Gabby crowned winners of popular music competition
A popular Bury St Edmunds music competition has this year been the "strongest and most diverse" in its 21-year history, according to organisers.
The grand final of BurySOUND was held at the Apex in the town on Friday, March 8, with indie/soul quartet Gabby crowned winners of the much-loved competition.
Gabby, fronted by 16-year-old singer/guitarist Gabby Rivers, received a host of prizes including two days of studio time at The Shrubbery Recording Studio in Bury, a promotional photoshoot by Jan Roberts Photography and a main stage slot at this year’s Homegrown Music Festival in Barrow.
Indie band History & Lore were presented with the Rising Star Award at the packed-out final and received a day’s recording session at Crooks Hall Studio in Sudbury among other prizes.
BurySOUND was launched in 1998 by Jackie Smith – then St Edmundsbury Borough Council’s youth and community development officer – and promoter Paul Johnson.
The pair hoped the competition would provide a platform for young musicians in the area who wanted to play their own material, and the first BurySOUND took place 21 years ago at Bury’s Corn Exchange (now a Wetherspoons pub) with 12 acts performing.
This year, 62 acts applied to the competition, with the line-up whittled down to 25 over five heats at The Hunter Club in Bury St Edmunds and the Haverhill Arts Centre.
Seymour Quigley, co-organiser, said: “This year’s BurySOUND has been the strongest and most diverse in the competition’s 21 year history.
“The sheer quality of the music on offer has been amazing and it’s served as a showcase for how brilliant the East Anglian music scene is right now. “Music and the arts bring people together in a positive way, which is so important in these uncertain and scary times.
“It’s a testament to Jackie Smith’s vision that her hard work in building a scene two decades ago has resulted in so many young people feeling supported and finding the confidence to discover who and what they want to be.”
Artists will be able to apply for BurySOUND 2020 from September onwards, and many of the artists featured in this year’s competition will be appearing at the Bury St Edmunds Fringe Festival from March 29 to May 4.