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Emerging Musicians Wanted for Festival Launchpad
22 Feb 2023

Shrewsbury Folk Festival has kicked off a search to find the folk stars of the future who want to showcase their music and reach new audiences at this year’s event (August 25th-28th).

Shrewsbury Folk Festival is appealing for bands, duos or solo artists to pitch for one of the three places available on The Launchpad, which showcases emerging talent on the festival’s Village Stage. 

The Launchpad, which is sponsored by Midlands What’s On, has helped launch a raft of musical careers over the years, including some top British folk artists.

Each of the successful candidates is invited to perform two 30-minute sets during the weekend at this year’s event at the West Mid Showground over August Bank Holiday.

The festival’s artistic director Sandra Surtees said previous bands that have appeared on The Launchpad have gone on to win BBC Folk Awards, play UK and international festivals and secure an agent.

She added: “Every year we are astounded at the wealth of talent that we uncover for The Launchpad. One of our first ever Launchpad artists was The Trials of Cato, which won Best Album at the BBC Folk Awards in 2019 and have since played on our main stage.

“For many young musicians, appearing on The Launchpad will be the first time they’ve had the opportunity to take part in a major festival like ours. It’s good experience and the chance to reach a new audience. We’re inviting applications from bands, duos or solo artists in the folk, roots or acoustic genre who’d like this opportunity.”

Bonnie Schwarz from duo Good Habits that played on The Launchpad last year said: “Performing at Shrewsbury Folk Festival was such a joyful experience and we were thrilled to have such an attentive crowd at the Village Stage. A lovely opportunity that we’re very grateful for!”

Davina Evans, Managing Director of What’s On, said this was an invaluable opportunity for musicians.

“Shrewsbury Folk Festival is one of the top events of its kind and the opportunity to play there is a great step for young musicians looking to make a name for themselves and get some festival experience

“At What’s On, we know there is a wealth of talent out there from across the region and we’re delighted to be supporting The Launchpad again.”

To apply for one of the available places, performers must be available to attend the festival between Friday August 25th to 28th. Artists must be aged over 16 with 16 to 18-year-olds requiring parental permission. There is no upper age limit. In return, Launchpad musicians will receive a free artist and guest ticket, on-site camping and artist hospitality.

To apply, send a short biography (including location and ages), links to performances (Soundcloud, YouTube etc) and your contact details to jo@shrewsburyfolkfestival.co.uk before May 26. Only the selected performers will be contacted.

This year’s festival headliners include Billy Bragg, Oysterband, Breabach, Jiggy and many more. Weekend and day tickets can be booked through www.shrewsburyfolkfestival.co.uk