About Centre Stage
The premise of the Centre Stage competition is to give young, local bands and soloists a fantastic platform and exposure whilst raising vital funds for Martin House Children’s Hospice.
In 2009 we identified that we really needed to connect on a higher level with local teenagers and young adults; both to engage them in fundraising and raise awareness about our vital role within their community.
So, we asked a secondary school assembly what theme of fundraising would profoundly motivate them:
“Music. No brainer. We love it, make it, listen to it…!”
With this food for thought we felt we should act on this advice to engage a new generation of support. A brainstorm led to the idea of a fundraising battle of the bands style competition…. but securing a highly desirable prize seemed essential if it was to triumph!
With the Leeds Festival taking place just a couple of fields away, the wonderful Festival Republic confirmed that our winners could perform at both LEEDS AND READING!!!!!!
With such an amazing prize, we knew we had to make this as prestigious an event as possible. We approached various high profile, local people in the music industry and soon had a strong committee and some high profile endorsees.
We have the unprecedented support of local bands Embrace, The Pigeon Detectives, The Cribs and Pulled Apart by Horses.
170 acts later, a collective crowd of over 10,000, 70 bands performing at O2 Academy, Leeds, 6 performing at Leeds/Reading, charity auctions, the support of the biggest music industry names in Yorkshire, plentiful press….. and £200,000 so far raised!
Initially, we opened the competition to entries from secondary schools and colleges in West Yorkshire. The last six years have seen us evolve the competition to address demand and inclusivity and we now accept entries from all of Yorkshire and indeed encourage registration from bands and soloists, exclusive of school or college support.
The format of the competition has remained the same: 3 nights of heats/ professional mentoring/ the final/ winners play Leeds/Reading. Centre Stage is democratically judged by industry professionals and we have enjoyed residencies in iconic, local venues: O2 Academy, Leeds, The Belgrave Music Hall, The Wardrobe, The Irish Centre and Batley Frontier.
Young people helping young people
Centre Stage Winners:
2010: - Penguin
2011 –- The Mexanines
2012 –- Glassbody
2013 -– King No-One
2014 –- Polo
2015 –- The MallRats