City Showcase : Spotlight London was launched in February 2003. It was the first event of its kind, introducing new and emerging acts to a new audience and providing the opportunity for industry introductions and cross promotions through workshops – all for free. Uniquely Spotlight London included music in shops along the Kings Road and then Oxford Street, Regent Street and Carnaby Street thus allowing audiences to enjoy new music by tripping over it and not actively seeking it out.
This developed into a service for brands that saw music as a way of activating their brands – many brand and music tie-ins followed on the back of City Showcase: Spotlight London. City Showcase became known for its professional and trusted relationship with the Met police and local government and for its ability to deliver professional and efficient engaging urban events and pop-ups. As such, we were asked to host gigs as part of the festival at the O2 and at King’s Cross St Pancreas.
City Showcase was established to promote, showcase and help the development of new and emerging talent across all sectors. With the understanding that new musicians and song-writers were struggling to be seen and heard in a market increasingly driven by celebrity and reality television, it started in 2003 focusing on music. In its first year it showcased Keane on the back of demo that they sent in. Thereafter each year sacks-full of demos were delivered by the post office from aspiring musician and songwriters including from yet to be discovered Tinie Tempah, Fiona Bevan, Dan Croll and Newton Faulkner. City Showcase: Spotlight London also became ‘the’ event to introduce new artists across all genres to audiences including the late great Amy Winehouse, Razorlight, Catrin Finch, Ray Lamontagne, Sway, Ben Earle, Seth Lakeman, Lethal Bizzle, Akala, Mr Hudson, Amy Dickson, N-Dubz, Scouting For Girls, Lissie, Ashley Hicklin, Gabriella Cilmi, To supplement these sources of discovery City Showcase hosted auditions at various community music groups and colleges across London.
In September 2003, our second 2003 event, we introduced seminars, masterclasses, and workshops held at the London College of Fashion including the first ever speed dating event for songwriters and musicians to meet established and acclaimed industry executives.
By 2005 City Showcase: Spotlight London became a 5 day long festival of music and a key date in the London calendar.