This article was published in 2013.
Back in April, Martin House Children's Hospice held their fourth, annual Centre Stage Heats at The Wardrobe, Leeds. Over a thousand people came down to support almost thirty local, young bands and artists who battled it out to earn themselves a place at this month's Final, where they will compete for a place on the bill at both the Leeds and Reading Festivals this August.
The Final is now looming and very eagerly anticipated, and is set to take place on Wednesday 17th July 2013 at O2 Academy, Leeds. The event will see their most diverse range of contenders to date, and will be judged by a high profile panel, including Jon McIldowie (booker for Leeds and Reading), Mike Heaton (Embrace) and Colin Oliver (Futuresound).
The evening will be hosted by BBC Introducing's Alan Raw, who will also be introducing the winners when they take to the stage at the Leeds Festival.
The lucky finalists are: Icarus, Roman Bison, The Puppeteers, Yo Preston, Pony and Trap, Headwire, Jacobean Ruff, King No-One, The Amazing Scuba Divers, The Imports and Quentins Basement.
All finalists are fine examples of young people utterly dedicated to performing music that they are so passionate about. Glassbody (2012's winners) and The Mexanines (2011's winners) will also be performing as special guests.
Since securing their places as finalists, the bands have been taking this opportunity very seriously - upping their rehearsal times, writing new material and getting lots of gigging practice. Not to mention continuing to fundraise and help raise the profile of the competition. As preparation for the final, Martin House organised professional mentor sessions at Old Chapel Studios, to answer any last minute questions and to deliver some constructive advice for their big performance.
Last year's final saw over 1,300 music fans support the bands and Martin House and this year looks set to attract an even bigger crowd.
Tickets available now for £6.50. People are also welcome to pay on the door, which open at 6pm.