Bardwell singer makes it to regional finals of national competition


A young singer from Bardwell, near Bury St Edmunds, has made it to the regional finals of a national singing competition.

Open Mic UK is billed as ‘the biggest search for unsigned acts in the UK’ and has been responsible for discovering artists such as Jahmene Douglas, Luke Friend and Lucy Spraggan, who went on to star in the X Factor.

The competition attracts thousands of acts each year as it travels across the country in search of the UK’s best singers, singer/songwriters, rappers and vocalists and was expecting to receive as many as 12,000 entries this year.

Kayley Buxton, 16, of Bardwell, has made it through to the regional finals and will be performing in the 16-20 age group of a live showcase event on Sunday.

She said: “I am delighted to have reached this stage - the auditions were nerve-racking but now it gets really serious. The competition will put me with some of the most talented musicians in the region in front of hundreds of audience members and a music industry judging panel. If I am successful I will move into the grand final.”

The competition is organised by Future Music and is divided into three age categories, under-16s, 16-20 and 21 and over.

Judging at the live showcases will be based on image, performance, originality and star quality, as well as vocal ability, with the ultimate aim of finding a recording artist suitable for today’s current market.

Events co-ordinator and head of Future Music, Chris Grayston, said: “Every year that we hold this competition the bar is raised and the quality gets higher and higher. We’re really looking forward to experiencing the raw talent from across the country. For promising singers, songwriters, rappers and vocalists, Open Mic UK provides a real opportunity to open the door to a music career.”

To find out more about Kayley and her music, go to

Sunday’s regional finals will take place at the Marconi Social Club, in Beehive Lane, Chelmsford, from 12.15pm.