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Liverpool's unsigned music talent shines as winners of Out On Stage 2014 announced

Fri 09th, May

Three unsigned music acts will play to tens of thousands of people this summer – after judges in a major Liverpool talent search were left overwhelmed at the competition’s final.

Three unsigned music acts will play to tens of thousands of people this summer – after judges in a major Liverpool talent search were left overwhelmed at the competition’s final.

Two bands/singers were due to be crowned winner and runner-up at the Michael Causer Foundation’s Out On Stage Grand Final 2014 at Camp and Furnace last night (Thursday, May 8).

But judges – including some of the city’s leading music industry figures – were so impressed that they picked three acts to perform between this summer’s Liverpool Pride and Liverpool International Music Festival (LIMF).

Expansive rock outfit Edge of Eden were named overall winners and will play both events, while psychedelic rock act Watchtower UK will perform at Pride and contemporary R&B performers Shell Deliah will play LIMF.

“The talent that was found through Out On Stage 2014 was overwhelming and totally surpassed all expectations. We had to make a decision to put through three acts because, against industry standards, they are phenomenal.”

The result was an amazing double for Michelle Harris, aged 21, from Maghull, and Alex Dopierala, 20, from Nantwich, who perform with both Edge of Eden and Shell Deliah.

Vocalist Michelle, whose co-performers in Edge of Eden are all students at LIPA, said today: “I don’t think it’s sunk in yet. I was completely speechless last night.

“These will be the biggest crowds we’ve ever played to and it means the world to us – we’re fulfilling a dream here. I can’t wait to perform in my home town at two incredible events. It’s just overwhelming.”

Last night’s judging panel included commercial music experts Jen Corrigan and Karl Connor, from Liverpool-based Fierce Management; LIMF curator Yaw Owusu; Ellie Phillips, founder and director of Liverpool Music Awards; and Sean Weaver, from Liverpool Pride.

Karl said: “The talent that was found through Out On Stage 2014 was overwhelming and totally surpassed all expectations. We had to make a decision to put through three acts because, against industry standards, they are phenomenal.”

The Michael Causer Foundation runs Out On Stage to showcase unsigned talent in support of its aim to motivate Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) young people on Merseyside. It is a partnership with Liverpool Pride, LIPA and, for the first time this year, with LIMF.

The charity was launched in memory of gay teenager Michael Causer, aged 18, from Whiston, who was brutally attacked at a house party in 2008 and never recovered from his injuries.

Money raised at last night’s final will go to the Lord Mayor of Liverpool Councillor Gary Millar’s charity appeal, which is benefiting charities including the Foundation.

Lynn Pates, interim chair of trustees, said: “It was overwhelming to see so much talent perform last night and everybody was blown away by the quality of all the acts.

“The competition has been a huge success and we had a great turnout at the final. There is so much support for the Foundation and we’re incredibly grateful to everybody who has backed Out On Stage 2014.”

More than 70 acts entered the competition and 18 were chosen to play at heats in March and April. The other finalists who performed last night were Audio Zero, Samantha Cottrell, and Pieces of a Man.

This year’s competition was organised by LIPA students Jenna Dooling, aged 22, from Crosby, and Lauren Hannaway, aged 26, from Woolton, on behalf of the Michael Causer Foundation.

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The Michael Causer Foundation was setup by murdered gay teen Michael Causer’s parents to raise funds to provide safe accommodation for LGBT young people at risk; to help tackle hate crime; and to motivate local communities to support diversity and equality. Please help us reach our aims by donating to the charity.

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