Music Awards for Staffordshire and Cheshire set to celebrate region’s music scene

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A ceremony celebrating the best in music from the region is set to take place later this month.

The Music Awards of Staffordshire and Cheshire will be held at the Kings Hall in Stoke on February 11, with 13 awards up for grabs.

Categories include Best New Act, Best Rock Band, Best Electronic Act and Best Urban Act.

Event organiser Lee Barber, from Meir, came up with the idea after thinking the diverse range of acts from the area needed more exposure.

He said: “I noticed a lot of local acts were making great progression in 2015, national radio plays, national festival slots, but locally they seemed to be completely unknown, and I wondered why these acts weren’t being celebrated.

“I also noticed that though there are many different genres of music in the area, the music in any one genre seemed restricted. I felt that putting together a music awards ceremony could help with both of these things, celebrating music from all across the two counties, whilst also providing an event where musicians from different genres would all be in the same place at the same time.

“I spent 2016 researching and keeping track of as much music as possible, and through that we’ve been able to put together an event which has a staggering 90 different acts nominated this year.”

As well as awards being handed out, live music will be performed by rock band The Overcast and SPQR, a three-piece who describe themselves as ‘weird rock’.

A spokesman for main sponsor Music Store Pro, who operate a store in the intu Potteries shopping centre, said: “We’re very proud to be sponsoring this years Staffordshire and Cheshire’s Music Awards as we feel it’s extremely important to do what we can to support the local music scene and all the artists and musicians involved in it.

“This area has a huge wealth of undiscovered and often underrated talent and we felt it was the least we could do to support Lee Barber and his colleagues, who have put an awful lot of hard work in to putting on this event, in order to give local artists the recognition they deserve.”

Josh Hollingworth, singer in the band RINSE who won Best Record at last year’s awards and is nominated for both Best Act and Best Single at this year’s event, said: “It’s great that we’re up for two awards again this year. It’s good knowing people like what you’re doing.

“We gained a few new fans locally at shows and on our social media from being involved and winning.”

Hip-hop artist Beit Nun is up for the newly introduced Best Urban Act award.

He said: “I was honoured to have been nominated for the award amongst the other such talented artists.

“I think the awards are a great way for local artists to receive recognition, especially those who retain their integrity and remain true to the music without compromise.”

Tickets to the event are on sale now.

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