Who Can Apply?
Each year, 12 Points Festival features 12 bands or solo performers from 12 different European countries. 12 Points Festival is open to European bands and solo artists active in jazz and other improvisation led idioms who meet the following criteria.
If you are a non-European musician, currently living in Europe, you are eligible to apply. If you are a European musician currently living outside Europe, you are eligible to apply. If you are a non-European musician living outside Europe you are NOT eligible to apply.
- Bosnia & Herzegovina
- Cyprus, Republic of
- Czech Republic
- San Marino
- United Kingdom
12 Points has been developed as a showcase festival for emerging practitioners and artists in the early stages of their performance career, typically in the mid 20s to early 30s cohort. This is an aspiration of 12 Points, and it is not our intention to enforce a rigid age restriction. For example, we would not reject an application from a very worthy younger group or soloist, nor would we do so for an applicant from an artist(s) who had come to artistic maturity at a later time in life. Equally, an ensemble application would not be rejected on the grounds that one particular member was significantly older than his/her bandmates. However, if it was the case that the majority of band members exceeded the mid 20s/early 30s age profile, it is likely that such an application would not be considered. Be aware that you will be required to provide information on the age of all band members in the online submission.
Ensembles / Solo performers
12 Points is open to working ensembles and individual performers with a solo repertoire. A typical successful application will be one that has already established itself in the country where it is based, has made professional standard recordings, performed at domestic festivals and venues and been reported in national press. However, this is a guideline only - in the past the festival has presented artists who are already well established internationally and signed to major labels and equally we have presented artists who have yet to release a debut CD or complete formal studies. However, in all cases successful applicants were able to demonstrate the highest levels of commitment, ambition and focus. Strong individual playing, originality in approach, a cohesive group sound, high standards of performance and composition and the ability to engage and communicate with an audience are prerequisites.
12 Points is committed to showcasing bands and solo performers who have shown dedication and focus in developing their music. Ad hoc groupings or solo projects that have been put together solely for the purpose of this application will be quickly identified and rejected in the short listing process.
In the festival archive you can find information on all the artists who have previously performed in 12 Points, which may help you in understanding the aesthetic principles that guide our festival. You will see there is no stylistic bias at work. Lyrical piano trios, pop deconstructions, virtuoso soloists, groovy organ trios, noise bands and free improvisers have all featured in previous editions. Every year we try to give a picture of what is happening in Europe, and it is our view that stylistic diversity is an important part of the vitality of jazz today. It is more important to us that we identify young artists who are playing their music with passion, conviction and ambition, who adhere to the creative spirit of jazz, irrespective of style and genre considerations.
Ensemble size / production
The logistical and financial model of 12 Points makes it unlikely that large ensembles will be considered, except in exceptional circumstances. In previous editions, average ensemble sizes have been trio/quartet, though on rare occasions we have presented up to septet, and as previously stated, we are always interested to hear from artists who perform in solo. Mobility and setup should also be a consideration; ideally you will not require large amounts of specialist equipment or have expensive overweight requirements.
You can submit applications for more than one project, provided you feel they all meet the artistic criteria set out above. This can apply if you are the bandleader of more than one project, if you have both a band and solo project, or if you are a member of a band in which another individual is submitting the application. However, please bear in mind that we receive many applications, (over 300 for the 2011 edition) and your chances of appearing at 12 Points will be best served by only submitting for those projects that have a realistic chance of meeting the rigorous selection criteria.
We view 12 Points as a mezzanine festival, i.e. one that acts as a platform for emerging bands to gain a foothold in the wider European venue and festival circuit. Bands can therefore only appear at the festival once. If you are a band that has previously appeared at 12 Points, you are not eligible to apply. However, if you are an individual musician who has previously appeared at 12 Points, but is now applying with a different project, your application will be considered. If you are applying with a project that was previously unsuccessful and wish to reapply, your application will be considered.
Festival Terms and Conditions
There is no hierarchy at 12 Points and all artists participate on equal terms. 12 Points will cover your flight, hotel, local transport and catering requirements for the duration of your stay. The festival lasts four days and we encourage artists to stay for the duration so you can exploit the opportunity to make lasting connections with other young musicians from across Europe.
Dates and Deadlines
Deadline for Applications to play the 2019 Festival is midday (GMT) Friday 10th May 2019
All applicants will be contacted by end of June 2019
The 2019 festival will take place 25-28 September in Amsterdam
Pre application checklist
To help you move through the online submission quickly and efficiently, here is a list of the information you will need to submit.
We do ask for a lot of detail, and this is necessary as often the artists who are applying are not well known outside the cities in which they are based, so we need this information to build a good picture of who we are considering. You are also helping us build a good statistical picture of what are the trends among young European musicians in important areas like gender, education and mobility. All information is treated in the strictest confidence, in accordance with best practice in data protection.
- General contact information for the project leader
- Project Description (English, 200 words)
- Detailed information on all band members, including their age, instrument(s), academic and performance background.
- Professional quality band photograph (resized to the correct specifications as set out in the application, i.e; JPG format at 72dpi with a maximum size of 640 x 480 pixels)
- A Soundcloud account in order to upload and embed audio files to the application
- A YouTube account in order to view links to the bands work.
- Press reviews