August 17, 2012 - Peace Mix
It’s been a rollercoaster three months, but our adventure to the UK’s best youth music studios with the Mic Relay tour has sadly come to an end – but in spectacular style, with the phenomenal Peace Mix Play Off at the stunning Eden Project in Cornwall.
The Peace Mix Play Off was a full on party celebrating all the brilliant local music studios and spaces we visited on our tour, plus the awesome young bands, soloists, MCs and singer songwriters who’ve taken part and we met. So this regional final was a way to bring everyone together – from Birmingham, Liverpool, Bristol, Glasgow, Newport, Nottingham, South London, Leeds, Gateshead, Derry/Londonderry, Manchester and North London – irrespective of genre, background or gender under one cause: to promote peace through music.
On Wednesday buses travelled across the country to bring together all the young people we’ve met on our journey – winners, friends, studio users and family – to the Eden Project, a ‘living theatre of plants and people’ in St Austell, Cornwall. An incredibly 48 hours had already started with metal heads and MCs, soul divas and punks, bonding on the bus over pre-gig nerves, the Mic Relay tour and music.
The big day on Thursday started early, with everyone getting the chance to explore, with guided tours of the biomers from Eden Project boss Tim Smit and Play Off organiser Sophie Maher, the chance to try out the zip wire and go rock climbing. After lunch our Peace Mix family took part in an inspirational, life changing session with Nobel Peace Prize winner Scilla Elworthy and Eden Project staff on staying positive and transforming lives – yours and others.
At 5pm, after competing acts had rehearsed, showered, changed and relaxed, we all headed to the Mediterranean biome for dinner among the blooms, global gardens, trees, wildplants, birds, insects and living larder. After dining on food grown in the environment we were surrounded, Tim Smit introduced the evening with a powerful speech on how music brings everyone together, then referenced one local band who made bad music for years, couldn’t find their style, then one day it clicked for them to be the greatest live band in the world. Their name? Muse.
Audience inspired, the legendary Linda Quinn of The Big Lottery Fund – the woman who took Peace Mix from a vision by New Day Foundation’s YT into a fully fledged national campaign – took the stage, forgoing a simple speech for her own, brilliant rap. Sharif Cousins of New Day Foundation (NDF) followed, sharing his powerful personal story on how he turned his back on a life of crime and darkness, seeing his community destroyed by gang violence and too many funerals, at way too young – to start a path of light and positivity: birthing NDF.
Inspired by talks from three very different individuals, and amped on the Eden Project’s energy, we headed next door to The Core for the pinnacle of the Mic Relay tour: The Peace Mix Play Off regional final.
Look out tomorrow for blog two on the first half of acts from the Peace Mix Play Off at Eden…