Surface Festival

In 2011 the Surface Festival will be organising over 500 shows across 14 cities in the UK and Europe. Shows will take place in London, Portsmouth, Bristol, Cardiff, Swansea, Birmingham, Nottingham, Oxford, Manchester, Liverpool, Newcastle, Glasgow, Barcelona and Budapest.

The climax of the Festival will culminate with 21 bands playing the IndigO2 at the O2 Complex - a venue which has seen acts such as Jools Holland, Timbaland, Joss Stone and Estelle to name a few. Dominic Nicholls, music photographer, explains “Surface gives bands the chance to play the type of venues that most bands only dream of when they've 'made it' - add to the expertise Surface offers in terms of lighting and sound management, PR and exposure and you're looking at an opportunity that's too good to miss”.

The main focus of a band should be live performance. The sweaty, loud and beer saturated venues across Britain are where bands are born and it’s this aspect that the Surface Festival is focused on keeping alive. Other venues Surface will be using include the O2 Academy Main stage in Birmingham and Bristol, the Dome in London, the Manchester Academy and Oxford Academy. Nights are set out by genre providing opportunities for bands and artists to gain exposure from new audiences, sell merchandise, promote networking opportunities and attract new fans. For a list of testimonials from bands that have played the Surface Festival check out:

The Surface Festival works in association with 24 international sponsors that cover all bases for a band. “Marshall Amplification are extremely excited to be working with the Surface Festival for 2011. This event is truly inspiring for all involved” - Marshall Amplification. For a further list of sponsors see

With a prize pot of £100,000 including a slot at Sziget Festival 2011, bands and artists get the opportunity to progress further in the music industry. “The prizes offered for the winning band and runners up are just fantastic and the experience all the bands gain from playing larger venues is priceless” - Alex Baker; Kerrang Radio Unsigned show.

The Surface Festival Committee consists of a panel of music industry representatives who will have the privilege of seeing the very best acts from around the UK and Europe that will appear at the National Showcase at the o2. Judge Alex Baker says that “the show this year was very hard to judge; amazing stage shows, amazing songs, amazing bands – congratulations to Great Imitation who blew everyone’s minds, a much deserved win!”

Surface Festival takes bands at grass roots level and brings them through a journey culminating in an industry showcase. The quality of the sponsors, judges and management lends colossal credibility to this event and should be a breath of fresh air to all bands and artists in the UK. In an uncertain time, where longevity and sustainability is rare in today’s music industry the Surface Festival can be exemplified as a solid force for good, offering some amazing opportunities to bands. Working together with key industry bodies and organizations is paramount to developing a model that is fair for everyone – the promoters, the venues, the fans and most importantly the bands taking part and the experience and value they get from playing the live shows.

“The Surface Festival was a fantastic experience for us, an unforgettable journey through many rounds at different venues. The ultimate prize and ultimate goal was to perform at the IndigO2. The chance to play at this incredible venue gave you a real sense of achievement and a wonderful feeling that will stay with us for a long time. The Surface crew were helpful, friendly and always very supportive which made the whole experience just that little bit better. Thank you guys for an amazing opportunity.” Loaded Dice.

For more info and to sign up see Surface Festival

Rainforest Foundation 12 Days Of Christmas

 The Rainforest Foundation UK (RFUK) will be hosting an amazing online auction event called 12 Days of Christmas which will include an array of very desirable gift items available to online bidders wanting to score hot gift items for their friends and family while helping a good cause. Auction lots have been generously donated by celebrities, luxury labels and big name brands who want to help raise money to protect the world’s rainforests.

More than 120 items have already been donated with more arriving at the RFUK offices each day and it’s hoped 200 fabulous guilt-free gifts will be online for the pre-Christmas sale. Amongst the goodies for auction will be:

Signed items from Dame Judi Dench, Sting, Russell Brand and Kylie Minogue

Tea for Two with Zac Goldsmith MP at the House of Commons plus signed copies of his book.

Dresses from Giles Deacon, Jaeger, House of Bilimoria and many others (some from their not-yet-available Spring 2011 collections)

Clothing from Cynthia Steffe, LNA, Ashish, Ewa i Walla, Mary Katrantzou and more

A stunning beaded gown by Jenny Packham, favourite of Kylie Minogue, Heid Klum and Eva Longoria-Parker

New season Bvlgari handbag generously donated by Fran Cutler

Autographed cookbooks from Michelin-starred chefs

Travel items from luxury leather goods brand, Aspinal of London

Gig tickets, music & merchandise items from the likes of Radio 1 DJ Zane Lowe, Camden Crawl, Ninja Tunes, Hospital Records and many others

Perfumes and scented items from Vivienne Westwood, Boudicca, Miller Harris & The Body Shop

Stunning throw cushions and luxury over gloves from Mulberry

Impossible to book haircuts and exclusive products from the professionals at TiGi.

Wine from the biodynamic champions at Chateau Marais.

So, how does it work?
All lots will preview on the Rainforest Foundation UK website – – for 2 days, November 22 and 23.
Then the online auction for each item will become live on November 24 from the RFUK 12 Days Pop-Up Shop at eBay (
Bidding on all items will cease on Friday December 3.

And to guarantee these joyous lots can make their way under the Christmas tree in time, all items will be shipped by December 8. 
This auction will raise vital funds for the protection of the world’s rainforests, and give generous bidders the warm glow of shopping to help charity and no doubt some serious love in response to their amazing present giving come the big day!