On Friday 25 May eight young bands from all over the country gained a once in a lifetime chance to play live at Download festival this June with the Red Bull Studios live at Download opportunity. Six bands with the highest online votes from the public were picked, whilst two were chosen by the judges as wildcards. Searching Alaska from Essex, Akord from Grampian, Semperfi from Aberdeen, Surrender The Coast from Leicester and Forever Can Wait from Ponypridd were all chosen by public vote. Press To Meco from Horsham/Croydon and Sky Valley Mistress from Manchester/Lancashire were added to the Download bill by the judges.
The judges were Kerrang Radio presenter Katie P, Rock Sound magazine editor Ben Patashnik, Red Bull Records label manager and music industry aficionado Angie Somerside, plus hyped rock band and Download Festival veterans Don Broco.
A huge 700 bands entered in total. The public then voted and 100 of these went through to the judging panel who handpicked 15 they felt showed most potential. Those 15 undertook a professional studio experience in London at Red Bull Studios which included expert mentoring, professional photos and recording a live track in the state-of-the-art studio. Short films of each of the bands performances were put online and the public voted for six of the final eight.
The final eight bands will play the Red Bull Studios stages at Download festival 14-16th June, to crowds of thousands.
Two chosen by the judges: