Gigs

Gigs is the Mayor of London's annual busking competition for young musicians. Launched in 2009, it has seen well over 1,000 talented artists take to the streets to showcase their talent and develop their performance skills.

2016 Winners

The Gigs Grand Final 2016 was held on Sunday 4 September at Westfield Stratford City and saw Clarissa Mae crowned as Gigs Champion.

Cateogry and prize winners chosen by the judges were:

Youth Category: Clarissa Mae
Soloists and Duos Category: Cyreez
The Mayor's Gigs Award, in partnership with ICMP: Nicola Hogg
Eurostar Prize: Luca Fiore
 

The Lowdown

The competition is open to performers aged 11-25, whatever their musical style, from classical to country, folk to pop and everything in between.

Gigs is all about performing with a real busking vibe. No stage or fancy equipment - just you and your music. All acts need to make sure they're completely portable and can play in a stripped back, lo-fi fashion.

***NEW FOR 2016***  Entries are now open to acts living anywhere in the United Kingdom.

Acts chosen to take part in the competition will get the chance to perform in the summer on our exclusive circuit of Gigs busking pitches that cover some of the busiest, most iconic locations in London. Every Gigs pitch is staffed by a Gigs Event Manager and equipped with a battery-powered amp, microphone and stand. 

All acts will be seen by the judges during the live performance period. They will choose 5 acts in each category to reach the Grand Final, held in September. Gigs acts aren't busking for money, but for the public vote. One act in each category is chosen by the public vote to go through the final.

Waterloo Station Pitch

Categories

There are three categories in the competition and acts are automatically entered into the one that is right for them.

All performers must be the correct age for the category from the date entries open to the date of the Grand Final.

Youth
11-15 yrs old
For acts of up to 8 members

Soloists and Duos
16-25 yrs old
For acts of 1 or 2 members

Open
11-25 yrs old
For acts of up to 8 members
This category may include instrumental ensembles, rock, pop or folk bands, any type of vocal group. Music must be the main feature of the act but acts in the category may include other types of performance, e.g. elements of choreographed movement or section of speech.

Prizes

Although most acts enter for the experince of taking part, this is a competition and there are some fantastic prizes up for grabs. The winner of the Soloists and Duos category will receive a sought after licence to busk on London Underground, courtesy of Transport for London. Other prizes include:

  • The Institute of Contemporary Music Performance training package
  • Recording time at a top professional recording studio
  • Time with top industry songwriters
  • A stash of busking equipment
  • A busking trip to Paris, courtesy of Eurostar
  • A host of great performance opportunities around London
Gigs Grand Final

Timeline

16 March 2016 - Entries open
All acts need to complete the online entry form and submit a video link. For any act with members who are under 18 years old, we require parent/guardian permission for them to take part.

10 June 2016 - Entries close
This is when we make the decisions about who will perform in the summer.

After 6 June 2016 - Gigs performers announced
All performers who have made it into the competition will be notified. We contact everyone who enters to let them know whether they have been successful.

Late June - Early July - Gigs briefing and performance workshops
All acts who have been picked to perform must attend one of these workshops. Performers who cannot attend will not be permitted to play in the competition.

23 July -7 August 2016 - Live performances
This is it! Where all acts will play across our exclusive Gigs circuit. Acts need to be available between these dates and will be programmed multiple times.

6 - 9 August 2016 - Live Judging
This is when each act will be perform live in front of a panel of judges who will decide on their top 15 acts.

23 July - 28 August - Public Voting
​People will be able to vote for their favourite act as soon as the live performances start, right up until before the Grand Final. We encourage each act to promote their own voting campaign, through mobilising their family and friends as well as dazzling the public on the pitches.

31 August 2016 - Finalists announced
The public’s choice will be announced alongside the finalists chosen by our judges.

4 September 2016 - Gigs Grand Final
The Grand Final will see all 18 compete before our panel of judges and thousands of visitors at Westfield Stratford City. There will be a winner in each category and one act will be crowned Gigs Champion.

Gigs 2015

On Sunday 6 September, Luca Fiore was crowned Gigs Champion 2015 at the Grand Final which took place at Westfield Stratford City.

The category and prize winners chosen by the judges were:

Youth Category: Josh Tenor
Soloists and Duos: Luca Fiore
Groups: Dat Brass
The Mayor's Gigs Award, in partnership with The Institute: Cat Burns
Gigs Eurostar Prize: Alex James Ellison

 

Gigs 2015 Champion, Luca Fiore

Songwriting Prize

The Gigs Songwriting Prize, sponsored by PRS for Music, is a great showcase for emerging songwriters

Anyone entering Gigs who writes their own music can enter the songwriting prize. Six winning songs are chosen by a panel of judges, with an overall winner chosen by Guy Flethcer, Chairman of PRS for Music. Each winning songwriter gets a day of masterclasses with some top industry composers, with the overall winner also performing at the PRS for Music VIP tent at Glastonbury.

The winning songs in 2016 were:

Alex Weybury - Turn Back the Clock
Beth Keeping - No Hard Feelings
Callum King - Everything
Cyreez - Be With Me
Kaity Rae - Before I Knew
Nicola Hogg - Flow (overall winner)

Gigs wouldn’t be possible without the crucial support from our partners