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The Sharp Darts

Surface Festival gave us a priceless opportunity to showcase our music to industry experts and new fans. We highly recommend Surface Festival to all bands as the pre-organised gigs and advertising allow you to focus more on your music and the competition structure drives you to develop yourself and the band. The experience gained from the Surface Festival is really rewarding and makes it worth the hard work you have to put in along the way. Nothing can beat the feeling of watching hundreds of people enjoying your music at the best venues in town.

As a result of Surface Festival we've gained exposure and gave us focus to improve the band in many areas, from image and performance to the business side of merchandise and marketing. We took the opportunity to release our debut EP on the main stage of the Birmingham O2 Academy and also launched our merchandise range. The gig was epic and one that we won't forget in a long time. We also made more money from that gig than any other we've done to date!

Liquid Fuse

Surface Festival has been one of the best things that has happened to us so far – it’s given us the opportunity to play at venues we wouldn’t otherwise be able to play at right now, given us exposure to people in the industry, and helped us cross over with other bands and fans. It’s smoothly run by a lovely crew (thanks Rob & co!) and if you really put the effort in, it’s a great experience for everyone. It forces you to look critically at every part of your band (your music, your image, your performance, your promotion) and as you build momentum through the stages and play progressively bigger venues, you and your fans begin to feel a sense of collective achievement and pride that really fires everyone up. You’ll come out of it a better band than when you started.

Heaven Asunder

Our experience of Surface Festival has been fantastic. It's great to see an opportunity given based on talent and showmanship that does not discriminate against genre. We've played to some new audiences, met some great bands and generally enjoyed ourselves every minute and our hard work has paid off with a slot at the International final.


Surface has been an awesome experience for us as a band, it's pushed us as performers but has also helped developed the business side of the band. The best thing about Surface is it's an honest process, it doesn't claim to turn you into rock stars overnight or at all, instead it gives you the confidence, the experience and ultimately to the winners the tools to make a success of the band yourselves. We've enjoyed every second of the competition, developed good relationships with other bands and people within the industry and we hope now we can keep that going. We would recommend Surface to any band out there: realistically we would have never had the chance to play such iconic venues as Cardiff's Coal Exchange or the IndigO2, through this we have and we can't thank everyone that has supported us enough, especially the fans who have voted and the Surface Wales team (Leon, Sian, Ady and the rest of the crew!).


Surface Festival was a cool experience. I played several quality venues, saw some very good bands and it was an honor to make it all the way to the London Regional Finals as a solo artist. Despite the eclectic nature of the crowds, they were very responsive and appreciative of my music and it was great to change some people's opinions about hip hop music. I'm looking forward to winning over some new fans and doing more networking at the IndigO2. You have to make the most of every opportunity!


Surface Festival made us treat our music seriously and professionally. We got the opportunity to play high-profile gigs in venues which we never thought we would have the chance to play. Most importantly, the amount of professional feedback we received, and the industry contacts we made along the way, was invaluable to us, and will continue to help us in our musical careers. The objective feedback helped us to develop us as a band, both musically and professionally, and after four rounds, we found ourselves reaching the International Finals in the O2 Arena.

The Jays

Having been together as a band for nearly 7 years, it goes without saying that we have been subjected to playing some pretty awful venues along with more terrible promoters / bar managers / sound technicians than any human should have to deal with in their short time on this planet. Surface Festival has basically given us a chance to gig regularly throughout the last 8 months in some great venues with a great crew. From the guys running the admin side of the Festival right down to the stage managers have all been nothing but professional, polite, supportive and most importantly a right good laugh.

What we’ve also found is that playing decent venues (unsurprisingly enough) tends to entice more people to come and watch – combine that with the excitement of the competition format and the atmosphere really does light up. It’s been an amazing experience. Nerve-wracking – yes. Stressful – at times. But totally worth it all the same – and not something any of us Jays will be forgetting any time soon.

Stag Firm Collapse

Entering Surface Festival has been a great experience for us as a band, we’ve played with tons of great acts – in amazing new venues, made new friends, received valuable feedback from industry experts, and generally had a great time. Surface Festival has made us a better band and made us sure that this is what we want to do with our lives. Surface Festival has been amazing!

