Starr to name but a few. Their latest venture is the release of Gen 16, a revolutionary new Electro Acoustic cymbal system, allowing you to play real cymbals with greatly reduced volume that is then digitally processed to allow you complete control of volume and tone shape. Ideal for use with electronic drumsets.

Michael Brydon – Photographer

Michael is a creative and dynamic photographer who specialises in music and theatre photography. Out on location, his photography has a vivid, reportage style, which captures all the energy, action and excitement of a live performance. In the studio, he combines his flare for lighting and composition with his ability to capture that “magic moment” to produce highly stylised, atmospheric images.

D’Addario & Company, Inc

D’Addario & Company, Inc. is the world’s largest manufacturer of musical instrument accessories marketed under seven proprietary brands: D’Addario strings; Evans drumheads; Pro-Mark drumsticks; PureSound; Rico reeds; and Planet Waves cables and accessories. A family-owned and operated business with more than 1,100 employees worldwide, the Company manufactures 93% of its products in the U.S. employing Toyota’s Lean manufacturing principles. D’Addario has a distribution network in 120 countries and serves more than 3,000 U.S. retailers, all major e-commerce sites, and more than 5,000 endorsing artists.

As well as our current sponsors:

Ashdown

Marshall

Tama

Ibanez

Univibe Audio

Ritter

Monkey Week

Sziget

Last FM

Access To Music

PMT

Zimbalam

To play Surface Festival please visit our website

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New areas: Surface Festival 2013/2014

Surface Festival will be back for a brand new season in 2013/2014 with two new cities on board – Madrid (Spain) and Cape Town (South Africa)!! These new areas will combine with London, Birmingham, Cardiff, Manchester, Glasgow and Barcelona to bring to the table the largest event Surface Festival has ever created. We are working with some fantastic new venues and amazing new sponsors, partners and judges that are relevant, diverse and that will bring substance and expertise to the table. We are now accepting applications from all musicians regardless of if they are DJ’s, solo singers, producers, live bands, rappers etc. The event will no longer be just about bands but about everyone that creates music and wants to perform it live on the best stages in the world in front of the music industry.  Further, the prizes and opportunities that are on offer will be expanded in line with the types of musicians that will be taking part in the event. At the International Showcase we will be offering more in terms of quantity and diversity and offer these prizes and opportunities to more of the bands and artists taking part. The point is that there will be no first prize as in previous years but the prizes and opportunities will be distributed more widely across a lot more musicians. Further, we will include industry workshops from sponsors, partners and industry in order that bands, artists and musicians can network directly, face to face. Another new major roll out for the Surface Festival 2013/2014 season will be the International Tour. Everyone involved in the event will have the opportunity to tour internationally and get their music out live to new audiences and, of course, have an amazing time along the way.

To get involved in Surface Festival 2013/2014 checkout our new website.

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Surface Festival 2013/2014

Surface Festival will be back for a brand new season in 2013 / 2014, but, with a BIG difference: we are now accepting applications from all musicians regardless of if they are DJ’s, solo singers, producers, live bands, rappers etc. The event will no longer be just about bands but about everyone that creates music and wants to perform it live on the best stages in the world in front of the music industry.  We are still working with all of our current partners but will have on board many new sponsors, partners and judges that are relevant, diverse and will bring substance and expertise to the table. Further, the prizes and opportunities that are on offer will be expanded in line with the types of musicians that will be taking part in the event. At the International Showcase we will be offering more in terms of quantity and diversity and offer these prizes and opportunities to more of the bands and artists taking part. The point is that there will be no first prize as in previous years but the prizes and opportunities will be distributed more widely across a lot more musicians. Further, we will include industry workshops from sponsors, partners and industry in order that bands, artists and musicians can network directly, face to face. Another new major roll out for the Surface Festival 2013/2014 season will be the European tour. Everyone involved in the event will have the opportunity to tour Europe and get their music out live to new audiences and, of course, have an amazing time along the way.To get involved in Surface Festival 2013 / 2014 checkout our new website.
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Surface Festival International Showcase Review 2012

Words by Alex Pattinson

To be invited to the climax of an event I’ve been following since April was possibly the biggest excitement in my life this year. Having seen seven of the acts already from the Southern showcase, I knew what to expect from them. However, I was now dealing with another host of acts from the North, Midlands, West country, Scotland, Wales and of course, Spain where Surface Festival is also a massive event for new music.

To say that the day was full of talent is certainly an understatement and with such a diverse line-up, the judges had their work cut out, in order to select the winner of a mass of prizes including guitar strings, drumsticks, photo shoots, recording sessions, tour dates and festival slots and marketing and distribution of a single, as well as other stuff that would ensure an amazing start to a music career. With 28 bands to get through, I felt it only right that I take it one step at a time.

Pop rock is a pretty broad term but there were a few bands that it best describes. Show-openers Dutch Cousin from Birmingham were one of them. Female fronted with atmospheric vocals, their tracks had a slight Caribbean slant and set the bar for the rest of the show. West country kids White Collar Boxing began as an edgier One Direction and ended as a band who are certainly unpolished but who have bags of creativity. Their closing stunt of the whole band drumming at the front of the stage made an impact on the entire room and that’s something that big rock stars have to be able to do.

Barcelona band Crows played melodic tones mixed with metallic guitars and classic Latino passion saw them sail through their pop rock set. Forerunner were another pop rock band, who completely wowed me. With insane guitar solos and plenty of synth-fuelled energy, they were one act who made me stop typing. Mesmerized by their creative and atmospheric makeshift plastic drums and Muse-esque vocals, they gave a very strong performance. Towards the end, the guitarist seemed overcome with passion as he laid the guitar flat on the stage and strummed fiercely.

Indie music is fast becoming an incredibly over-saturated market and stylish teens everywhere are trying their hardest to create some themselves. The first indie act of the night were Jungle Doctors from Teddington, who you have to be a certain kind of cool to get. Fresh-faced and very trendy, these boys play Kooks-esque rock with a relaxed Californian vibe. They were followed by Whitespace, an Oxford trio who also gave us an indie treat with a Brit-rock twist. Plenty of support from the crowd saw them perform their pop-punk vocals and upbeat catchy choruses perfectly and they left the stage knowing they’d done a good job.

Indie and pop-punk also made appearances in the performance of Except For Access, who churned out some catchy choruses and a slight Bon Jovi slant. Like a few other bands in the competition, they have the potential to rock a festival crowd, which is something that not many big stars are able to do. Rounding off the indie fusion were Black Islands all the way from Barcelona with vocals to rival Brandon Flowers and an all-round convincing American sound. With suspense-filled drums and soulful guitar solos, they showed London how they do classic indie in Spain.

Alternative band were in their element at Surface and in turn, there were plenty of them. Kicking off the trend were A41 from Ellesmere Port, who cleverly stated that they share their name with the road that runs from Merseyside to London and how honoured they were to have travelled it today. A dramatic opening with air raid sirens and gradual entrances from the band members gave us a bit more of a visual show than some other performers and the expectations were high from then on. With catchy songs and an awesome rock ballad in Sons & Daughters before taking a bow meant that A41 were one of my early favourites.

Northerners Escape Artist continued the alternative thread with Brit-pop vocals and stadium filling potential, as did Jasper in the Company of Others, who added a folk twist and as a result achieved a laid-back style (complete with a barefoot bassist!). They were followed by We Could Be Astronauts, whose frontman arrived in flares and waistcoat with massive hair. With bags of passion and energy, the York band emanated an Aerosmith sound, which resulted in quite a theatrical performance.

Talking of theatre, The Onironauts were also a delight. Claiming to be from the Moon and occasionally lapsing into a bizarre moon dialect, these four Europeans came with their own painted stage decorations and an astronaut with bubble machines. Of course, despite the gimmicks, their mix of jazz/folk/rock and drum n bass went down a treat.

