O2 has launched O2 Undiscovered, a national search that will unearth new music talent. O2 Undiscovered is supported by some of the music industry’s leading figures and included on the panel are: – music impresario Vince Power, Leading Music Critic Lisa Verrico, Music Week publisher Ajax Scott, Polydor’s Head of A&R Simon Gavin, XFM’s Drivetime DJ Lucio, former guitarist with Elastica Paul Jones and Matt Cockett, Head of Music at O2.   O2 Undiscovered is not aimed to make the winners instantly famous but will identify, support, nurture and develop their creativity and emerging musical talent through a bursary and assistance from all the panel members.   The bursary will include workshop sessions with members of the industry panel as well as studio and producer time to record a track, digital release of the track, an opportunity to perform at the O2 Wireless festival in June 2006 and the chance to perform live to the influential industry panel as well as promotion through O2 Active to O2’s 16 million customer base.   As part of this national campaign, O2 will be hosting A & R surgeries in association with Polydor in their London, Glasgow and Manchester stores where artists can get consultations on their demo’s and tips for entry from industry experts.   Russ Shaw, Marketing Director for O2 UK said: “O2 has demonstrated a commitment to music at all levels in the past three years, from major sponsorships such as the O2 Wireless Festival to bespoke and innovative services such as a tie-up with up and coming band The Upper Room. O2 Undiscovered aims to identify, support, nurture and develop musical talent and ensure that grassroots music has the opportunity to be heard by the public, by simply inviting people to drop their demo tape into an O2 store or upload their music onto the O2 website. In return, O2 will offer the talent the benefit of a potential audience of 16m O2 customers who could become their most ardent supporters throughout the development of their career”.   Polydor’s Head of A&R Simon Gavin said: “The televised talent searches we’ve seen in recent years will have been off-putting for a lot of people, especially bands.  O2 Undiscovered is an exciting new way of getting your music heard by people who can influence your career. I’m looking forward to working with the panel and O2 on this ground-breaking venture.”   How to enter: From 8th March 2006, entrants will have 4 weeks to submit their demos either by: 1.  Dropping two tracks on tape of CD into specially selected O2 stores[1] or 2.  Applying online via an online application form by uploading two tracks as one MP3 file via the O2 website www.o2.co.uk/undiscovered   The Panel will then choose their favourite demos and the short listed 10 finalists will be invited to London to battle it out for the bursary.   All members of the public will be able to vote to help rate the acts as well as having the opportunity to listen to the new tracks and shortlists of the bands by signing up for O2 Undiscovered alerts via the O2 website. O2 customers can also access this information via O2 Active.

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