Information on the 2017 Future Sound of Nottingham will first be announced (as always) on the Nusic New Music Podcast.
Followed by announcements on our social media – FeelTheNusic on facebook, twitter and youtube.
The #FSN2017 Final date is May 7th.
KEY DETAILS ANNOUNCED:
– 11am 13/03/17 – The New Music Podcast has announced the judges for Round One.
– 11am 27/02/17 – The New Music Podcast has announced entry details for Round One.
– 11am 27/02/17 – Round One Rules are live. They can be found at the bottom of this page.
– 11am 13/02/17 – The New Music Podcast features the first news on #FSN2017, including the announcement of the FSN Final date.
ROUND ONE MAIN RULES and JUDGING PROCESS:
– Pick your strongest, most appropriate, original track (no covers) and email it to us, one track only, along with confirmation of your ‘Nottingham-ness’ and that you are available to play on May 7th (Rock City Final) & July 22nd (Splendour).
– For full rules PLUS definition of NottinghamNESS look below at the rules. As Nusic is all about raw talent, we accept YouTube and SoundCloud links if you do not have studio recordings yet. But if you do have studio recordings, send us those.
– Email that MP3 or YouTube link with SUBJECT TITLE “FSN ENTRY”, confirmation of availability, your NotinghamNESS plus contact details, to the email address firstname.lastname@example.org
Do the above before 11.59pm on Monday 20th March 2016.
This LINK guides you to the page where we will confirm if you have successfully entered FSN.
For some FSN tips, check out this advice video at our youtube channel FeelTheNusic, click here.
ROUND ONE RULES
YOU MUST BE FROM NOTTS – See FAQ19 to see what qualifies as Notts in our #NusicFAQs: nusic.org.uk/faq
ALL INCLUSIVE – To encourage all musical genres and musical combinations to seize this opportunity, we have a number of rules that aspire to encourage a diversity of participants in FSN that reflects both the incredible musical diversity across Nottinghamshire as well as our own founding principle about supporting all genres. FSN is not just about bands, as awesome as the bands of Notts are. So:
- We have a rule to ensure solo artists are not disadvantaged.
- We have a rule to make FSN accessible to electronic artists, rappers and MCs (in other words, musicians who often perform purely with pre-recorded backing).
- We have two rules to ensure artists performing Hip-Hop, Grime, Soul, Reggae, World, (any form of) Electronic Music plus any genre related to these six musical families, from whom we classically have less entries (proportionally), are encouraged to seize this opportunity.
Details on these rules below.
- There is no potential disadvantage for a solo artist in Round One, the rule to ensure solo artists are not disadvantaged in FSN, kicks in at the Semi Final (Round Two) stage. This will be clarified when the Semi-Final (Round Two) rules are announced, and will take a similar form as the last two years.
- The minimum requirement for playing live is a live vocal, singing over a backing cd, Ableton etc.
- At least two of the twelve Semi-Finalists will be artists who perform Hip-Hop, Grime, Soul, Reggae, World, (any form of) Electronic Music plus any genre related to these six musical families. This (we acknowledge subjective) judgement call on which artists qualify will be made by Jackie P from Kemet FM and Mark Del. Their frame of reference is ‘Would this song be played on Kemet FM and/or BBC 1Xtra?’. This rule is not perfect, but it comes from a good place, aspiring to make sure FSN is open to all genres.
- Strictly speaking this is a Semi Final (Round Two) rule but we thought you should know upfront… At least one of the six Finalists will be an artist who performs Hip-Hop, Grime, Soul, Reggae, World, (any form of) Electronic Music plus any genre related to these six musical families. This (we acknowledge subjective) judgement call on which artists qualify will be made by Judging Chairwoman Jackie P from Kemet FM and Nusic Founder Mark Del. This rule is not perfect, but it comes from a good place, to make sure the FSN Final embraces all genres.
RAW TALENT – We have three rules to ensure raw talent is recognised, to ensure that FSN recognises stand out raw talent and to ensure that FSN does not end up featuring purely artists who have already had the opportunity of playing either Splendour or the FSN Final.
Details on these rules below.
ENSURING NEW TALENT GETS THE OPPORTUNITY:
- No more than six artists who have already played Splendour (in previous years) can make it through to the Semi-Finals. This means that should the judges (who vote ‘blind’) vote through seven acts who it turns out have played Splendour before, the seventh act would not make it through.
- No more than two artists who have already played the Rock City FSN Final can make it through to the Finals.
