• Ally J Steel

OneFest 2019 - Shabaka Hutchings Opens 'Apply to Play'

Award-winning festival and non-profit music development organisation OneFest makes a major return in 2019, taking to the road for the first time with a new ‘twin city’ festival concept in Sheffield (The Leadmill, Saturday 14th September) and London (EartH, Saturday 21st September).  


Curated by Mercury Prize nominee and superstar of British jazz , Shabaka Hutchings (Sons of Kemet, The Comet is Coming, Shabaka and the Ancestors), the festival aims to highlight the obstacles faced by emerging talent embarking on music industry careers, with particular focus on a major challenge – the North/South divide. 


One of the original, pioneering social conscience music festivals, OneFest returns after a year’s hiatus following its hugely acclaimed ‘Lost Evenings with Frank Turner’ in 2017 at London’s Roundhouse.  Its ambition is even bigger in 2019.  This year it aims to highlight many of the obstacles young people face in getting a foothold into the industry faced at grassroots level, be it access to funding, mental health or gender equality, as well as the ‘North-South divide’.


Mercury Prize nominee and superstar of British jazz, Shabaka Hutchings today opened the OneFest 2019 ‘Apply to Play’ showcase prize for grassroots talent.


Five successful applicants, hand-picked by Shabaka, will take to the stage at both Sheffield’s Leadmill and London’s EartH, forming part of OneFest’s daytime programming.  Aside from the live performance opportunities, winners will take part in a host of educational panels and workshops lead by inspirational music industry leaders.  Open to the public, these sessions include ‘Bridging the Gap, the North South Divide’, a workshop and Q+A with Shabaka, Business, & Funding Workshops, plus  ‘Let’s Keep the Conversation Going’ a further look at Mental Health support, and much, much more.  Speakers include John McClure (Reverend and the Makers) Shlomo , Thomas Haywood (The Blinders), Skinny Pelembe and more.



Shabaka Hutchings said:

“‘Apply to Play’ has given me an opportunity to work on educating and expanding minds through the panels and workshops, as well as open doors for emerging bands to compete for a slot during the events. This is an element that was important to me when joining forces with the OneFest team. It’s incredibly important to me that the festival takes place in both the North and South, again breaking those unnecessary boundaries that have evolved within the music industry”

Applicants can ‘apply to play’ from July 26 –August 6th via Music Glue, through the OneFest website. The competition is set to be fierce with the previous OneFest receiving an astonishing 800+ applicants...



OneFest combines these daytime events with an exciting series of special one-off evening concerts across the two centres in London and Sheffield, all masterminded by Shabaka Hutchings.  Alongside showcases from emerging talent and special one-off collaborations, OneFest presents shows from young British talent including Maisha (featuring British Jazz wunderkind saxophonist Nubya Garcia), Nat Birchall, Tom Skinner, Tom Herbert, Dave Okumu and Byron Wallen. 


Full Line up to be announced...

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