The students, Daniel Cain, Charlie Denton, and Sean Stoakes, received the award at Liverpool Sound City. There was much competition for the UK Student Music Award, with students from universities all around the country being pitted against the trio.
In order to win the award, the three students worked as a team to respond to the competition’s brief – to come up with a solution to a problem currently affecting the music industry.
They decided to set up a website called FanBase, where music lovers can find out more about bands from their hometown, source tour dates and read reviews. They can also use the site to stream the latest music from their favourite bands and artists, and there’s even a fun version of the game Top Trumps, in which users can score bands against each other.
Daniel Cain, who is currently in his second year of a Music, Media and Sound degree at Edge Hill, said: “I can’t believe we won, we weren’t expecting it at all so we’re really happy and proud.”
In order to bag the award, the students had to pitch their idea to a panel of judges in front of an audience. The judges included band manager David Bianchi, who works with bands such as The Enemy, Reverend and The Makers, Liberty Ships, and Echo & The Bunnymen; rock DJ Jon Morter, who is famous for petitioning to stop The X Factor songs from taking over Christmas number ones; Metropolis Group’s Special Projects Manager, Luke Armitage; BBC Radio 6’s breakfast show presenter, Chris Hawkins, and promoter Steve Zapp.
Charlie Denton, who is studying the same degree as Daniel, said: “The idea came about after realising that there was nothing like ‘FanBase’ out there.
“We were running through ideas between ourselves and our tutors and had a lightbulb moment and thought ‘Why hasn’t anyone come up with this idea before?’
“We took inspiration from websites and apps like Soundcloud and IDMBPro but wanted to differentiate it and make the website really stand out, so we developed the ‘Top Trumps’ element.”
Sean Stoakes, who is studying a Film & TV Production degree at Edge Hill, said: “The award has definitely given us more confidence.
“Knowing that we got up there and pitched in front of so many successful industry people has given us a boost and I’m sure will help us when looking for jobs. Pitching is something that is very much part of the film and music industry, so it’s great experience for us.”
The trio weren’t the only students from Edge Hill there though – they were joined by another group of students from the university. Liverpool Sound City launched the awards event in an effort to encourage students to get into music and to find new talent within the country’s universities.
Before the event finished, all students attending the event were given a chance to quiz one of the UK’s most successful promoters, Simon Moran, who had a hand in the success of tours such as the Take That Circus tour and Oasis’ Knebworth gigs in the 1990s.
He said: “The best advice I could give students would be: be prepared to work hard, try to be distinctive and make sure you love what you do, because without that passion you won’t succeed.”