BBC Music has agreed a new partnership with Live Nation to tour emerging artists across the US.
The public broadcaster is linking up with the promoting giant to deliver four tours over a 12-month period, featuring four acts and comprising around six dates each.
“We're going to be selecting artists that have gone on the journey from local radio level to national network radio, but have not yet made their first foray into North America,” the BBC’s head of popular music, live music and events, Jason Carter, told Music Week. “We're working in partnership with Live Nation to bring those artists over to the States.”
The first tour is slated for November, with the bill to be announced shortly. “They're bands that have been on a journey with the BBC, who are getting good support now,” said Carter. “You can imagine if we'd have done this two or three years ago it might've been Catfish And The Bottlemen, or six years ago it would've been Florence + The Machine's first footsteps into North America.
“What we want to do is extend our public service role with new musicians. It would be great to continue that support to help new artists in the US. Effectively, we are the curators of British talent that we think should be exposed in North America, working in partnership with Live Nation as the promoter.”
Carter, a former manager and promoter, is already looking ahead and believes the initiative could lead to BBC Music curating stages at festivals in the US and beyond in the years to come. “It's small steps, but a big step in another respect,” he said.
As head of BBC Introducing, Carter has been instrumental in its success since its launch in 2007, helping showcase future stars such as Florence + The Machine, alt-J, Jake Bugg, Catfish And The Bottlemen, Bombay Bicycle Club and Slaves.
Carter revealed he plans to mark the scheme’s 10th anniversary in grand style next year. “We are planning our first flagship event in the UK to celebrate BBC Introducing and it will be an event that will be broadcast across all the networks,” he said. “We will have a combination of a main stage with some of the alumni that have come through BBC Introducing who we know will come and play if they are available because there's a great deal of loyalty to the brand. Amongst that, we'll also have different network stages where our Introducing champions on the different radio networks will have stages with brand new artists, so it's a big moment.
“If you think about it, the different networks all have their own flagship events and we're going to create another chapter in the journey of Introducing with a big festival of music on our 10th anniversary.”
Carter has also unveiled the full BBC Introducing stage line-up for this year’s Glastonbury Festival, which includes hotly tipped acts such as Isaac Gracie, Rocky NTI, Dancing Years and The Bay Rays.
Glastonbury Introducing line-up:
Gwen and the Good Thing
The Vryll Society
Esther Joy Lane
The Bay Rays