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FSN 2013

—————— FUTURE SOUND OF NOTTINGHAM 2013 ————————–

FSN 2013 THE FINAL– Highlights vid HERE.

6.30pm Sunday July 7th 2013 at Rock City (the main arena), free as always, 14+, no tickets needed just rock up.

You can hear the six acts finalists on the New Music Podcast HERE.

Facebook Event – HERE.

Finalists Line up:

FSN 2013


As always all key announcements will be made first via the Nusic New Music Podcast.

The results of Round One of The Future Sound of Nottingham 2013 are live, listen via the brand new NEW MUSIC PODCAST.

Voting goes live after 11pm on Tuesday 28th May 2013.

The facebook app we use for voting requires you to like our Nusic fanpage as a way to prevent cheating via multiple voting.

You can NOT buy votes. The app we use offers us as admins the equivalent of google adwords where as the admin we can buy interest in the vote, they basically advertise across facebook until a certain number of votes are reached. We don’t use this feature, and musicians in the comp have no access to it.

This is pretty much the top voting app in the facebook world, used by thousands everyday so it should work! If you’re having problems voting these are possible reasons:
– You’re using your phone.
– You voted in previous years, have not cleared your cache/ cookies in the last year and so the App thinks you’re trying to cheat and vote twice.
– The FBI have blacklisted you, a SWAT team is probably already at your door.

For the record Nusic team members do vote in the public vote as part of the testing of the system, their votes will be discounted.

ENTRIES RECEIVED pre the 11.59pm Monday 20th May deadline are acknowledged HERE.

The fifth key announcement – the final way to enter this year’s FSN! Entry details, and deadline details, on this podcast. You need to listen before Tuesday (21st May)! http://www.nusic.org.uk/wordpress/nusic-new-music-podcast-51-107/

The fourth key announcement re the 2013 Future Sound of Nottingham has been made! Entries are now open for FSN2013!! Listen here: http://www.nusic.org.uk/wordpress/nusic-new-music-podcast-50-106/

The third key announcement re the 2013 Future Sound of Nottingham was on this show (010413), including the first way you can enter this year’s comp: http://www.nusic.org.uk/wordpress/nusic-new-music-podcast-48-104/ . Further info here – http://www.nusic.org.uk/wordpress/spread-the-love-one-week-to-go/

The second key announcement re the 2013 Future Sound of Nottingham was on this show (040313): http://www.nusic.org.uk/wordpress/nusic-new-music-podcast-46-102/

The first announcement re the 2013 Future Sound of Nottingham was this show (180213): http://www.nusic.org.uk/wordpress/nusic-new-music-podcast-45-101/

FSN 2013


YOU MUST BE FROM NOTTS – This means you (if more than one of you the majority of you i.e half or more) either LIVE (studying at Uni DOES count) in the Great County of Nottinghamshire and/ or Great Nottingham Urban Area, and/or were born/ brought up here (whilst now living somewhere else e.g. you are at Uni elsewhere). You must cite Notts as your hometown on all social media (we will check), you are allowed to state more than one place e.g. Notts and London.

ALL GENRES – to ensure we live our Third Commandment and represent a diversity of genres at least two of the twelve semi-finalists will be urban artists (definition of urban = would be played on Radio 1Xtra, Chairman makes this judgement call)


Group One -Those who have won/ headlined any previous NUSIC or NOTTS UNSIGNED competitons. For the avoidance of doubt this means 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 artist already 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 is all about encouraging original song writing.

ENSURING NEW TALENT GETS A CHANCE – No more than six artists who have already played Splendour can make it through to the Semi-Finals.

JUDGES – Still being firmed up as we go to press. 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 material heard by people who can help you. Our only concern with the panel is filling it with people who can help you, reflecting the broader music industry this does often result in our panels being quite male dominated.


