Bands bid for Larmer slot

Salisbury Journal: the Neville Staple Band perform at the Larmer Tree warm-up event last week the Neville Staple Band perform at the Larmer Tree warm-up event last week

UNSIGNED musicians are being given the chance to perform live at this year’s Larmer Tree Festival as organisers of the summer shindig launch the Breakthrough Music Awards.

For four weeks only, emerging singer/songwriters and bands can submit their sounds online at to win the opportunity of playing alongside Squeeze, the Heavy and the Selector at the festival.

Organiser Julia Safe said: “The competition is a great chance for musicians to perform this year. The best will be shortlisted, with a live final at 60 Million Postcards in Bournemouth on April 26.

“Everyone is looking for a new star and it is nice to book bands to perform at the right time, when they have either just broken through or break through just after the festival. It’s just luck and it doesn’t always happen but we love it when it does.”

Last year’s winners, Dorset folk duo Ninebarrow will be coming back to the festival at the Larmer Tree Gardens near Tollard Royal, which is held in July.

Headlining will be megastar Tom Jones.

Festival founder J a m e s Shepard said: “It will be a spectacular show. He is a real legend.

“I started the festival wanting create the best party ever and this is how I still see it.

Hearing the opening act hit the first note is my favourite part.”

The five-day festival will see 100 acts perform on six stages, alongside a comedy club, Mark Kermode’s Film Club, theatre, a variety of workshops and a range of children’s entertainment.

Ms Safe said: “We have an exciting new building in the gardens, which becomes a theatre and cinema for the duration. We also have Telecommunications, where old-fashioned telephones will be placed at about ten different locations across the site.

Ms Safe added: “People will be able to just pick up the phone and ring someone.

It will be a great way of making new friendships.”

Day tickets for the opening night with Tom Jones have already sold out, but five or seven-day festival tickets are still available.

For full details, and to enter the Breakthrough Music Awards go to


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