Final of busking competition to highlight city’s street music talent
Sound on The Streets 2015 is a busking competition launched by Leeds Beckett University and homeless charity Simon on the Streets to raise funds and awareness of the charity, which supports rough sleepers in West Yorkshire.
The competition has been judged by Leeds Beckett University Music Performance and Music Production students and staff, with the grand final taking place on Wednesday 9 December from 6.30pm at popular city music venue, the Brudenell Social Club.
Sound of the Streets 2015 has also been sponsored by Leeds Business School with marketing and advertising students involved with the organisation and promotion of the event.
The competition began with daily heats held in Trinity Kitchen in October, before shortlisted acts then performed in a live semi-final event on Light Night on 9 October. Over 20 street musicians entered the competition with only four making it through to the final – Lucas Watt, Caitlin Stubbs, Ronnie Maurice and Edgar Duke.
Following the final of the competition at the Brudenell, Leeds alt-indie band and former Leeds Beckett students, NARCS, will be performing alongside current Leeds Beckett student bands New Bays and four piece psyche-rock band TUSK.
Carl Flattery, Principal Lecturer in Music at Leeds Beckett, added: “This has been a fantastic competition for young local performers, and to raise awareness and funds for such a great charity. The quality has been very impressive and we are so pleased that the School of Film, Music and Performing Arts has been able to support this project with judges, performers and sound engineers. It is going to be an exciting final.”
Final year Music Production and Performance student and Sounds of the Street finalist Ronnie Maurice said: “I’m really looking forward to performing in the final at the Brudenell as there’s nothing quite like performing in front of a live audience and feeding off an audience’s energy. The competition has been great to be involved in from the heats all the way through to the final and raise awareness of Simon on the Streets and their work with vulnerable people here in Yorkshire.
“I’ve had a passion for music from a young age and relished the opportunity to develop my own sound. I would like to be able to carry on performing and look for ways to continue writing and playing music as a career. The atmosphere has been really friendly throughout this competition and I can’t wait to perform alongside all the other talented finalists.”
Neil Kelley, Course Leader for BA (Hons) Marketing and BA (Hons) Marketing and Advertising Management added: "Working with Simon on the Streets and this particular event has been a fantastic opportunity to expose our marketing and advertising students to the requirements of working within a marketing role and the management and support required to plan and implement a large regional event. It has been a great experience for all involved, and the hard work of one particular final year student, Mark Falco, has helped ensure that this ongoing competition has been a huge success. His volunteering and commitment over the summer months, as well as around the heats and finals, is something that the Business School can be proud of."
Simon on the Streets sole aim is to help and support as many people as possible who sit in the margins of society, suffering from a range of emotional and practical issues, such as social exclusion, mental illness, addictions and poverty. As a direct result of these needs going unsupported, they are often sleeping rough or at risk of doing so, with many being homeless and rootless.
The charity’s focus is on this small group of people who get no support from mainstream funded service provision because they are not able to engage with funded services in the way that they are constructed. Through regular contact with their service users and the intensive support programmes on offer, volunteers and support workers can start to build up relationships and establish trust with their clients, working with them for as long as it takes to make progress.