- Across the three rounds of FSN we try and mix democracy (public votes) with expertise (Judge votes), we feel this has worked quite well since 2009, for example the FSN2012 winners THE AFTERDARK MOVEMENT were in the top two in all three rounds. But we are always trying to make it better. In 2012 we also had an extreme case, an incredible raw talent who’d never done a single gig in their life entered FSN and rightly (as shown by their subsequent success) won Round One (the Judge vote) by a mile, the largest points victory ever in fact. Despite their clear stand out talent they did not get through Round Two, they were so new they had no following yet and not enough neutral voters took part to see them through. As Nusic is all about uncovering new talent we were frustrated that FSN was not able to ‘cope’ with such an extreme scenario (by extreme we mean so good whilst simultaneously so unknown, thereby winning Round One but totally out of it in Round Two), so we brought in a new rule in 2013, which we extended in 2014. The top two in the Round One expert vote will get automatic byes through to the Final.
WHO CANNOT ENTER? –
- Group One -Those who have won / headlined any previous NUSIC or NOTTS UNSIGNED ‘musician helping events’. For the avoidance of doubt this means SUPER FURNITURE, SUSPECT ALIBI, JOY MUMFORD, THE GORGEOUS CHANS, THE AFTERDARK MOVEMENT, KAPPA GAMMA, KAGOULE, THE MONEY, LONG DEAD SIGNAL, DOG IS DEAD, FRONTIERS and THE TURF. Previous runners-up and Finalists CAN enter.
- Group Two – Any Nottingham artist already announced on the bill for THIS year’s Splendour.
- Group Three – Musicians who are unable to perform at least three original tracks live. To clarify the minimum requirement for playing live is a live vocal, singing over a backing cd, Ableton etc.
- Group Four – Artists who only play covers, no covers are allowed to be entered or performed, FSN (and Nusic generally) is all about encouraging original song writing.
Grey Area/s – What if you are a new act that includes members who used to be in one of the artists listed in ‘Group One’? This is where it gets reeaaalllll complicated. It wouldn’t be fair to have pretty much the same artist get to play that main stage again would it? But also it wouldn’t be fair for a band of six to be excluded because one of them played triangle as a session musician back in 2011 for THE MONEY. So. If your new act contains the same humans as before, you cannot enter. If your new act has two or more members of an act listed in ‘Group One’ it must be at least four years since your old act got through. If you are the only member of a ‘Group One’ act, in your new act, and there are at least three of you in total, you may enter now. Unless you are the lead singer / front person, in which case again it must be four years since your ‘Group One’ act made it. Sorry singers, but you are the key distinguisher of any act. Sometimes there are downsides to being the star, but hey, you get all the groupies.
JUDGES – Will be announced Monday 13th March via the New Music Podcast. As always we will put together a panel of the most ‘able-to-help’ industry peeps we can find in Nottingham, this means whether or not you ‘win’ you get your music heard by people who can help you. Our main concern with the panel is filling it with people who can help you.
JUDGING PROCESS – Each judge will twice mark each act out of ten, after listening to one track from each artist without knowing who the artist is. The first mark will be for ‘raw talent’ as perceived by that individual judge. The second mark will be for ‘Splendour main stage suitability’ as perceived by that individual judge. Scores from the judge giving the highest score will be excluded (explained below), as of 2015 the lowest score is also excluded. The other three Judges (as there will now be five in total) will have their scores all added together giving each act a Final mark out of 60. The top two (subject to the criteria outlined above and below) acts will go straight through to the FSN Final at Rock City (see raw talent rules above), the next ten acts go through to Semi-Finals (Public Vote). The 11th and 12th acts in the Semi-Final Public Vote will be the NOISE GEN and BANDEMONIUM champs (events we collaborate with to support young musicians in their first year or two of playing live).
WHO ARE THE JUDGES? – Listen to the New Music Podcast on 13th March to find out.
Our brief is to curate a judging panel full of the Nottingham residents most able to help the musicians entering FSN, ‘ability to help’ is the defining factor in our judge selections. We define that as:
– Individuals who have a significant audience (which we define as thousands to tens of thousands) plus the freedom to give exposure to local musicians.
– Individuals with significant professional music industry connections, such that could lead to high profile gigs or even management/ label introductions.
– The majority of our judges will have both.
WHY DO YOU EXCLUDE THE HIGHEST SCORE? – It’s about ensuring independence and fairness. We want our judging process to be impartial and independent, striving for that over time we have realised its intrinsically impossible to put together a judging panel of individuals with knowledge of the Nottingham Music scene who do not have connections with musicians in that scene, everyone has their favourites. By excluding the top vote you make sure any ‘freak’ 10 out of 10 given to the act who features one of the judge’s ‘neighbour’s son’s best friend’s girlfriend’ does not bias the result. This score will only be used if there is a tie.
