Our region is a prolific hub for music talent and we have decided that it was time to celebrate this in a way that will get more musicians known and heard and more people talking about it! The BLive Challenge is an exciting opportunity for musicians and music venues alike as it is aimed at promoting independent original music in the North East, from the North East… and for the North East!

Yes, we know… a lot of bands or acts, who want to be taken seriously, would cringe at the terms ‘Battle of the Bands’… but that is ultimately what we are organizing – a real life ass-kicking competition – there is no other way of looking at it! 10 heats in 7 locations across the North East in the bid to find the best new original act in the area. Anyone who writes and performs their own material will be able to enter. Five finalists per locations will be selected by a panel of industry experts which will then take to the stage and fight for their spot in the final taking place in Bonbar* – the newly refurbished bar set in one of the most iconic buildings in Newcastle, the Assembly Rooms.

The idea of a challenge that would provide musicians with an opportunity to show what they are capable of was an easy one to come up with, but we always wanted this concept to be about the music and for the musicians’ gain – hence why we have tailored the prize* to all those things a new band in the making can often only dream of! Well, They say that when it comes to competing it is not the winning but the taking part that counts… not here! The prize is too good not to fight tooth and nail to get one’s hands on it!

The winner will receive all of the following:

– Interview with a regional magazine;

– A day in a studio to record a song of your choosing;

– A video for said song;

– A mini tour across the venues that have taken part in the competition;

– A new logo professionally designed, stationary and a fully functioning website;

– A professional photoshoot

– And last but certainly NOT least…. A spot to perform at a local festival!

If you are looking for an opportunity to stand out of the crowd and get your music noticed – and heard! – this is the one challenge you cannot bypass!

More details will be revealed very soon. In the meantime, like our Facebook page TheBLIVEChallenge or search for #BLIVECHALLENGE2016 on Twitter to find out more.



  1. Any act can enter as long as they write and perform their own material. It can be a solo artist or a large group playing any kind of music from the list enclosed in the application form.
  2. Entry Process:
    1. To enter simply fill in the form that can be found at this link – there is an admin fee of £15 which you can pay here. Failure to pay the admin fee will result in your entry not being valid.
    2. Every entry is allocated to the selected location picked by the entrée
    3. The judging panel will select 5 finalist per location – with exception of Newcastle where we have 3 locations
    4. Each finalist will be given the option to enter the semi-finals at their chosen location subject to an entry fee of £100. This fee is only payable if you are actually selected for one of the heats but you will be given the opportunity to recoup this fee, as you will be entitled to 20 free tickets, which you can sell to friends & family.
    5. Each selected act will also be entitled to 2 complementary tickets for the final at Bonbar per band/act member, as well as the 20 free tickets (priced at £5 each) for the semi-finals they are playing at as mentioned above. Each act can choose whether to sell those tickets and recoup their entry fee or donate them to friends and family.
    6. Each selected act will also be entitled to 50% of the value of any extra tickets they sell to any of the heats and/or the final.
  3. Semi-finals:
    1. Each semi-finalist will be asked perform 5 original songs and 1 cover of their choosing.
    2. The winning act will be selected on a points basis. Each judge on the panel will be giving a score of a value between 1 and 10.
    3. Every ticket holder attending the event will also be given the chance to vote for their favourite act – each vote will have a value of 1 point.
    4. The act with the highest total will be the winner of the heat they have played in.
  4. Finalists selection:
    1. Every winner of each semi-final heat will be entered into a leaderboard with their score.
    2. The five acts with the highest scores will be given a place in the final that will take place at Bonbar.
  5. BLIVE Final at Bonbar
    1. There is no extra fee to enter the final, but again each act will be given the chance to sell tickets and retain 50% of the value of the tickets sold.
    2. Again, the winning act will be selected on a points basis given from both the judging panel and the ticket holders attending the event.
    3. The act with the highest total will be the BLIVECHALLENGE2016 Winner and will be entitled to the prize.
    1. A Professional Photoshoot – sponsored by Darren Irwin
    2. An Interview with a regional magazine – sponsored by Living North
    3. A day in a studio to record a song of your choosing – sponsored by Loft Studios
    4. A video of the studio session edited to create a backdrop to your professionally mixed song – sponsored by Plainsight Productions
    5. A mini tour across the venues that have taken place in the competition plus £1000 cash, expenses, 50% of any ticket sales – sponsored by Bonbar & Red Shoe Events
    6. A new logo professionally designed, stationary and a fully functioning website – sponsored by Plainsight Consultancy
    7. A spot at a Local Festival – tbc