Gigs Big Busk 2013 kicks off at The O2

Musician Robbie Boyd became the first British musician to perform at the top of The O2 last week as he launched the live phase of Gigs Big Busk 2013.

Robbie Boyd performs on the roof of The O2
Robbie Boyd performs on the roof of The O2

The competition, organised by the Mayor of London, kicked off this Saturday (20 July), and will run until 10 August. It will see more than 500 young musicians and singers battling it out to be named Gigs Champion 2013.

Londoners aged between 11 and 25 will play at a variety of locations, including the London Underground, mainline railway stations, St Paul's Cathedral, The O2, Westfield London W12 and in Green Park, when the Prudential RideLondon cycling event takes place.

This year's competition attracted over 1,800 entries, more than three times as many as in 2012 and the biggest number in the competition's history.

The Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: "We are stunned by the number of entries for this year's Gigs competition – it makes the contest even more exciting. I'm delighted that we can give some of London's fine young musicians the opportunity to gain experience by playing to new audiences around the capital. Our city has a musical heritage that is second to none and it is vital that we nurture budding talent to help them scale the heights."

Robbie Boyd, who won the contest two years ago, said: "Being the first ever Londoner and only the third performer, after Bon Jovi and 30 Seconds to Mars, to play on the roof of The O2 is a real honour."

Jeremy King, communications director at The O2, added: "We are delighted to be hosting the launch event for the Mayor of London's Gigs Big Busk competition. As the world's most popular music venue it is important for The O2 to help support, and provide a platform for the next generation of musicians."

The final takes place on Sunday 8 September at Westfield London W12. The finalists will compete on a specially built stage in the main atrium before a panel of industry judges and thousands of Westfield visitors.

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