Chance to star at Leeds Fest

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Young musicians from around the Yorkshire region can compete to play at Leeds and Reading Festival next year as Martin House Hospice Care for Children and Young People launches its Centre Stage competition.

Now in its tenth year, Centre Stage gives bands and solo artists the chance to win a slot playing at both Leeds and Reading, while they are also challenged to raise money for Martin House.

The most prestigious music competition in Yorkshire, Centre Stage has been backed by bands from across the region, including Embrace, The Cribs, Pigeon Detectives and Pulled Apart by Horses, as well as raising more than £225,000 for Boston Spa-based Martin House.

This year Martin House ambassador and Embrace drummer Mike Heaton will be among the judges, along with Shed Seven singer Rick Witter.

Sarah Smith, Centre Stage organiser at Martin House, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for the many talented young musicians across Yorkshire to win a chance to play in front of thousands of people at one of the country’s biggest music festivals.

“It’s also an opportunity for young people to help other young people who have complex and life-limiting conditions by raising money for Martin House.”

Martin House cares for children and young people with life-limiting conditions – and their families – from across West, North and East Yorkshire. As well as providing care in its hospice, in hospitals and in their own homes, Martin House provides bereavement support to families.

Bands and solo artists must be aged 22 or under to enter the competition, with past competitors as young as 13 making the final in previous years. All entrants are asked to raise a minimum of £400 for Martin House.

Heats take place at Belgrave Music Hall and Canteen in Leeds next April, with finalists having a professional mentoring day before going on to play at the O2 Academy in Leeds in July, where the winners will be chosen by a panel of music industry experts.

Sarah added: “We would like to thank Festival Republic for its continued support, which allows us to offer this unique prize.”

Registration is open now. For more information, terms and conditions and to register go to: www.martinhouse.org.uk/Centre-Stage