Huw Stephens and O2 Think Big to "build a band" of real musicians to perform at the UK's biggest venues

Leading DJ champions project to provide opportunities for the best of UK’s undiscovered young talent

Huw Stephens – DJ, presenter and advocate of new music – has teamed up with O2 Think Big to offer up to ten talented young musicians from different backgrounds across the UK, the platform to shine by making them a part of a new band that will showcase later on this year.

The Build a Band project is open to any vocalist or instrumentalist, DJ or MC between the ages of 16-25 with raw talent and a determination to succeed. To be in with a chance of becoming part of this grassroots Think Big band, Huw Stephens is asking young people to send an audition video via the O2 Think Big website (www.o2thinkbig.co.uk) by 13 September 2012.

O2’s Think Big supports young people across the UK in transforming their creativity and passions into projects that benefit their local communities through money, support and training. The Think Big band and tour are designed to celebrate and raise awareness amongst young people of the support available and the talent that already exists.

The new band members will work with Huw and a team that includes a song-writer and producer. Together they will create and produce an original piece of music that reflects everything that is great about British musical culture and its social diversity, whilst learning life skills that will stand them in good stead for the future.

The band will hit the road in October and November and perform as part of the O2 Think Big tour. The series of gigs, put on by young people for young people, will take place in Glasgow, Liverpool, Birmingham and London, and will enable these ten young stars the opportunity to perform alongside one of the biggest acts in the UK.

Huw Stephens said:
“There are so many talented young people across the UK who don’t have the chance to showcase their musical ability. That’s why I’m working with Think Big to find new talent and offer them the opportunity to shine.

“I want to hear from every kind of musician and vocalist out there. It doesn’t matter if you play the drums or harp, are a DJ or a beatboxer. At this stage, we’re open to anyone and it is so easy to apply, I want to hear from you all.

“There is so much untapped talent in this country and not just music-related. Schemes like O2’s Think Big exist to provide youngsters with the opportunities to show their creativity.”

The O2 Think Big tour is a celebration of the 2,000 youth projects that O2 Think Big has helped to fund and make happen across the UK over the past 2 years.

The shows themselves will be organised and run by young people who volunteered to take part in its creation – from lighting and sound to make-up and engineering. Every role on the tour will be performed by a young person.

Bill Eyres, head of O2 Think Big said:

“Young people are brimming with ideas, passion and enthusiasm and we want to encourage all of that exciting creativity. That’s exactly what O2 Think Big is about. We give bright young people the tools and help needed to grow their passion and ideas.

“The Think Big tour is a celebration of young people and what they can achieve. Music plays a huge role in the lives of young people and so we thought what better way to embrace this than by putting on four big gigs, built and performed at by talented young people.”

Tickets for each gig will be priced at £5 with all funds raised going back to O2 Think Big to help fund more projects around the UK. If each show is to sell out, Think Big can help fund over 150 new Think Big projects.

Last October O2 Think Big threw a Gig at the O2 Indigo to celebrate the projects achieved by young people in the UK. The show was a sell-out success with people turning up to see headline stars Chipmunk and Wretch 32 perform. Joining the UK’s biggest urban artists onstage was a host of people who launched successful projects with help from Think Big.

Inspired by last year’s success, O2 Think Big is returning this year with bigger and better shows – in the form of a four-gig tour – all put together by young people, for young people.

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About O2 in the UK
O2 is the commercial brand of Telefónica UK Limited and is a leading communications company with over 23 million customers – read more about O2 at www.o2.co.uk/news. O2 runs 2G and 3G networks and was the first to trial 4G/LTE, reaching speeds of over 100Mpbs, as well as owning half of Tesco Mobile. It also operates O2 Wifi, O2 Health, O2 Unify, O2 Media and has recently launched the O2 Wallet. O2 employs over 11,000 people in the UK, has 450 retail stores and sponsors The O2, O2 Academy venues and the England rugby team. Telefónica UK Limited is part of Telefónica Europe plc which uses O2 as its commercial brand in the UK, Ireland, Slovakia, Germany and the Czech Republic and is a business division of Telefónica SA.