So Saturday saw the inaugural Live Fest at the O2 a day of Urban, Rock, Indie and acoustic music as well as the Live and Unsigned “best unsigned act” competition in the IndigO2. 

First stop was the Inc Club host to a number of DJ’s and Comedians entertaining throughout the day and into the early hours. One of the acts festival goers were looking forward to seeing at this years Festival was Tinchy Stryder. 

Heading over to the IndigO2 it was clear that the crowds had started to arrive for the day. Families of nominees for the Live and Unsigned competition were easy to spot sporting X Factor style T-shirts in support of their favourite acts from all over the country. The judges of the competition included Daniel P Carter from Radio 1, Alex Barker who presents the unsigned show on Kerrang Radio and Ollie Russell-Piercy (artist liaison at Blackstar) to name but a few. 

One of the first bands I saw was Welcome to Purgatory who came 3rd in the Rock category with Pandemick in 2nd place and Loud & Proud winning this category by 17 points. 

There was a slight mix up along the way during the competition with Andy Doonan and Adam Smith  being muddled up on the screen but apart from that all went smoothly. The special effects including pyrotechnics kept the crowd lively. 

In between the competition I had time to head over to Proud2 to see the likes of Roll Deep who dedicated their set to Amy Winehouse and who took pictures of the crowd to share on their Facebook and Twitter pages for tagging. Other acts I checked out were Tinchy Stryder, Flow Dem Crew and YoungO. I also watched a few of the Acoustic sets on the Summer Terrace acoustic Stage. With a mellow feel, comfy chairs, straw bails and a BBQ the summer terrace experienced a roaring trade.

Heading back to the IndigO2 for the Urban, Pop & Acoustic finalists, I got to see Trinity Band win this section who Later that evening went on to win the overall competion. Lucy Spraggan coming a respectable 2nd and winning the opportunity to perform at Go Connect’s Festival in Melbourne Australia. 

My favourite section like the judges was the Indie finals. The Filthy Habit’s won this category and strolling on stage and immediately doing what they were told not to. Producing a collection tin for Help for Heroes and breaking the rules before they had started, all very Rock N Roll. The judges said that the bands in this category had all owned the stage and left nothing behind, they were looking for performance, ability, star quality, imagination and execution.

As the evening went on between 11pm-3am an after party was taking place in the Inc Club (over 18’s only). Zane Lowe was DJing into the early hours but I left everyone else to party on for me.

All in all a good turn out for the events taking place across the venue and a success that has already penciled in a return of the Festival for 2012 (21st January). Watch this space!

Article by Linda Game