Photography: Lauren Jade Keir

One of the region’s most high regarded artist development programmes is open for applications. Liverpool International Music Festival (LIMF) Academy is calling out for musicians of all genres aged 16-25 to apply for one of six sought-after positions. The award-winning programme has a reputation for discovering the best of Merseyside’s emerging artists, and is one of the only festival run schemes that offers support and mentorship to young, local talent.

Six successful applicants will get the chance to perform at the esteemed festival in July. They will also receive professional career advice, training, financial investment and gain access to monthly masterclasses and rehearsal space. From here, three of the ‘Most Ready’ artists or bands will earn a place on the Academy’s 12-month Elite Talent Scheme. The lucky recipients will receive further financial investment, a live session for BBC introducing, showcase opportunities in Liverpool and London and an array of extra opportunities, advice and guidance

This year’s judging panel includes YAW OWUSU (LIMF Music Curator), DAVE MONKS (BBC Introducing Merseyside), STEVE LEVINE (Grammy award-wining producer), NATALIE WILLIAMS (UK Music), CHRISSIE WILLIS (KCC Live) and Bido Lito!‘s CHRISTOPHER TORPEY.

"You learn things from industry professionals, from their experiences, that you probably couldn’t learn anywhere else” Eleanor Nelly, Most Ready Artist 2016

Previous Academy alumni have gone on to land record and publishing deals. ‘Most Ready’ artist, and recent Bido Lito! cover star, ELEANOR NELLY, is signed with Decca Records. She credits LIMF Academy for giving her direction as a young artist: “Being a part of the masterclass sessions and getting the mentoring has been a massive help in me finding my feet, and working out what route I want to take. You learn things from industry professionals, from their experiences, that you probably couldn’t learn anywhere else.”

Another ‘Most Ready’ star, XAMVOLO, is signed to Universal Records and currently on tour with Paloma Faith. In an interview with Bido Lito!, he offered similar praise for the programme: “Aside from the confidence boost and the real-world motivation to create, the tangible support the Academy offers you helps you think about everything in a different way. I can only think of good things that have resulted in being a part of it.”

To apply and for further information, visit LIMF Academy’s website

Applications close on the 21st May.

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