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SPLASHY GUITAR CHAMPIONSHIPS (article first published : 2005-03-7)

Always in step with global trends, Splashy Fen 2005 will hold a Prize Championship for both categories - Air Guitar and Wannabe-Stars – and all that’s required is to be there with a CD to mime to and to register at the Music Inc Free Stage. No musical ability but loads of attitude? Here’s the chance of a lifetime!

“It’s time for hectic posing in front of the bedroom mirror again, because Easter long-weekend is just around the corner and all of you Air Guitarists and Wannabe-Stars imaginary groups are invited to strut your stuff on the Music Inc Free Stage,” says Splashy Fen General Manager, Pedro Carlo. “This will be the third time that Splashy Fen Music Festival features such an outrageous exhibition, and everyone agrees that each was funnier – and more popular – than the previous one. Musical instruments and the ability to play them are obviously NOT required...just a whole lot of attitude!”

To compete and be eligible for the Prize, each contestant/group must supply their choice of music on CD. There are three heats, with two contestants/groups from each going through to the finals on Sunday at 14h00.

Air Guitar Rules include arriving early to register at the Music Inc Free Stage. Air Guitarists may play an electric or acoustic - or both. Each performance is set to one minute (60 seconds) of a song chosen by the contestant or event organisers. The song may be edited to one minute beforehand or the guitarist must let the festival organisers know the chosen starting point. The instrument must be invisible (air) and performers may use a real plectrum or play by strumming or finger-picking.

“The performance is solo: back-up band and roadies (air or real) are not allowed – they would make you Wannabe-Stars!” adds Pedro Carlo. “There is no dress code but you are encouraged to look the part.”

Those wanting to enter Wannabe-Stars must arrive early to register at the Music Inc Free Stage. Each group performance is played to two minutes (120 seconds) of a song chosen by the group or event organisers. The song may be edited to two minutes beforehand or the festival organisers must be informed of the starting point. The group must mime and the instruments must be invisible (air). Again, there is no dress code but performers are encouraged to look the part.

Contestants will be judged on “technical ability” plus stage presence, style, the appearance of playing “like the real thing” and audience’s response. The judges’ decision will be final.

There’s also an opportunity on the Music Inc Free Stage for unsigned, non-pro lead guitarists who can actually play – a contest which will see the winner walk off with a Yamaha RGX121 electric plus Crate GT100 amp, valued at R6,500. courtesy of the sponsors. Be prepared to walk on stage and play a two-minute solo with the equipment provided and no rehearsal time.

Many of Splashy’s headlining acts began their performing days on the Free Stage. Music Inc is providing a full back-line and professional sound engineers will be on hand to make sure that ‘garage’ stars-of-tomorrow have never been heard to better effect.

Music Inc’s Kody Chetty says that his recently-opened, first-in-the-world Yamaha Emporium/Recording Studio/Music College/Live Venue complex - at The Square on La Lucia Ridge - is “proud to be associated with Splashy Fen, and looking forward to a long and fruitful relationship...in particular helping young musicians attain their dreams”. Contact Kody on 031 566 3920.

Festival organisers will ‘promote’ Free Stage crowd-pleasers to a Marquee slot on the final evening, plus invite them to make a ‘formal’ appearance at Splashy 2006 – good enough reasons to rehearse hard now and arrive early at Easter!

Splashy Fen takes place over the Easter Weekend from March 24 to 28. More information on Splashy Fen at www.splashyfen.co.za




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