Bristol Folk Festival has relaunched its popular Isambard nationwide music award which will give one winner a high profile platform at the event this May - and much more!

Last year, organisers staged the inaugural contest to celebrate the first Bristol Folk Festival in 32 years with Welsh band Under the Driftwood Tree (left) emerging as winners.

Sponsored by two of Somerset's leading music operations -the cult recording studio Songs from the Shed and Folk Radio UK - the 2012 Isambard Folk Award is a nod to Isambard Kingdom Brunel, the famous British engineer who designed the city's Clifton Suspension Bridge and SS Great Britain. Open to UK-based performers of any age, it will give the winner a chance to appear on the same bill as acts of the calibre of Show of Hands, Cara Dillon and Afro Celt Sound System, this year's headliners.

Says festival co-organiser Jan Ayers: "Last year we had scores of diverse, high quality entries from all round the country. We want to hear from both bands and solo artists - be they traditional folk, experimental or contemporary. Everyone is welcome."

The judging panel will select four acts who will go head-to-head in a semi-final to be staged in March in Hall 2 of the Colston Hall.

The winner will get the chance to appear on Colston Hall's main stage during this year's festival (May 5-7) as well as Somerfest - a one-day folk music and arts festival to be held at the stunning Halsway Manor on the edge of Somerset's Quantock Hills (Saturday, April 7).

To enter, artists need to email a link to performance footage of one song/tune on YouTube, MySpace, Facebook or any other social networking site.

Entries should be emailed to giving the name of the band or artist, the footage link, a contact number and email and a brief description of the act. The closing date is March 1.

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