We’re on the hunt for Suffolk and Norfolk musicians aged 14-25 to play our New Dawn stage at First Light Festival 2024. As well as the chance to perform on our emerging artists stages, a headline slot on our main Sunlight Stage is up for grabs. Do you have a unique voice, an incredible talent or something to say with your music? Want to get your music heard by industry experts and play for thousands of festival goers under the midsummer sun?

Applications for 2024 are now closed.

We will contact successful applicants by Friday 18th March.


Who are we looking for?

The East has a lively, diverse music scene, which we’d love to see reflected in our New Dawn line up. Our expert panel is looking for exciting musicians who are making waves in their area. You might be an established artist breaking through, or a recently formed band. We’re looking for any genre, any style.

All we ask is that you are:

Aged 14-25 (in June 2024)

Live, work, play music or have a strong connection to Norfolk and Suffolk

Available to perform across the First Light Weekend (22 & 23 June 2024)

What do you get out of it?

By applying, you’ll get your music in front of some of the best-connected music professionals in the East: professionals who are all about helping young talent to get noticed. The selected acts will get the chance to play on the New Dawn stage over our First Light Festival weekend in June. The New Dawn headliner will also get the chance to perform to our expected crowds of thousands on the main Sunlight Stage. First Light’s new collaboration with Latitude Festival offers the exciting opportunity for a chosen New Dawn act to perform at Henham Park over the weekend of 25-28 July. This is an exciting chance to get yourself and your music out there!


The Panel

Our panel is made up of experts from the regional music scene. They are…

Genevieve Christie: Director, First Light Festival, Lowestoft

Helen Hayes: Music Coordinator, First Light Festival, Lowestoft

Ian Johnson: Head of Industry Partnerships, Access to Music in Norwich

Angelle Joseph: Presenter, BBC Music Introducing in Norfolk and Suffolk

Ed Lilo: Lead Talent Buyer for Latitude Festival

Brian McAllister – Owner of the Banham Barrel venue in Norfolk

Marcus Neale – Brighten The Corners Festival

Retro Firefly – 2023 New Dawn artist and recipient of 2024 First Light Artist Residency at Britten Pears Arts

Sebbuku: 2023 New Dawn Headliner

Ben Street: Director, Wild Paths Festival, Norwich

Sebbuku: 2023 New Dawn Headliner

The Process

Applications are free and are now open. To apply, follow the link below and complete the form. We’ll need a link to a song/track of your choice, as well as a link to a video of you performing live (though this could just be you live from your bedroom). Make sure that both links are accessible to the selection panel.

Applications are now closed. We will contact successful applicants by Friday 18th March.






New Dawn 2023

Last year we had over 70 applications, with 32 emerging acts selected to play the New Dawn stage. Norfolk rapper $ebbuku was selected as New Dawn headliner, playing a prime time slot on our main Sunlight Stage.

Several New Dawn musicians were also invited to perform with Grammy-nominated Tom McRae and to join a New Dawn special on BBC Introducing.

Other successful 2023 acts include: Albert Roberts | Alex Hawkins | Alex McIntyre | Brayden Jay | Breeze Redwine | Charlie Pittman | Chloe Lupton | Elsi | Esme Emerson | Gabby Rivers | Grace Calver | Isla Mae | Jehenna | Jenna Oxbury | John Harry Green | JULIET | Kitty-May | LA NUCCI | Lara Price Band | Lottie Gray | Lumie | Maple Ward | Majic | N I K A | Phoebe Lawrence | Retro Firefly | ROMA | Samarchy | Signalong with Jessica | Tiah Jean | The Marijanovic