For those of you who have been living under a rock, we’ve spent the past few months running a competition to find Leicester’s best music reviewer. This has been run as part of Leicester’s ArtBeat Festival 2016, and we’re holding a special joint awards ceremony with the Festival on Sunday June 19 at Fingerprints Delicafe on Queens Road, Leicester.

Team Rockhaq spent the past few days wading through all the music reviews and opinion columns that have been sent in by Leicestershire students. There have been a mix of entries from school and college students aged from 13-19 years of age. We began the first round of judging each piece of work on our hunt to find Leicester’s best music reviewer. Who’s judging? Well the panel are listed below. Briefly it’s moi, ex Rockhaq pilot students turned teachers and a literary agent. We know our stuff, we definitely know what we like and we know what we’re looking for.

Leicester’s best music reviewer

We’ve whittled down 20-odd entries to a final shortlist of six reviews from young music journalists (pictured above) who all have a chance of being crowned Leicester’s best music reviewer. Not only do you get that awesome title, we have a cash prize pot of £255 to five away! We’ll announce the winners of Leicester’s best music reviewer on Sunday 19 June 2016 at 6pm sharp at Fingerprints Delicafe, Queens Road, Leicester. Get yourself along to find out if you’ve won!

As a last huzzah before the summer, we’re running a free Rockhaq music journalism workshop on Friday 17 June at Fingerprints at 7-9pm. Do come along to learn how to improve your writing skills and win points, badges, accolades and future music missions on the Rockhaq community. We recommend that all students come along, as everyone, even the shortlisted students, needs help to improve their work. It’s free but tickets need to be booked and spaces are limited, so get in there quick.

Best student music reviewer: finalists

The six finalists for Leicester’s best music reviewer competition – and in no particular order – are:

  1. Kendrick Lamar – To Pimp A Butterfly by Abaan Patel
  2. Tame Impala – Lonerism by Nathan Brooks
  3. Justin Bieber – What Do You Mean by Sara Zemmouri
  4. Hamza Namira – Empty Words by Imran Mulla
  5. Green Day – American Idiot by Amrita Garcha
  6. Glastonbury Festival’s Gender Bias by Jamie Brown
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Judging panel
Mark Wong

Mark is a former Rockhaq community pilot student, who has just finished studying Music at Birmingham University. He’s about to join a teacher training course and hopes to use his future career to convert more students to join and write on the Rockhaq community 😉

Sam Brookes
Sam is a former Rockhaq community pilot student, who graduated from University and worked as an English teacher for a while. He’s now working in marketing, running his own blog and still writes Rockhaq reviews regularly.

Penny Luithlen
Penny is a literary agent from Luithlen Agency in Leicester. Penny represents some of the UK’s best writers and authors and works with schools and teachers to get kids writing.

Michelle Dhillon
Some of you have met me, most of you haven’t. Here’s more if you want to explore/stalk/collaborate.