The search is on for the region’s hottest new music acts with the launch of the 2012 The Next Big Thing competition.

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Brit Award winner Ed Sheeran – who performed at the 2012 Olympics’ Closing Ceremony at the weekend – is among the previous The Next Big Thing winners along with Norwich-based group The Kabeedies who have since played at Glastonbury and had their music featured in a worldwide advertising campaign.

Now emerging musicians have chance to follow in their footsteps and enter the eighth The Next Big Thing competition which is being run by Norwich-based Future Radio in association with Outline Magazine and OPEN.

The winner’s prize will include a recording session at OPEN studios where their track can be made into a 2D and 3D video, a studio session at Future Studios, and a photo-shoot from JMA Photography.

Future Radio station manager Terry Lee said: “The Next Big Thing is established as the best up and coming music competition in the eastern region, with a fantastic list of previous winners.

“Ed Sheeran, who won in 2008, has gone on to win two Brit Awards, and he still plays the guitar he won as a prize in his live performances today.”

Acts – which must be based in Norfolk or Suffolk – have until September 24 to enter online at -big-thing-competition

OPEN, in Norwich, will host the semi-finals in October and the final on November 11.

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