Unsigned bands can take their place at Bingley Music Live

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: The Pet Shop Boys play Bingley Music Live The Pet Shop Boys play Bingley Music Live

Unsigned Bradford bands can battle to share the bill with Brit Award winners the Pet Shop Boys and play to a crowd of up to 16,000 at a festival this summer.

The six-times Grammy nominees are headlining Bingley Music Live and the announcement of their only UK festival this year has led to a huge surge in ticket sales.

The group, who have sold more than 50 million records, are only playing five UK dates on their worldwide tour in 2014 and BML is the only festival where fans can hear hits such as West End Girls, Always On My Mind and Go West. Now local acts can compete to share the limelight with the Pet Shop Boys and other big names, such as Shed Seven and Example, announced to play BML this year.

In 2014, organisers of the Bradford Council-run festival, billed as the North’s Last Party of Summer, say they have upped the ante by booking new acts like Radio One favourites Catfish and the Bottlemen, Eliza and the Bear, Etta Bond and Bipolar Sunshine to join established artists.

BML has also teamed up with The Musicians Centre to hold a competition to find the best artists and bands in the Yorkshire region to play at this year’s festival. The Musicians Centre, which is a music shop and teaching studio in Keighley, has a long history of helping up-and-coming musicians.

Artists will have the chance to play one of two slots on the main stage at this BML and one of two slots on the second stage.

The best 24 will be shortlisted, based on criteria including vocals, lyrics, arrangement and technical skill.

On April 22, there will be the first of four separate heats, with performances from six of the shortlisted artists. Two talented finalists from each heat will then go through to perform in the final on May 16.

The Myrtle Park festival, runs from August 29 to 31.

A Council spokesman said: “Tickets sales are more than double what they were this time last year following the latest announcement of this year's amazing line-up. Bingley Music Live as always is excellent value for money, with weekend tickets costing £49. Our payment plan deal is proving particularly popular as it's very affordable at less than £10 a month spread over five months."

Visit bingleymusiclive.com or call 0871 220 0260.

To enter the competition, visit musicianscentre.com/emergingtalent by April 11.

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