Alternative bands kept coming in the form of Ever The Optimist, who ended with an impressive cover of Alex Clare’s Too Close and Seville band Credit Crunch whose frontwoman proved to be a vocal powerhouse. Glaswegians Black Velvet and All She Knows both put on great shows. The former were packed full of guitar instrumentals and passionate delivery while the latter championed the keytar and encouraged the audience to join them. Penultimate band The Concept also played some emotional, atmospheric rock to singing guitars and catchy melodies.

Amping things up a notch were metalheads Semitt Falls, Syren City and Tussk, who all went for the screams and growls. Stockport’s Semitt Falls mixed it up a bit by combining rap with metal, making for an interesting eclectic sound. Syren City brought their A7X sounding metal from Bristol along with fast guitars and Tussk made full use of the stage space, while providing complex and impressive riffs. Metal was a little thin on the ground but all three of them played incredibly well. Of course, this was the final and no one was going to be terrible.

Adding something a little different into the mix were Jam With RoBina, the only Welsh band in the competition. Their acoustic folk-rock and friendly attitude lent them a sunny vibe that carried them through their upbeat performance. Keeping up the quirky were The BeauBowBelles, who I’d seen in the semi final and regional. They performed their classical/jazz hits (also adding a bit of country to the set) to an audience who were thoroughly entertained by their expert storytelling.

Folk met trance with Devon band Audio Razor, who merged Caribbean flavours à la Jason Mraz with Faithless hooks. Upping the weird factor were D.Donnier and his Bones from Seville, who gave us an incredibly camp, flamboyant show. After tossing personalised condoms into the crowd (yes really), the band launched into funky riffs accompanied by the traditional Spanish maracas.

Tension built at the end of the night as the results were being counted.  Eventually, it was announced that in third place came Londoners Jerome and the Soulnotes, who gave us not just a set but a whole show. Complete with dancers, who I’m not sure were necessary but it was an entire production with Jerome’s soul leading the way. His voice is a modern version of that of the Motown legends and it’s backed by a sax and synth, giving it a myriad of flavours. Worthy third place!

Second prize went to indie band Dorey the Wise from Hastings. Their sunny tracks are all real crowd-pleasers and their cheerful disposition is so infectious. Catchy tracks such as True True (or Choo Choo) simply light up the arena and although they are an indie band, they’ve got a lot more pop to their sound than most indie bands and it’s awesome that they were credited for their originality.

So much suspense was created before the winner was announced and when it was revealed to be rappers Lee Willz and Trademark, the cannons fired out confetti and the bewildered, speechless winners ran onto the stage. They gave a high-energy and polished performance with a mixture of slow hip hop and reggae-infused urban tracks, all backed by a rock band. There’s no denying that they tick all the boxes for diversity and originality and I can only assume that’s what won it for them.

The judges on the day were Oxjam, Kerrang and Universal Music.

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International Showcase 2012

This weekend sees the return of the Surface Festival International Showcase at the O2 in London. The show will consist of 44 of the best up-and-coming bands from around the U.K. and Europe playing across two stages. The industry guestlist is well in excess of 100 people and many of our sponsors and affiliates will be at the show. For more information on the bands and artists performing as well as ticket information* please see our website.

*tickets for the show can only be bought online via ticketmaster – click here.
Doors open: 10:20am
The International Showcase is a 14+ event. 14-15 year olds must be accompanied by an adult.
You may need proof of age therefore make sure you bring a valid form of id. The International Showcase will be held on Saturday 29th September 2012 at The IndigO2, The O2 Arena, Peninsula Square, London, SE10 0DX.
Please arrive when doors open at 10:20am. For information on getting to the 02 please click here.

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Regional Showcases 2012

After literally hundreds of great nights of new, emerging, independent and unsigned music up and down the U.K. and Europe the Regional Showcases of Surface Festival 2012 are now just around the corner. These shows will be some of the best gigs of Surface Festival 2012 in the best venues across the U.K. and Europe.

U.K. Manager Leon Van Den Broecke explains: “The 2012 Festival has surpassed all expectations. Not only has the quality of bands been fantastic but their enthusiasm for the event is exceptional. Many of our sponsors, who have attended the shows, have also commented on this. We are really looking forward to the Regionals – for the bands this is a major achievement, they are entering a big stage in Surface Festival, they are one step away from playing the 02 in London. The International showcase at the O2 London will be our biggest and best show to date. There will be acoustic lounge performances, amazing unsigned mainstage appearances, guest headlining slots and a top-draw backline production including pyrotechnics, full in-house lighting and best of all – a capacity crowd!!”

