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Where The Magic Happens
The annual Red Bull Bedroom Jam is well under way as exciting new Irish acts vie to quit their humble abodes and hit the big time.
The Hot Press Newsdesk, 13 Apr 2012
F or most, your sleeping quarters are a sanctuary, somewhere to crash, watch a DVD, a floor waiting to be littered with old socks and undergarments. A place where not a whole lot is achieved, essentially. For Ireland’s freshest talent, however, the last few years have seen it become a potential stage, a launch pad for a career in music. It’s all thanks to Red Bull and their innovative Bedroom Jam, an online battle of the bands with a diff erence. Drawing ingeniously on social media, the Bedroom Jam website allows any young, homegrown act to create a profi le, upload their music and mobilise their fanbase. From there, it’s a popularity contest gauged on the all-important Buzz Chart, which takes into account video views and comments, as well as activity on the likes of Twitter, Facebook and Youtube.
The aim is to become one of the six top bands over the course of 12 weeks, and the rewards are defi nitely worth the eff ort. Half a dozen artists who hit the top are paid a visit by the Bedroom Jam team and filmed live from the comfort of their own homes (no doubt having made the bed and smartened the place up fi rst), with the gigs streamed globally each fortnight. It is perhaps the ultimate example of the mass exposure unsigned acts can get around the world with a little hard work and a whole load of talent. From your bedroom to the world, in an instant.
This select few move on to the Festival Chart (including up to four wildcard bands from an
esteemed panel of judges), allowing fans to vote for the band they most want to see on this summer’s festival circuit. A chosen three are then off ered much coveted live slots at many of the biggest Irish festivals, taking them out of the house and into a field filled with thousands of enthused revellers. Speaking at this year’s launch in the Workman’s Club, Sea Sessions’ Tanya Gold commented: “What we’re looking for out of Red Bull Bedroom Jam is the next big thing. The next big Irish band that maybe we just don’t know about yet.” One of this year’s judges, broadcaster Stuart Bailie, echoed her sentiments. “It’s going to be really fun to see if something really special’s going to come out, that’ you’ve not really seen or heard the like of before. There’s an exciting couple of months ahead of us now trying to fi nd something exceptional.” Thus far, as we reach the midway point, his hopes have more than come to fruition. Bundoran band Stonefree were the fi rst act through the door. Since the Red Bull team’s initial trip up North, they’ve been hitting other corners of the country, next heading south to Dingle to capture acoustic rock fi ve- piece Walking On Cars in their natural habitat. Now pop-punkers Icons Of Fire, led by Graham Dowling