Laura Oakes

Surface Festival has given us a platform to play at some great venues! Our highlight so far has been playing Manchester Academy and we can't wait to play the final at the o2 in London!

Tiny Dragons

Through Surface Festival we have had an amazing few months, playing at some legendary London venues, were it not for them. Being part of the London circuit has generated even more gigs from promoters watching each stage of the festival, to new fans keen to share our music to their friends, with Surface helping our music reach out to a new audience every night.

The Tender Machine

Surface Festival has opened many doors for us. It has presented us with opportunities we would not have been given without entering the Festival. Progressing through the stages has unified us as a band and given us focus and determination to get our music to the masses. Playing the IndigO2 will be the highlight of Tender Machine's career so far, which is just one of the great things Surface Festival has to offer any band. We have been given the unique chance to grace the same stage as our idols.

Brought Into Being

Surface Festival has been such a great journey for us; we have had chances to play at loads of different venues to many different crowds. It has taught us more about putting on a show than just playing a bunch of songs. We have felt supported by the organizers and it has been great working with professional venue technicians. Thank you Surface Festival!
Joe - Brought into being.

Indigo Earth

Surface Festival has been incredible. Not only providing us with some brilliant venues and some wicked crowds, the competition has given us the chance to take our fans on a journey which we feel has really cemented the bond between us and them. The support has been overwhelming and we feel like we have taken a massive step forward in our confidence and unity as a result of the shows we have played as part of the Festival. We hope to maintain and make the most of the momentum Surface Festival has given us! Thank you!

Already Gone

In the last 12 months, we've played some of the most amazing venues we have ever seen, with superb lighting, sound, and stage engineers. Surface Festival took us to the next level. Our fan base has doubled within months and we regularly sell hundreds of tickets to our shows. We have learnt how to promote ourselves, and run the band as a business. We are organised and prepared, due to the lessons that The Surface Festival has taught us. If you want to make it, you have to be willing to put in the hard work! The Surface Festival just makes that hard work a little bit easier! Highlights of being a part of the festival are not just limited to the live shows, but the people you meet and work with, the radio interviews and newspaper articles, as well as the pleasure of watching other up and coming bands play live. We wouldn't be where we are now without the help of Surface Festival, and the invaluable opportunities it offers. We're playing amazing venues, in front of very important people from the music industry, and we can never thank you enough. There is no losing when it comes to The Surface Festival, if you go out in round one, you've not lost a thing. You can only gain from it!! Enjoy the ride and make the most of it while it lasts!!


Matt here (Obzidian vocalist). We had a great time playing the shows we played in! The venues were spot on, the sound guys were incredible managing all those sounds for so many different bands on one night and it was great to get up on stage at the O2 Academy! We'd love to give a shout out to Louise and Leon they are really nice people to work with and credit to your set up, you must keep people like that on board!

We were given a lot of confidence due to the fact that a band as heavy as us playing our music in a country that at times as no time for our style of music what so ever could go so far in your Festival. We were chuffed to get all the way to the Regional Showcase. We went out playing alongside some amazing bands that were great at what they do even if some bands may not be someone’s cup of tea it’s nice to appreciate other peoples talent. There are so many narrow minded people and we can suffer at times due to this. We have no hard feelings going out at all we stated this on one of our web pages and wish the surviving bands the best of luck in London, hope someone from our Final wins!!

Overall it’s been great and we loved every minute of it, I hope your Festival goes from strength to strength as I’m sure it will!! Matty J/OBZIDIAN \M/

The Union Dolls

Surface Festival has been very enjoyable, fun and exciting. We loved getting to meet all the people involved and getting to know other bands. Playing in the London O2 is a dream come true and we still can’t get over that after only playing 6 gigs that we will be playing in such a big venue. It is over whelming and we are so grateful it will be the experience of a lifetime and if it weren’t for Surface Festival we wouldn't of had the opportunity, by far the best thing we have done.

