Centre Stage is an open band competition held every year, showcasing emerging artists vying for the opportunity to perform live on the BBC Introducing and BBC Main Stages at Leeds & Reading Festivals. Artists compete in local heats, with the finalists playing to a capacity crowd on the main stage of The 02 Academy venue, Leeds. Competing artists register by raising funds for Martin House Children’s Hospice.
The judging panel which is often compiled of successful musicians and respected contributors to the music scene have the difficult task to select the outright winner based on originality, performance on the night and throughout the heats, and audience voting – from a diverse but equally talented selection of entrants.
Aside the outright winners, runners-up are given mentoring sessions and the opportunities of studio and recording time to help harness and bolster their presence on the music scene. Recent Centre Stage winners have included indie-punk band Faux Pas, alt-rockers Avenoir, and the art-rock of Tranqualite.