Norwich music video festival returns

The music video has come a long way from its earliest MTV days and now technology has put it into the reach of even the most humble band. BBC Norfolk Music Video Festival returns later this year offering bands the chance of national exposure. SIMON PARKIN reports.

Later this year, Norwich will once again host the UK's only dedicated music video festival.

The BBC Music Video Festival is returning after a hugely successful week-long festival last year that saw it highlight some of the best — and worst — examples of music videos together with a host of events featuring industry experts and live performances.

Music videos have come a long way since Video Killed The Radio Star by Buggles became the first song ever played on MTV in 1981.

From multi-award winning extravaganzas like Sledgehammer — which saw Peter Gabriel lying still under a sheet of glass for 16 hours while plasticine modellers got to work — to simple but hugely effective videos like that for Johnny Cash's Hurt, it's an art form that has spawned a whole industry.

Videos were once only possible for high profile acts whose record labels were willing to stump up the substantial budget. However the advent of digital cameras, home editing technology and a ready outlet on YouTube and Vimeo means it is now in the hands of any band.

Arguably the only barrier stopping any band from producing a memorable video — from established artists to the most humble local act — is there own imagination.

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This year's festival, taking place from the 19th September 19 to October 1, will be specialising in new and emerging acts.

Once again, the it will take place in Fusion at the Forum, with videos featured on Europe's largest permanent panoramic HD digital screen.

And in an offer that surely no local band will pass up, submitted videos will be featured not just on the giant video screen in Norwich but on BBC outdoor screens across the country.

It's a unique opportunity for film-makers and musicians will get their work seen and heard by thousands of people.

'The festival specialises in new and emerging acts and last year had ace videos from the likes of Slow Club, Lone Wolf, Lulu and the Lampshades, The Twilight Sad and The Wave Pictures,' said festival co-ordinator Sam Hill.

'We also had some great film events and presentations from industry insiders such as Caroline Bottomley of RADAR Music Videos and BBC 6 Music's Adam Buxton with a special Bug show.

'This year, alongside our daily music video showcase, we will again have some very special events.'

Among the expert speakers this year will be Jamie Thraves, from Making Music Videos, who has made promos for Radiohead, Coldplay, Blur, The Verve, Doves and Razorlight, and who is renowned as one of the genre-defining music video directors of our time.

Ashley Dean, director and owner of Broken Pixel studios, will be hosting a masterclass in music video animation, while Jamal Edwards, who aged just 19 was racking up some one and a half million hits a month on his films, pop and urban music site SBTV, will be sharing some of the secrets of his success.

The festival will also coincide with two major music events. Norfolk County Youth Orchestra and top local musicians will collaborate on a stunning audio-visual project, while Music: In Focus is a photography exhibition focusing on a year in the life of the local music scene, being staged in conjunction with Outline Magazine.

Last year the festival opened its doors to acts from across the UK having previously included the best new music and videos from the Norfolk band scene alone. It's a policy that they are continuing this year.

Festival director and BBC Norfolk Introducing producer Gary Standley said: 'The aim this time has been to get as many up-and-coming acts as possible on the big screen, covering all areas and genres.

'There is so much great new music being made in the UK and some outstanding videos to support them. The truth is, however, many of the best acts and best videos go unseen and unheard. The festival will display the talents of both film-makers and musicians.

'Norwich boasts one of the best new music scenes in the country, so it's no surprise that it has become the natural home for an event now drawing interest from all around the country.'


BBC Music Video Festival offers a chance for your film and song to be seen and heard by thousands of people.

To enter a video, simply fill out the following application form (available by emailing then post along with a data-DVD or memory stick containing your video to: BBC Music Video Festival, The Forum, Millennium Plain, Norwich, NR2 1BH.

The video must be a high quality or HD MPEG, MOV, WMV or AVI file and in 16:9 widescreen format. DVD movies will not be accepted.

For more information about submissions, or enquiries about the festival email or call 01603 284337.