The LambethYouth festival at Lambeth Town Hall is fast approaching and UK UNSIGNED (UKU) director, John Downie, has announced audition dates. On 6th, 13th and 20th March, young singers, poets, filmmakers and dancers can audition for a coveted place at the LambethYouth Festival on 26th March, alongside headline acts JAMM TYME – UK UNSIGNED 2010 Best MCs and other 2010 UKU Winners. The Inaugural event is Downie’s brainchild and an evolution for his eleven-year-old Society for the Advancement of Black Arts (SABA) charity network.

SABA is behind the annual UK UNSIGNED talent contest and has spawned the likes of NDubz, dance group Flawless and Leona Lewis. John Downie, says, “With so much negative media surrounding young people these days, we thought it was about time that our youth was given an opportunity to portray a positive side to their lives.”

There will be opportunities for performers from the festival to progress to the 2011 UK UNSIGNED talent Competition. This year, prizes include £1000 cash, and a management and a recording contract with UK UNSIGNED’s new record label, UKU Records. In the Reggae category, contestants may also win an opportunity to represent the UK at Jamaica’s 50th Independence Celebrations in Kingston, Jamaica in 2012. The festival will launch The Song For Jamaica competition to find the best Roots, Reggae, Bashment or Dubstep act.

All proceeds from the festival will go towards SABA’s training academy. The training academy, delivers a range of accredited training in various aspects of the creative industries. It also provides business support to new creative organisations in areas such as media production, marketing, event management and studio engineering. Over the years it has helped over 60 youths to turn their lives around and to realise their true potential.

Lambeth Youth festival flyer

Lambeth Youth Festival

“We are proud of our niche position in this very competitive industry as being the one stop shop for creative sector participants”, says Downie, “We have been able to provide a fantastic starting point for both performers and new organisations across the entertainment world, he continued.”

SABA will be holding auditions for performers aged 13-25 to take part in the Youth Festival at the Palace Project, Palace Road Estate, Streatham Hill, London, SW2 3HS. Performers can book a place by calling 020 8776 676 or 07932 949 319 or by emailing [email protected].

Tickets for the Youth Festival are £5 and are available from the SABA box office on 020 8776 6776 or from The LambethYouth Festival will be at Lambeth Town Hall, Brixton Hill, London, SW2 1RW, from 4pm – 8pm. The event will be broadcast live on SABA’s digital TV & Radio network:

For further information visit or the Youth Digital Network website.

The UK Corner covers urban entertainment from a British perspective and is written by Fiona McKinson. She is a freelance journalist and creative writer based in London. Contact her at [email protected]