Bands take Centre Stage in finals

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Top music industry experts will choose a young band to play at Leeds and Reading Festival as Martin House Hospice Care for Children and Young People’s Centre Stage competition reaches its climax.

Ten acts will vie for the top prize in front of a judging panel, including members of The Cribs and Embrace, singer Rosie Doonan and Jana Recmanikova of Festival Republic, organisers of the Festival.

The contest, which is now in its tenth year, has raised more than £225,000 for Martin House and is the most prestigious music competition in Yorkshire.

This year’s final takes place at the O2 Academy in Leeds on Thursday July 25, with the winning act playing slots at Leeds and Reading in August. They will also win the chance to film their own music video by local film maker Sodium Films.

Mike Heaton, drummer with Embrace and Martin House ambassador, who will be on the judging panel, said: “Centre Stage is an amazing opportunity for young bands to make their mark – and for the winners it offers an incredible platform.

“It also encourages them to raise for Martin House, which provides such a vital service to families in this area, and I’m delighted to support Centre Stage.”

Martin House cares for children and young people with life-limiting conditions across West, North and East Yorkshire, offering respite care through to end of life care and bereavement support.

Sarah Smith, Centre Stage organiser at Martin House, said: “We’ve got a stunning line-up and we’re really pleased that we have a lot more girls competing this year – 40 per cent of the acts in the final are female.”

Tickets, £8.50, from