HMV to launch music festival

HMV and Mama group are launching an annual live music event to showcase breakthrough music talent.

Next Big Thing will run at six London venues, which are either owned outright by Mama Group or co-owned through its joint venture with HMV, the Borderline, the Camden Barfly, Heaven, the Jazz Café, the Relentless Garage and ULU.

The festival will run from 5 – 14 February and see more than 50 up and coming artists from different genres perform.

The companies say Next Big Thing will look to act as a platform for unsigned artists and give them promotional support within HMV stores and online.

Three artists will perform at each venue, each night and tickets will be £10 irrespective of venue or which artist is performing.

Tickets can be bought online, by phone, at venue box offices or in HMV stores via its hmvtickets kiosks.

Jason Legg, Head of Live at HMV, says: “HMV has always done its best to champion new talent, and now that we have access to our own live venues we feel Next Big Thing is a great way to take this engagement to a fantastic new level – not only does it represent a great opportunity for artists and labels, but, just as importantly, we hope it will quickly become established as a great platform for fans to engage and get closer to new talent at an early stage in their careers.”

The live event builds on HMV and Mama group’s joint venture which last year saw three venues renamed under the HMV brand and further develops the entertainment retailers move into live events.

HMV is also mulling a bid for the live entertainment group which last week saw off two bids from SMS Finance, which currently holds a 29.8% share in Mama group.

HMV has also launched a joint venture with independent cinema group Curzon to open a cinema above its Wimbledon store.

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