“Set in the bandstand of the picturesque Hotham Park, the Sussex Young Folk Performers Competition was a fantastic opportunity for young folk and acoustic musicians to perform in front of a new audience and acclaimed folk musician judges. The calibre of the acts was immensely high and there was no telling who would be in the running to win the prize. Along with the amazing musical standard, the quality of the sound engineers and the free food backstage, this competition was hugely enjoyable for both us as performers and the audience alike. Nerves were high, especially within our young band, which was further enhanced by the judges who certainly played their cards close to their chests and gave us all their best poker faces.

As far as the Show Of Hands support gig went, there are simply no words to describe it. Freya, Ross and I were hugely excited and what made it even more enjoyable was the friendliness of the stage crew, sound technicians and of course, the members of Show Of Hands. We even had a dressing room with lights around the mirrors!

Steve Knightley from Show of Hands even wrote this testimonial for us after we’d performed…..

‘Songwriting and musicianship of the highest calibre and harmonising together as only siblings can. Just about the best young English acoustic band I’ve heard’ – Steve Knightley (Show Of Hands)

Nothing helps a performers confidence more than support and encouragement from influential musicians and that is certainly something we gained from this experience. It was an incredible opportunity to showcase our music in a great venue in front of a huge appreciative audience.

One thing we have learnt in our time performing is that you never know who might be listening and what doors could be opened for you. Every show counts and this was certainly the most exciting we’ve had as a band so far!”
Aimée Mackenzie – Performer and winner of the Sussex Young Folk Performers Competition

It is amazing to have the Southdowns Folk Festival on my door step. With a variety of events across the town, not only was I able to play as a local musician at one of the outdoor stages, I also spent the rest of my weekend with my grand children introducing them to the folk genre – they absolutely loved it.”
Local musician

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