Tune up, tune in - CalMac Culture's search for new music talent launches for 2015
Two rising music stars were discovered last year when the UK's largest ferry network operator launched the CalMac Culture Music competition.
Such was the success of this inaugural contest, Caledonian MacBrayne has made the decision to not only repeat it, but, in consultation with Scotland's top festival organisers, to expand the range of available prizes.
Last year, the eight competition finalists battled it out at King Tut's in Glasgow for two gig slots at island festivals, with Sophie Rogers and Leanne Smith winning through in the end to appear at Stornoway's HebCelt and Tiree Music Festival respectively.
This year's competition, which sees the slots available rise from two to three, launches today (Friday February 20) and also brings with it the inclusion of bands for the first time. And CalMac is excited to announce the addition of Best of the West Festival, which takes place at Inveraray. King Tut's will once again provide the venue for what will be a memorable gig night for the selected finalists, who will compete in front of a packed audience and the judges panel - made up of the organisers of these three great festivals and King Tut's manager Craig Johnston.
So, for all those original singer song writers out there, could this be your year to burst onto the music scene?
If you think you or your band have what it takes to impress both the judges and a festival crowd, you have until Sunday March 8 to give it your best shot.
"Last year's competition was totally new for us and it created a fantastic buzz," said Cathy Craig, CalMac's Commercial Director. "We were incredibly impressed with the quality of the entries, as were King Tut's and our festival partners. There's such talent out there and we are proud to play our part in not only helping that talent to find a louder voice at one of Scotland's top gig venues in Glasgow for the finals, but then, for the winners, on the stages of two major festivals.
"I know our CalMac Culture Music team can't wait to hear this year's entries and I'm sure they won't be disappointed - I wouldn't want to be in the judges' shoes if last year is anything to go by; they had some really difficult decisions to make. Last year alone, Caledonian MacBrayne helped support 100 events around Scotland's west coast, a community commitment which is very important to us; our CalMac Culture competition helped us to introduce a new audience - both young and older - to the islands and what the thriving cultural scenes there have to offer."
To enter, all you need to do is create a video of you or the band performing your own original composition and post it to YouTube using #CalMacCulture and using the words CalMac Culture Music entry within the title. Check out www.calmac.co.uk/culture for full details on how to enter, prizes and terms and conditions. And don't forget to keep in touch with the competition and latest developments on social media by searching CalMac Culture on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
The competition is open to anyone over the age of 18 - see Ts&Cs for restrictions - and is free to enter.
Last year's winners - Sophie (left) and Leanne - after their success at the finals
Notes to editors:
1) Further information about CalMac is available at www.calmac.co.uk
2) Caledonian MacBrayne and CalMac are trading names of CalMac Ferries Ltd (CFL). These names are used under licence from Caledonian Maritime Assets Limited (CMAL). The lion rampant device is used by CFL with the permission of CMAL.