MARK DENNIS – DHP’s Head of Marketing.
MIKE ATKINSON – freelance writer with outlets as diverse as LeftLion, Nottingham Post and The Guardian (Oh darling).
PAUL KLOTSCHKOW – Music Editor for our bros and hos at LeftLion.
PETE FLETCHER – Head of Denizen Recordings, Denizen being part of Confetti Media Group who are our hosts for the evening.

JUDGING PROCESS – Each judge will mark each act out of ten twice, 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 ‘ability to nail it playing the main stage at Splendour’ as perceived by that individual judge. Scores from the judge giving the highest score will be excluded (explained below). The other three Judges 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 final (see ‘Indiana Rule’ below), the next eleven acts go through to Semi-Finals (public vote). The twelth act in the Semi-Final public vote will be the SPREADTHELOVE winner. None of the Nusic team vote.

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 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 sons does not bias the result. This score will only be used if there is a tie.

CAN PEOPLE WHO WORK WITH/ FOR YOU ENTER? – After some thought on this one, yes. We have a large number of volunteers from the Nottinghamshire scene who help and support us, 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 transparant. It’s worth remembering that none of the Nusic team vote.

2013 FSN Transparancy Declarations =
– One member of Loophole Project is a Nusic Volunteer.
– Elena Hargreaves is the sister of a recent Nusic Volunteer.
Both of the two volunteers linked to entries were ‘firewalled’ from the judging process, niether were present at the judging and niether was aware of the result until now, just like you.

CAN PEOPLE WHO KNOW THE JUDGES ENTER? – Yes, and that’s why we exlude the top vote to prevent any bias (see above).

OK HOW DO YOU ENSURE NO BIAS? – By trying our best. Three 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 high profile members of the local scene who work elsewhere. Secondly, any acts who have specific links with us and make it through to the semi-finals we will declare so everything is transparent. Thirdly our cunning judging mechanic explained above.

The final twelve will be announced on Mon 27th May via the New Music Podcast. The judges decision is final, by entering the competition 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.

WHAT’s THE INDIANA 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 indeed last year the FSN winners THE AFTERDARK MOVEMENT were in the top two in all three rounds, but we are always trying to make it better. Last year we had an extreme case, an incredible raw talent who’d never done a single gig in her life entered the competition and rightly (as shown by her subsequent success) won Round One (the Judge vote) by a mile. Despite her clear stand out talent she did not get through round two, she was so new she had no following yet and not enough neutral voters took part to see her 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’ve brought in a new rule. The top two in the Round One expert vote will get automatic byes through to the final.

FSN 2013


In contrast to Round One which was an expert Judges vote, the Semi-Finals are a public vote. We wanted to mix things up, an expert vote ensures new talent yet to build a fanbase gets a chance (as well as solo artists who often miss out in public votes simply due to there being less of them in the ‘musical entity’), a public vote ensures local musicians who have been good enough to build a fanbase get to acknowledge that, additionally the public vote is accompanied by a dedicated version of the NEW MUSIC PODCAST offering the public an easy way to hear all the Semi-Finalists.

The public vote is open from 11pm Tuesday 28th May through to 11.59pm Wednesday 5th June (2013). It will be an ‘open’ vote (in that you can see who is winning) until 11.59pm Monday 3rd June. At this point we intend to (technology allowing) make the vote private, this will build some tension and drive audience to the NEW MUSIC PODCAST (giving more exposure to more musicians) where we will announce the results exclusively 11am Monday 10th June 2013.

Re the earlier point re solo artists. At least two solo artists must make the final six. COURTESY OF THE INDIANA RULE (see Round One rules) ONE SOLO ARTIST HAS ALREADY MADE THE FINAL. So if four bands (definition = non session musician featuring musical combos of two or more) take the top four places in the public vote then the 4th place band will be replaced by the highest placed solo artist.

The Indiana Rule means two artists are already in the final. Therefore the twelve artists in the Semi-Final vote will be competing for four places.

BREAKING NEWS – Due to a triple tie for the final place in the semi-finals there are fourteen artists in the Semi-Final vote.

