Barclaycard Mercury Prize reveals new plans for 2012

The Barclaycard Mercury Prize has unveiled extensive new plans for 2012 as part of a new four-year agreement with title partner, Barclaycard. Highlights include a move of the Awards Show to the Roundhouse in November, increased television coverage on Channel 4 and a new series of exclusive live gigs featuring the ‘Albums of the Year’ shortlisted artists.

The developments have been designed to generate even greater levels of interest in the artists and bands that the Mercury Prize promotes, whilst also engaging more music fans through increased access to live events, broadcast coverage and online content.

The Barclaycard Mercury Prize, which is best known for its celebration of the UK and Irish ‘Albums of the Year’, will expand its Awards Show in 2012 through a move to one of the UK’s most iconic music venues, the Roundhouse in Camden. All twelve of the 2012 shortlisted artists will be invited to perform live at the event on Thursday 1 November, which will culminate in the announcement of the overall winner of the 2012 Barclaycard Mercury Prize for ‘Album of the Year’. The change of venue will enable the event to accommodate more guests than ever before. Alongside the event’s usual table seating, there will now be greater access for music fans through additional ticket competitions and promotions. As part of an initial 3-year arrangement with the Roundhouse, the Prize will also be launching a new programme of grassroots activity and workshops developed in association with the venue’s Youth Programme.

Ahead of the Awards Show, the shortlist of ‘2012 Albums of the Year’ will be announced at the Albums of the Year Launch Party on Wednesday 12 September. The event, which will be hosted by the Prize’s longstanding partner The Hospital Club in Covent Garden, will take place in the evening for the first time this year, adding a greater sense of glamour and occasion to what is already one of the most hotly anticipated events in the entertainment calendar.

There will be further expansion of the Prize’s events programme in 2012 through the introduction of a new series of exclusive one-off live gigs featuring the ‘Albums of the Year’ shortlisted artists, which will be recorded for broadcast, with content also being made available to record labels. The ‘Albums of the Year Live’ events will take place in October at exclusive venues across London during the period between the Albums of the Year Launch and the Awards Show. All of the shortlisted artists will be invited to play their ‘Albums of the Year’ at the intimate events, with tickets made available to fans through ticket competitions and promotions.

All 2012 Barclaycard Mercury Prize events will be the subject of dedicated programmes on Channel 4, as part of an initial 3-year agreement that sees the broadcaster become the Prize’s official television partner. Up to sixteen individual ‘Albums of the Year’ programmes will be broadcast on the network each year, in addition to the Barclaycard Mercury Prize Sessions shows that Channel 4 already airs.

The Albums of the Year Launch will receive standalone coverage for the first time, with a 30-minute programme being broadcast on Channel 4 on the night of the event. Each of the shortlisted artists that play an ‘Albums of the Year Live’ gig will also be the subject of their own standalone shows, which will also be broadcast on Channel 4 in the weeks leading up to the Awards Show. The Awards Show programming itself will include live footage of the winner announcement, as well as full coverage of all of the live performances on Friday 2 November. Channel 4 will also be supporting the Prize across its other platforms and strands including T4, Freshly Squeezed, and

Dan Ford, Managing Director of the Mercury Prize explained the motivation for the changes: “It’s essential that the Barclaycard Mercury Prize proposition evolves and continues to deliver exciting and engaging experiences that appeal to music fans. By providing access to a whole season of Barclaycard Mercury Prize live events, broadcast coverage and online content, we will be able to help even more people discover and experience the amazing range of new music that comes out of the UK every year - generating more interest in the shortlisted artists and albums than ever before. It’s fantastic news that we are in a position to move forward with these plans in partnership with Barclaycard as part of their ongoing support of music in the UK.”

Dan Mathieson, Head of Sponsorship at Barclaycard said: “We are delighted to be extending Barclaycard’s highly successful partnership with the Mercury Prize for another four years, as part of our wider music and entertainment benefits programme; Barclaycard Unwind. The Mercury Prize is an iconic event that sits perfectly alongside our existing partnerships with The NEC Group, Wembley Arena and Wireless Festival and provides us with the opportunity to provide enriched music and entertainment experiences for our customers as well as the opportunity to showcase the latest payment technology such as contactless payments.”

Notes to Editors:

The Barclaycard Mercury Prize champions all genres of recorded music through its celebration of the ‘Albums of the Year’. The Prize also celebrates the best live music in the UK through monthly live ‘Barclaycard Mercury Prize Sessions’ with The Hospital Club - a stand-alone initiative not linked to the ‘Albums of the Year’ competition.

Barclaycard Unwind is an exclusive world of music for Barclaycard customers. Bringing them ticket reserves for must-see gigs, one-off live sessions with the UK’s most in-demand artists, news, competitions and more.

The Roundhouse is one of the UK?s most iconic music venues. Each year it works with over 3,000 11-25 year-olds to help them realise their creative potential, and offers audiences of all ages new and extraordinary experiences in live music, circus, theatre and new media.

May 22, 2012 8:52am ET by Charm Factory   Comments (0)

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