Page last updated at 01:18 GMT, Thursday, 5 June 2008 02:18 UK

Unsigned bands play at festival

goNorth logo
About 60 bands will play over the two days of the festival

More than 60 unsigned bands will be playing in Dundee over the next two days in the GoNorth festival.

The event aims to showcase acts from the north of Scotland to the music industry, although artists from all over the country will be playing.

There will also be bands from England, Ireland, Norway, Iceland and France.

As well as performances there will be workshops on songwriting, screenwriting and how the industry works, along with screenings of music films.

One of the main attractions is an interview with Stevie Wonder manager Keith Harris.

The actual ripple effect that was caused by Radio 1's Big Day Out coming here is a factor
Shaun Arnold
GoNorth organiser

Mr Harris has worked for EMI and Motown and was once the head of the Dundee University student's union.

Organiser Shaun Arnold believes the city is playing an important role in the Scottish music industry.

"It's one of the most vibrant places at the moment," he said.

"The actual ripple effect that was caused by Radio 1's Big Day Out coming here is a factor.

"From that you had The View and having a successful band in an area means the industry will come and take a closer look at what's going on in that city.

"It makes it one of the hotspots at the moment for new music in Scotland."

The GoNorth festival began in 2001 as a way of showcasing bands from the north to a music industry which was seen as very rarely travelling outside Glasgow or Edinburgh.

Mr Arnold believes that northern bands should view their location as a benefit.

"I always say it's best to use it as a strength, rather than look at it as being a disadvantage," he said.

"When you're playing in Glasgow, or Edinburgh, or out of London, or any major city, the chances of you getting seen is greater. But that means you probably get seen sometimes when you're not ready to be seen.

"Use this to your advantage. Coming from the north of Scotland, you can hone your skills to be ready and plan how you're going to present the band and get the band in front of the industry either using events such as GoNorth or some of the other international ones."

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