Spirit West Coast to participate in national talent search

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DEL MAR, Calif. — Spirit West Coast will be the second stop of a national talent search sponsored by the Christian Festival Association and Word Label Group, which will provide an artist development deal for the winner.

More than two dozen Christian music festivals are participating in the project, including Spirit West Coast Monterey, Seattle's Creation Northwest and Minnesota's Sonshine Festival.

"The purpose of this venture is to identify and provide a platform for new artists who can communicate a God-centered worldview in the language of contemporary culture so that the next generation can see, hear and know God," Bob Thompson, president of CFA, said. "The Christian Festival Association is delighted to again be partnering with Word Label Group to provide this unique new platform for aspiring Christian artists."

Regional competitions will take place at 19 CFA-affiliated festivals this summer, and a regional winner will be determined at each festival. Those 19 winners will be invited to Nashville in September to participate in the national finals.

The Del Mar competition will be held during the festival's three-day run, May 28 to 30. The competition begins as an online contest, where newcomers post their submissions. Initial judging of the online submission will be done by a panel of leaders associated with SWC. Although submissions for the Del Mar event must be received by April 10, the slots are filling quickly, so check with SWC for availability. Finalists chosen from the online acts will be invited to the music festival, where they will be given 10 minutes of stage time to perform two numbers.

The grand-prize winner and runner-up from the finals will be given the opportunity to perform two songs on the Main or Alternative Stage (festival's choice of stage based on style). The Del Mar Grand Prize winner will be recognized in the 70,000 SWC bi-monthly eBlast and the Monterey program.

The festival winner will be invited to the national talent search finals in Nashville later this year.

The overall winner will receive a development deal with the Word Label Group family of labels, which includes Fervent Records, Myrrh Records and Word Records.

The 2010 contest marks the third year of the partnership between the festivals and Word.

Jeremy Holley, vice president of Consumer & Interactive Marketing for Word Label Group, called the talent search an "innovative and straightforward method of discovering and promoting talent.

"Word is continually striving to discover and magnify the most relevant and cutting-edge sounds in Christian music and we can't wait to hear and see the new music that this year's competition produces," Holley said.

Representing 27 of the nation's leading events with more than 1.4 million concertgoers annually, the Christian Festival Association supports its member festivals to grow both spiritually and fiscally, so that more lives can be changed for the glory of God. More than 22 million Christian music fans each year attend live events in venues ranging from small church gatherings to huge arena-based shows.

A division of Word Entertainment, owned by Warner/Curb Company, Word Label Group, artist roster includes Diamond Rio, Point of Grace, Mark Schultz, BarlowGirl, Fransesca Battistelli, Big Daddy Weave, Sidewalk Prophets, Satellites and Sirens, Selah, Natalie Grant, pureNRG and Remedy Drive.

For more information concerning the National Talent Search, including registration information and deadlines, visit www.spiritwestcoast.org and find the Indie Artist Opportunity link under the Appearing button.

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