FSN 2013


The voting process is quite complicated, please let us explain the method in the apparent madness, every rule is about trying to create as epic an experience as possible for the musicians taking part.

It’s a mixed voting system, half being audience vote, half being ‘expert’ Judges vote. This is an attempt to get the best of both worlds in terms of fairness and also to create a system that helps stimulate a great event.


– Addresses the natural numerical advantage of bands with public votes and so re-balances things a bit towards the solo artists.
– Makes sure raw talent, yet to build any following, is recognised.
– Gives you a chance to perform in front of connected, important music industry players, on the Nottingham level this Judging Panel is huge, pretty much every major player in Nottingham is represented. This in itself is a big opportunity regardless of the result. For example nearly every year an artist has been signed (to label or management) by one of the judges.

Those Judges are:

Anton Lockwood – Promotions Director DHP Group (organisers of Splendour)
Craig Chettle – Managing Director Confetti Institute of Creative Technologies (owners of Denizen Recordings)
Geeta Pendse – BBC East Midlands and BBC Three
Harleighblu – Local musician signed to one of the UK’s leading Independent labels.
Jared Wilson – Editor In Chief LeftLion
Jason Hart – Manager of Jake Bugg
Simon Wilson – EG Editor Nottingham Post

Read more about them HERE

We are aware the judging panel is not massively diverse. Our brief was to curate a judging panel full of the Nottingham residents most able to help our finalists, demographic diversity was not a deciding factor.


– Helps mobilise your fans. Knowing they can make a difference encourages friends, family and fans to come down and support, in the process creating a better atmosphere for all. That’s really key, it’s a better vibe for everyone.
– Ensures that talent talented enough to have built a following gets recognised. It always ironic when people moan, ‘they only won because they have more fans than us’

AUDIENCE VOTE METHOD – Three announced ‘audience votes’ throughout the night via a decibel-o-meter on stage taking precise Db readings of audience volume level. The thinking:

– A decibel-o-meter on the stage encourages the crowd to come to front and get boisterous, not awkwardly stand quietly at the back like a school disco.
– Taking three ‘audience votes’ throughout the night ensures fans of all acts are encouraged to watch all acts thereby creating a better atmosphere for all.
– Having three specific announced ‘audience vote moments’ means everyone will know when the vote is being taken and when to make extra noise for their fav. It also means at all other times they can get behind all acts not worrying about being seen as ‘unfaithful’! Creating a better atmosphere for all.

We will announce these audience vote moments on stage, will then read out each artist name and measure the noise from the crowd for each artist. This will be done at the start at 7pm, after the last act and one time at random.

The Judges will be marking you out of ten on these criteria:

– Stage Presence – swagger, X-Factor, engagement with audience.
– Raw Talent – as perceived by the individual judge.
– Quality of Performance – in time, in tune, hitting notes etc
– Quality of Songs – as perceived by the individual judge.
– Splendour Suitability – would you ‘work’ opening the main stage?

Seven judges scoring you out of 50, the top score will be removed and the remaining six will form a score out of 300. We remove the top score to help ensure independence and fairness. We want our judging process to be impartial and independent, striving for that over time we have realised its 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’ 50 out of 50 given to the act who features one of the judge’s neighbour’s sons girlfriends does not bias the result.

Each of the three ‘audience votes’ will be out of 100, scores will be allocated like this:

Highest Db – 100
2nd – 90
3rd – 80
4th – 70
5th – 60
6th – 50

After three votes we will have a second score out of 300 giving each artist an overall score out of 600. Needless to say the highest score out of 600 wins that main stage slot at Splendour.

Complicated yes, but all aimed at creating the best possible atmosphere for all as well as seek a winning artist talented enough to win the love of the ‘experts’ and the people.


FINALLY… Performance rules:

– Sets must be no longer than 15 minutes.
– Sets may comprise no more than 3 songs.
– No covers.
– No samples longer than four bars.
– Be nice.

Nusic 2021