Herefordshire boutique festival ‘Lakefest’ Presents ‘Amped’: 

‘If the BBC can’t/won’t support emerging musical artists, I figured that someone should, and thankfully, Lee Martin at Lakefest agreed with me’.

Iain Robertson. Amped 

It is a digital age. Never been easier to make music. Never been easier to release it. But at the same time, it’s never been harder to have that music listened to. To be heard. A reality which is squeezing the life out of one of Britain’s most bankable exports. Great Rock & Roll. As BBC Introducing threatens to implode, the dice are further loaded against fresh talent, and the playing field gets a whole lot less ‘level’. 

In a small corner of Herefordshire, under the shadow of Eastnor Castle, ‘Lakefest’ ( ) is going to try and even up the odds.

With ‘Amped’. A national talent search, scanning the horizon and creating opportunity. The opportunity to be heard. To be seen. And to be paid.

Iain Robertson again: 

As the manager of an emerging artist, I asked Lee Martin to underwrite my vision: The building of a stage at his festival – exclusively for performers trying to break through – and then I asked him to underwrite a first prize of £5,000 aligned to an evening slot on the main stage. Not the usual 1100 am opener: where a winner plays to 23 people…doesn’t matter how big the event, Reading, Glastonbury, wherever – At 1100 am, most festival goers are still under canvas, or whatever it is they make modern tents out of. The man from Lakefest said yes…and ‘Amped’ was born’.

Launched mid February, on the talkSPORT weekend breakfast show, hosted by Johnny Owens, and Mark Webster; ‘Amped’ attracted digital submissions from more than 500 bands: which is where the competition finds itself now; and which is where it gets interesting. 500 will be whittled to 50, by a team of judges led by Iain, and the emerging artist he manages, Alex Lipinski. ( ). Alex understands exactly what is at stake for these competition entrants: he’s walking in their shoes; while Iain has some pretty serious pedigree in live music – leaving The Parachute Regiment in the late 80’s for a life in close protection, and then tour management. He has worked with a long list of truly extraordinary talent: From Spandau Ballet, to Oasis. The eclectic list includes Johnny Rotten, George Harrison, BB King, The Sisters of Mercy, Sigue Sigue Sputnik and John Lee Hooker. The 50 shortlisted, will be invited to submit a live performance video short: from which three semi-final heats, featuring seven artists each, will take place up and down the country – this is a NATIONAL talent search, after all. 

At iconic music venues: The Cavern, in Liverpool. The Exchange, in Bristol, and Water Rats, in London.

7 bands will be called forward for the Amped final, as the highlight of Cheltenham’s Summer Jam: July 22nd. And from these 7 a winner will be chosen…that winner will receive a £5,000 payday, and a position on the Lakefest mainstage, alongside Gaz Coombes, and Johnny Marr. 

However, for each of the qualifying semi-finalists the journey doesn’t end there, and they will all be offered a paid slot on the ‘Amped’ stage, across the Lakefest weekend of August 10th to August 13th.

Lakefest is proud to present ‘Amped’.

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