The Crabs

Surface Festival blew away all our expectations of what many other unsigned band competitions are. We got to perform at some of the most highly respected music venues that many unsigned bands can only dream of performing at. The Surface Team supported us throughout the stages and made every performance a breeze with no problems on any of our stages, that together with the top quality sound, lighting and photography made for an experience and opportunity you just can’t turn down. We have met and performed with some great bands and acquired new fans on our way through the stages. We and our fans have thoroughly enjoyed every one of the stages so far and are looking forward to the icing on the cake by performing at the IndigO2 in London . Performing at the IndigO2 is probably one of the best adverts and promotional tools any unsigned band could ever wish for, along with the pictures, videos and memories; what could top that? This is the real deal and we highly recommend any unsigned band to enter Surface Festival. Opportunities like this are few and far between for any band serious about the music industry and who want real prospects of furthering their music career linked to their hard work and not just luck. 10 out of 10!

Tears In Rain

El Surface Festival nos ha empujado a definir y aclarar hasta que punto la música es una prioridad en nuestras vidas. Ofrece la posibilidad de tocar en buenas salas, con un gran equipamiento, con recompensas a la calidad, dedicación y trabajo y una excelente atención personalizada. Una experiencia colectiva recomendable para los que perseguimos sueños a través del arte.

As a band, Surface Festival gave us the opportunity to show how important was music in our lives, to the point of reforming the band. They give amazing venues to play, with great equipment, rewarding the quality and dedication we give and treating us with justice and excellence. Quite an collective experience for those who want to make an art dream become true.

Jahcub and The Chosenones

I must confess that the SURFACE FESTIVAL has not only made my music improve but has also helped me to discover a better and precise sound of my own. The journey has been amazing as bands I met were great and awesome in their own way. I have taken time out with this festival through study of the other bands to see what my music lacks, and thanks to the festival I now know. Surface Festival has not only strengthened my relationship with the corporate world but has also increased my fan base.

Thanks guys.

Bury The Hatchet

Surface Festival has been brilliant! We entered the competition not really knowing what to expect, and the first round clearly illustrated the high level of musicianship we'd be facing in the competition!
Yet moving through the contest has opened doors for us; we have been privileged to play some of London's greatest venues, and play alongside some truly talented musicians, who we may not have had the possibility to play with otherwise. On top of that, we've been humbled by the response of audience and industry personnel alike, with each show meaning more and more to us. These shows have helped us to not only build our national fanbase, but to increase our local fanbase through the media exposure it has given us.

Any band out there looking to increase their exposure and play some stonking shows should definitely play Surface. The hosts are great, it's very well organised and they don't take you for mugs (unlike some other BOTB contests...)"

Bass 11

We have found playing in the surface festival a thoroughly worthwhile experience. It is very well organised and has given us steady regular gigs in great venues such as the Louisiana, (our personal favourite as the acoustics are excellent) and Muse have played there so enough said! We feel we have grown as a band since our first round and with the chance to play at the 02 Indigo in London, who wouldn't want to be part of this great experience!

Lily McCauley

All the way through Surface Festival everyone involved has been so friendly and helpful. Any confusion has been sorted out quickly and easily. I'm so pleased I chose to enter, it's given me the opportunity to play at some brilliant venues around Bristol that otherwise I probably wouldn't have had the chance to play at. I'm really looking forward to the rest of the competition, the standard has been high throughout and all the acts I've met have been really friendly, there is definitely a sense of team spirit at each round with all the acts being supportive of each other. Looking back to the start of the competition I can't believe how quickly it's all gone, it's been a great experience so far!

Great Imitation

Surface Festival has snowballed our band in the right direction - the experience has completely blown us away, it’s been a great way to help showcase our band to the music industry. We have made some amazing friends and played some legendary venues. Surface Festival has taught us how to self manage our band which we feel is so important to know with the music industry being so hard to crack these days. The regional managers advise all the bands on what to do, told us how to promote our band, told us what the judges look for (or the music industry would look for when signing a band) you even make money at each round, it’s truly transformed our band into professionals, the festival really educates an band on how to make it in the music industry.