WHY DO YOU EXCLUDE THE LOWEST SCORE? – This was a new idea in 2015, and it worked well, it is about our continued efforts to ensure independence and fairness. We want our judging process to be impartial and independent, striving for that over time we have realised its intrinsically impossible to put together a judging panel of individuals with knowledge of the Nottingham Music scene who do not have connections with musicians in that scene, everyone has their favourites AND their biases. By excluding the bottom vote as well as the top vote you make sure any ‘freak’ 0 out of 10 scores given to an act who features the kid from school who used to bully the judge’s son, that makes music in a genre that a particular judge absolutely hates etc does not bias the result. Since 2015, we have had a fifth judge to ensure we have three ‘valid’ votes for each artist. There is also impact simply by virtue of having this rule re lowest score and the rule re highest score, as judges now know there is no point giving a ridiculously low or high score, hopefully the mere existence of the rule makes judges score more fairly and accurately.
I’M CONFUSED NOW! CAN YOU SUM THAT UP BRIEFLY PLS? – Well as you asked so nicely. Five judges. Top judge score excluded to prevent bias. Bottom judge score excluded to prevent bias. Remaining three judge scores make the traditional Round One score out of sixty.
CAN PEOPLE WHO WORK WITH/ FOR YOU ENTER? – After some thought on this one, yes, ish. We have a large number of volunteers from the Nottinghamshire scene who help and support us in helping you, many are musicians themselves. Not letting them enter would effectively ‘punish’ them for helping out. We will declare any potential internal conflicts of interest so that things are transparent. It’s worth remembering that none of the Nusic team vote. Any current member of the Nusic team who enters FSN will be asked to take time out from Nusic for the duration of their time in FSN.
2017 FSN Transparency Declarations (This will be updated weekly) =
- No artists have yet entered this year, that are related, living with or in love with current members of the Nusic Team.
- Any Nusic volunteers linked to FSN entries will be ‘firewalled’ from the judging process.
- Any Nusic volunteer entering FSN will be asked to stand down from Nusic for the duration of FSN.
CAN PEOPLE WHO KNOW THE JUDGES ENTER? – Yes, and that’s why we exclude the top vote to prevent any bias (see above).
OK HOW DO YOU ENSURE NO BIAS? – By trying our best. Three specific points to the answer. None of us (those of us working on Nusic on a day to day basis) will be judges, in fact all our judges are music and/ or media professionals connected to Nottingham, who work elsewhere. Secondly, any acts who have specific links with us and make it through to the Semi-Finals (Round Two) we will declare so everything is transparent. Thirdly our cunning judging mechanics explained above.
CLARIFY YOUR DEFINTION/S OF ‘NOTTINGHAMNESS’ PLEASE? – Check FAQ19 in our #NusicFAQs: nusic.org.uk/faq
WHAT’s THE INDI RULE? – Across the three rounds of FSN we try and mix democracy (public votes) with expertise (Judge votes), we feel this has worked quite well since 2009, for example the FSN2012 champs THE AFTERDARK MOVEMENT were in the top two in all three rounds. But we are always trying to make it better. In 2012 we also had an extreme case, an incredible raw talent who’d never done a single gig in their life entered the competition and rightly (as shown by their subsequent success) won Round One (the Judge vote) by a mile, the largest points victory ever in fact. Despite their clear stand out talent they did not get through round two, they were so new they had no following yet and not enough neutral voters took part to see them through. As Nusic is all about uncovering new talent we were frustrated that FSN was not able to ‘cope’ with such an extreme scenario (by extreme we mean so good whilst simultaneously so unknown, thereby winning round one but totally out of it in round two), so we now have this rule. The top two in the Round One expert vote will get automatic byes through to the Final.
The ‘Semi-Final twelve’ will be announced on Mon 27th March via the New Music Podcast. The judges decision is Final, by entering #FSN2017 you agree to accept this and all the above.
We will not publish the specific scores for all artists for two reasons:
1) We want the judges to be able to score honestly and not worry about getting grief when musicians see the scores they gave them.
2) We don’t want to discourage people, if you see you came last with 3 points out of 60 that’s not very encouraging, and we’re all about encouraging.
That’s it, keep listening to the New Music Podcast for the latest!
Have we mentioned you need to listen to the New Music Podcast?