At the Regional Showcases the remaining acts will battle it out to get the chance to play at the International Showcase at the 02 in London in front of a capacity crowd and our panel of music industry judges. With a prize pot of £100,000 including an all expenses paid slot at Sziget Festival, bands and artists get the opportunity to progress further in the music industry. Obey, the winning band from 2011 have just returned from playing Sziget Festival and they had this to say, “Playing the Sziget Festival was probably the best experience ever, an amazing place! The people were sound, weather was hot, beer was cold, there were tonnes of bars and most of all, the gig was awesome. When we got there we were given a backstage area, free food and beer, so that was a pretty good start. When we played the gig we had a great reception from the audience which had everyone from ravers to rockers and metal-heads and they all had a good jig to us, what more could a band from Stoke ask for? After the gig we all went out and made it one to remember!”

To play Surface Festival 2013 simply apply online on our website. We recommend getting your Surface Festival 2013 applications to us ASAP. This year was full and next year is already 60% full. “The prizes offered for the winning band and runners up are just fantastic and the experience all the bands gain from playing larger venues is priceless” – Alex Baker; Kerrang Radio Unsigned show. For a list of prizes visit www.surfacefestival.com/prizeList.html

For full details of the Regional Showcases take a look at our Gig Guide Section: www.surfacefestival.com/gigGuideAndResults.html

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Surface Festival Summer 2012

So, after an amazing 2 months of live music across Europe, stage 1 of Surface Festival is coming to an end. The event so far has exceeded everyones’ expectations and the feedback from bands, artists, venues and fans has been overwhelming. Everyone is now looking forward to a mind-blowing summer of sun and live music at the best venues that Europe has to offer courtesy of Surface Festival 2012.

2012 will see Surface Festival rolling out the first European tours involving bands handpicked by our area managers.Alongside these European tours we will be hosting over 500 shows across major cities in the UK and Europe. New areas will include Berlin, Huelva, Seville, Cádiz, Córdoba, Málaga, Jaén, Granada and Almería as well as Barcelona, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Manchester, Liverpool, Birmingham, Nottingham, Oxford, Swansea, Cardiff, Bristol and London. The International Showcase will take place at the internationally recognized 02 complex in London, at which the best bands of the Festival will play in front of an invited industry panel. This year the panel will consist of major music industry bods like Jon Brookes (The Charlatans) and Alex Baker (Kerrang Radio).

Alex Baker from the Kerrang Radio Unsigned Show, explains: “Surface Festival gives bands a genuine opportunity to get their music in front of people in the industry that can help further their careers. The prizes offered for the winning band and runners up are just fantastic and the experience all the bands gain from playing larger venues is priceless.”

Liquid Fuse describe the experience: “Surface Festival has been one of the best things that has happened to us so far – it’s given us the opportunity to play at venues we wouldn’t otherwise be able to play at right now, given us exposure to people in the industry, and helped us cross over with other bands and fans. It forces you to look critically at every part of your band (your music, your image, your performance, your promotion) and as you build momentum through the stages and play progressively bigger venues, you and your fans begin to feel a sense of collective achievement and pride that really fires everyone up. You’ll come out of it a better band than when you started.” For a full list of testimonials see:www.surfacefestival.com/testimonials.html

Jon Brookes from The Charlatans, who has been involved in the Festival from its beginnings, recently stated in his blog: “Surface continues to act like a giant music magnet finding exciting ground breaking new acts. It re-energizes the inner cities searching out new talent. The prizes and industry weight of the various associate sponsors shows the level at which this festival is now held in the industry.”

With amazing venues booked for 2012, including the O2 in London, globally world-renowned sponsors, and moreprizes than ever on offer, Surface Festival 2012 will be an amazing experience for everyone involved. For further info and to apply to Surface Festival see www.surfacefestival.com.

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