FUNDRAISING NEWS: Prince's Trust festival goes urban

Emma Maier

The Prince's Trust has approached stars including Ms Dynamite and Big Brovaz to take part in a new urban music event to raise funds for the charity and increase its profile with young people.

The Prince's Trust Urban Music Festival is expected to be the largest event in the UK dedicated to the urban music genre, and will complement the trust's growing portfolio of live music shows, which include Fashion Rocks and Party in the Park.

The trust is still working on budget forecasts for the upcoming event, but hopes to raise a six-figure sum. Fashion Rocks and Party in the Park each raised £1m last year.

"We are very excited about pioneering the UK's largest urban music festival and we are having some very positive discussions with major international stars," said Carol Homden, commercial director at The Prince's Trust.

"Originally this music comes from the streets, and while it has become very mainstream, we believe it will enable the trust to increase its relevance and appeal with the young people we are aiming to support."

The festival, which will be held at London's Earls Court on 8 and 9 May, is expected to attract 40,000 fans. The show will also be broadcast on Radio 1 and its sister station, 1Xtra, as well as terrestrial and international television.

In addition to featuring some of the top UK and US hip-hop and R&B artists, the festival will include a mix of other urban activities, such as breakdance, DJ and MC 'battles', workshops, a chill-out area, graffiti writing and a gaming zone.

The trust will also be running a special personal development course during the week preceding the festival to help young people develop confidence and other skills through the medium of urban music. Participants will then be given the opportunity to perform at the festival.

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