THE metronome is ticking and time is running out for musicians across the island of Ireland to enter Star Nation 2020.
Already the number of entries for this year’s competition – cooked up by Irish pizza chain Four Star Pizza (FSP) – has surpassed last year but with less than two weeks until the closing date of Monday, July 13, organisers are urging musicians not to miss out on the chance to win some amazing prizes, including musical equipment, recording time and a chance to play a prestigious showcase gig.
With hundreds of original songs already submitted, Four Star Pizza has revealed that more than half of the entries are from Leinster, so FSP Communications Executive Christina Hamilton is calling on songwriters and bands from other regions not to be left behind.
“This is our second annual Star Nation competition and we’ve been blown away by the number of entries we’ve received, which has already far exceeded our targets and last year’s numbers,” said Christina.
“Leinster is obviously bursting at the seams with talent this year as more than half of all entries are from that province, with almost a quarter coming from the Ulster region.
“So we would really urge musicians from Munster and Connacht to get their instruments out and show us what they can do!” she added.
“Of course we know that when it comes to music, it’s quality rather than quantity that counts, but we just want to ensure that every region is well represented and in with a strong chance of winning the competition.”
Last year’s Star Nation competition was won by Galway punk band Turnstiles and bass player Jake Tiernan is urging his Connacht compatriots to reclaim the title this year.
“Anyone with a dream to be a famous musician should enter the Star Nation 2020 competition,” said Jake.
“We had a fantastic journey last year from entering the competition right through to being crowned the winners and we are still reaping the benefits now through the various connections we have made and relationships we have built.
“Getting to play at iconic music venue Whelans was a real highlight for me and we have actually played there five times now because of the connections we made through Star Nation.
“So with this year’s final taking place on our home patch at The Roisin Dubh in Galway, as a result of our win, we would really urge artists in Connacht to get their entries in and retain the title that we won last year,” he added.
“Recording our song at Windmill Lane Recording Studio was another huge moment for us as everyone made us feel so incredibly welcome and were brilliant to work with.
“Without winning this prize through Star Nation, I don’t think we would have ever had the chance to record at such a prestigious studio.
“As a band, we hadn’t purchased any new instruments in a very long time, so when we won €3,000 to spend at MusicMaker as part of our prize we were excited to say the least!
“We bought a whole new drumkit, a new guitar and a bass amp and all of these things have gone a long way to helping our music career.
“I would say to anyone who is thinking of entering this year’s Star Nation competition – just do it, you have nothing to lose!
“The prizes we won last year have been beyond beneficial to us as a band and the connections we have made along the way invaluable,” concluded Jake.
This year’s prizes include:
The overall winner will receive €3,000 of musical equipment from leading music store MusicMaker in Dublin, described by Glen Hansard as ‘a vital artery in the Dublin rock scene’ with visitors over the years including the likes of U2, Blondie, Muse, Fun Loving Criminals, Manic Street Preachers and The National.
All four provincial winners will receive a one-day recording session at the renowned Windmill Lane Recording Studios, following in the footsteps of artists like David Bowie, Lady Gaga, U2, Van Morrison, Kylie Minogue, Depeche Mode, The Rolling Stones, New Order, The Spice Girls, Kodaline and Snow Patrol… to name but a few.
All four finalists will perform at the live Grand Final showcase event at The Roisin Dubh in Galway on September 12.
This year’s competition will include a new ‘People’s Choice’ award in which the public will vote for one of the four finalists to perform at the prestigious Ruby Sessions in Dublin, which has hosted the likes of Ed Sheeran, Damien Rice, Paul Brady, Hozier and many more.
‘Star Nation’ is free to enter and musicians can submit their track to Four Star Pizza online before the closing date of midday, July 13, 2020.
n Full details on how to enter along with terms and conditions for entry, which must be read and agreed, can be found at www.fourstarpizza.co.uk/star-nation and don’t forget to use #StarNation2020 on social media if you are posting about the competition.