Each round showcased us to packed audiences and new fans, every time we got through seemed to generate more interest and support, even our local papers and radio stations got excited about the Festival and ran features on each round, by the final at the O2 in London we had huge support and since we won its snowballed almost out of control. The prizes have been unbelievable; we went on 3 day tour on a Jumbo Cruiser luxury tour bus which was out of this world, we did a photo shoot with a great photographer (Dominic Nicholls) and we will be flying out to Budapest to play Sziget Festival in August which, we can’t wait to play such a world renowned festival, we are about to go and record an e.p with Univibe professional recording studios which will include a single and video with Creative Junkie Media which we will release with Zimbalam online distribution, with PR from Last FM, Believe Digital and Quite Great pr in the summer 2011.

Since the Surface win we were featured on midlands BBC introducing alongside Professor Green and Marina and the Diamonds. Kerrang radio featured us as there unsigned artist of the week, we've been offered some great gigs, had features in all our local papers and music magazines, we have gained 700+ fans on our Facebook, BBC Introducing show (The Beat) have agreed to back us with the first air of our single and a live video set for their website and idol magazine will feature our video on their online magazine. All this has happened due to the Surface Festival which just proves this festival is a must for any aspiring band.

Even since we won the guys at Surface hq have been amazingly helpful with advice and support. They really help you to try and make the most of the prizes won, they give you everything that a record label could give you to showcase your band. The Surface package has given us some unbelievable experiences and everything we need to try and make it in the music industry, it’s also given a us more than a taste of what it is like to be a rock star. I can't recommend this event enough to unsigned artists and bands.

Charlie & The Martyrs

Surface Festival has been a real journey for us, and we couldn't be happier to be playing in the National Showcase at the o2 in London! We've taken each round as it comes and really never expected to get this far! We've been overwhelmed by the support people have given us, and really loved playing at Birmingham Academy. Our area manager Leon has been great too, whatever happens its been an amazing experience!

Bury The Ladybird

Surface Festival has been the most exciting and adventerous thing we have done as of yet! When we first signed up to the festival, we had only just began our journey as a band and we had no idea how much the experience would help us develop. We signed up originally to play gigs further away from our hometown, but it did much more than that for us; our music, stage presence and performance as a whole improved hugely, we learned what it was like to work in a professional environment, we learned how dedicated our fans were, we made some awesome friends and listened to some amazing music. If you're thinking about taking part in the festival, stop thinking and do it!


The accomplishment in my life has been this festival, if you want a mere glimpse of what it would be like to be famous for a day this festival will provide you with that! Not only that the festival has given us a chance to play to hundreds if not thousands of people widening our fan base and giving us much more credibility. On entering this Festival we didn’t know what to expect apart from getting to know what our new members were capable of. The festival went on and we kept progressing through each stage up until the National Final at the O2 Complex in London. We met some really talented bands, made good friends and most of all had an awesome time! This festival has not only been enjoyable in the sense of winning but also finding us two really talented musicians, i can only hope they will be here with us in years to come!

Invalid Confessions

Surface Festival was great. We first entered the event not knowing what a professional gig was like. But that’s the thing with this Festival. It’s unique in the sense that it gives bands tons of experience. Experience with stage presence, playing on a big stage, having lighting and sound technicians. This looks great on any bio, whether it be a band one or an application for a job. I would recommend entering Surface Festival to any musician who wants their band to evolve from being a hobby, to a fully professional career.

Under The Driftwood Tree

When I initially entered the band Under The Driftwood Tree into the Surface Festival we had only just started out and I saw this as a way to play gigs and generate exposure. Surface Festival has proved to be the making of Under The Driftwood Tree and thanks to the event it has allowed us to play in places we would never usually play, for a band starting out to get a gig in Barfly, Clwb Ifor Bach, The Gate and The Cardiff Students Union was all a little too much to believe, to top it all off Surface gave everyone involved with the band, fans & family alike the weekend of their lives by allowing us to play in the O2 in London! To summarise, Surface Festival has given the bands the greatest achievement, most memorable moments and cemented the group together. Along the way we've shared the stage with some truly great acts, met some great people and it was an experience that will never be forgotten.


