In 2012 the Surface Festival is back and bigger than ever: we are organising over 500 shows across 14 cities in the UK and Europe. Shows will take place in London, Bristol, Cardiff, Swansea, Birmingham, Nottingham, Oxford, Manchester, Liverpool, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Barcelona, Seville and Berlin.
The climax of the Festival will culminate with 32 bands playing the IndigO2 at the O2 Complex – a venue which has seen acts such as Jools Holland, Timbaland, Joss Stone and Estelle to name a few. Leon Van Den Broecke, U.K. manager, explains “Surface gives bands the chance to play the type of venues that most bands only dream of when they’ve ‘made it’ – add to the expertise Surface offers in terms of lighting and sound management, PR and exposure and you’re looking at an opportunity and experience that’s too good to miss”.
The main focus of a band should be live performance. The sweaty, loud and beer saturated venues across Britain are where bands are born and it’s this aspect that the Surface Festival is focused on keeping alive. Other venues Surface will be using include the O2 Academy Main stage in Birmingham and Bristol, the Dome in London, the Manchester Academy and Oxford Academy. Nights are set out by genre providing opportunities for bands and artists to gain exposure from new audiences, sell merchandise, promote networking opportunities and attract new fans. For a list of testimonials from bands that have played the Surface Festival check the website.
The Surface Festival works in association with 24 international sponsors that cover all bases for a band. “Marshall Amplification are extremely excited to be working with the Surface Festival for 2012. This event is truly inspiring for all involved” – Marshall Amplification. For a further list of sponsors see the website.
With a prize pot of £100,000 including a slot at Sziget Festival 2012, Monkey Week and a U.K. and European tour bands and artists get the opportunity to progress further in the music industry. “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 full run down of the 2012 prizes please see the website.
Surface Festival takes bands at grass roots level and brings them through a journey culminating in an industry showcase. The quality of the sponsors, judges and management lends colossal credibility to this event and should be a breath of fresh air to all bands and artists in the UK. In an uncertain time, where longevity and sustainability is rare in today’s music industry the Surface Festival can be exemplified as a solid force for good, offering some amazing opportunities to bands. Working together with key industry bodies and organizations is paramount to developing a model that is fair for everyone – the promoters, the venues, the fans and most importantly the bands taking part and the experience and value they get from playing the live shows.
“Surface has been an awesome experience for us as a band, it’s pushed us as performers but has also helped developed the business side of the band. The best thing about Surface is it’s an honest process, it doesn’t claim to turn you into rock stars overnight or at all, instead it gives you the confidence, the experience and ultimately to the winners the tools to make a success of the band yourselves. We’ve enjoyed every second of the competition, developed good relationships with other bands and people within the industry and we hope now we can keep that going. We would recommend Surface to any band out there: realistically we would have never had the chance to play such iconic venues as Cardiff’s Coal Exchange or the IndigO2, through this we have and we can’t thank everyone that has supported us enough, especially the fans who have voted and the Surface Festival crew.” Blackwaters.
For more info and to sign up see the website.