Gigs

Want to perform to thousands across London? Looking to increase your public profile? Fancy getting some advice from top industry professionals? Then this is for you! 

Gigs, in association with Gibson, is the Mayor of London’s annual busking competition and has been showcasing amazing young musical talent since 2009 at some of the capital's busiest and iconic locations.

Gigs is more than a competition. It opens the door to a range of opportunities through the Busk in London programme, including exclusive performance opportunities and paid gigs. There are also some amazing prizes up for grabs. Consider the competition as intense training in the art of public performance.

Gigs 2017

The Gigs Grand Final 2017 was held on Sunday 3 September at Westfield London and saw Josh Gleaves crowned as Gigs Champion.

Winners chosen by the judges were:

Judges Top Three (in alphabetical order):
Josh Gleaves
Lucy Gowen
Josephine Shaw

Gigs Champion: Josh Gleaves

Gibson Prize: Ella Tobin
ICMP Award: Jamie Wood
Eurostar Prize: Ky Lewis

 

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.

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 five acts in each category to reach the Grand Final, held on Sunday 3 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.

Open
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

Songwriting Prize

The Gigs Songwriting Prize 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 legendary songwriter Guy Fletcher. Each winning songwriter gets a day of masterclasses with some top industry composers, with the overall winner also performing at a series of high profile events, including to 9,000 people at the Feast of St George on Trafalgar Square.

The winning songs in 2017 were:

Rosie Ash - Tinder
Joey Oscar - Don't Go
Ky Music - Say That You Love Me
Purple Day Band - Conflict of Vision
​Roadstead - Too Late (overall winner)
Jamie Wooding - Got To Let You Go

 

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