Overall it was amazing. Obviously it was fantastic playing at the IndigO2, the sound was the best and all our fans had a really good time. The regional showcase was also great. The lights and atmosphere that night took it to another level, despite feeling really ill, I still think that was one of our best ever gigs. We also quite enjoyed the 2nd round gig at the Purple Turtle.

Loaded Dice

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.


The feeling about the Festival was excellent for many reasons, and here are the main ones. First, non professional bands could get a feel of how the professional music industry/realm looks like and is run, thanks to the organising team. The Surface Festival organisation welcomed us to compete although we were a French band (still, based in Manchester during 1.5 year for gigs), when other Festivals seem to be more narrow-minded. We are very grateful for that. There is definitely a Before and an After (Surface Festival experience) for Televox, in the way that reaching the Final makes it much easier for us now to promote our band.

The Arcadian Kicks

The Arcadian Kicks entered the Surface Festival when they were just 17 years old and in a fairly raw form. Jon Brookes (drummer with The Charlatans), who was judging that day, saw enough potential that he felt could develop them into a major British band. Surface gave the band the initial opportunity and experience on a big stage and have helped promote the band's progress ever since. Without Surface we wouldn't of had the chance to work with one of the most talented new bands in the UK.

Ian Light (One Beat Media - Manager of The Arcadian Kicks)

The band are currently recording their new album with the legendary Mike Chapmen (Suzi Quatro, Blondie and The Knack).

Dirty Voice

Having previously played the Surface Festival, we knew just how much fun it could be, with the buzz and excitement kicking in at every round, playing new and major venues, the quality of musicianship is superb. Having worked really hard since the previous year, we decided to go for it again, and it really paid off. We reached the National Final at the IndigO2, London, and enjoyed every last second of the entire festival! You're in good hands too, with a panel of fine industry minded area managers, who really look after you and make the great experience even better!


Among other things Surface Festival has been an opportunity for us to play some great gigs as well as the obvious chance to promote ourselves in front of the industry. The fact that the Surface Festival organizers provide a full backline, including a full 5-piece drum kit complete with cymbals and hardware, and even guitars and leads if required is a real gift. It makes it a doddle to get to gigs, and setting up a piece of cake, allowing you to devote yourselves 150% to putting on a fantastic show.

Hold Your Fire!

We found out about this Festival and entered it not thinking we would even be considered being from the Channel Islands. Our regional manager Tim has been awesome and looked after (tolerated) us in each round. The Regional Showcase in particularly were incredibly tough. We honestly didn't think we'd get through. But that hadn't mattered at any point, the reason we entered this was to showcase that we are a live performance band, and whenever we get up on a stage we give it all we've got. And it seems to have worked so far. We've recommended the Festival to every band we've met, as it's a real opportunity to get to network with other bands, venues, and have a really good time.


I would like to say that Twister have found the Festival this year as the highlight of their band career so far. We have been able to play at the some of best venues across the country and worked and met with some great people from the Industry. Twister have twice entered the Festival and are not only proud to have finished second but to be associated
with a Festival such as Surface.

Axis Mundi

Surface Festival has been a fantastic experience and a massive benefit to my band. The festival allowed us to play to large audiences at some incredible venues. We were able to build a large following because, success on success, our supporters felt a part of something. There was the capacity to earn some money from our gigs if we were willing to put the necessary effort into getting people into venues. The way in which the Festival decided which bands were to progress to the next round, was also the most impartial method that we know of and have competed within. Our Regional Manager Leon, was very friendly, helpful and supportive throughout the competition. Leon always answered any phone calls, texts or e-mails and even rescued my bag which I left behind at the O2 Academy. What a saint.

Old Yellow

After hearing about the Surface Festival in 2009, we finally organised ourselves and managed to enter this year, and were accepted! We have met, laughed with and played along side so many top musicians and have been very impressed with the standard of the bands in all the rounds. You learn a lot about yourself as a musician when playing with other members in a band, but even more so when facing the competition. Surface has really boosted our confidence not just as band members and performers but also as song writers.


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