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HomecricketLive Musicians at Cricket Games? It’s not as crazy as you think

Live Musicians at Cricket Games? It’s not as crazy as you think

“The Hundred” – A new cricket competition – has announced the first artists and DJs to feature


With many major sporting fixtures cancelled over the past eighteen months, many facilities that would normally be packed to the rafters with eager spectators have been left lying dormant. This has created huge cashflow problems for venues up and down the country, but there’s always someone out there with a clever idea for how to turn these situations into a positive.

In this case, it was London-based electronic music brand UKF that had the idea to take their “UKF On Air” project to new and unusual locations such as the Kia Oval. The Oval is an international cricket ground in Kennington, located in the London Borough of Lambeth, providing income for the ground whilst allowing fans of drum’n’bass to watch through a livestream broadcast on platforms such as Youtube.

Spotting the Potential

An event held in March this year saw Drum and Bass Superstar and founder of the well-respected label Shogun Audio, DJ Friction, walk out into the middle of the field at the Oval and play a 90 minute set of upfront tracks from the likes of Dimension, Metrik, Sub Focus & Wilkinson, and Matrix & Futurebound.

Half of the UKF brand was sold to AEI Media in 2012, which provided the brand with a route into the North American market, where their Dubstep division has an enormous following. It was AEI who negotiated broadcast partnerships with partners such as the British Broadcasting Corporation and Sky Television for The Hundred.

Unibet are already taking online sports bets on The Hundred. Southern Brave are the early favourites, but Birmingham Phoenix are right behind them as are London Spirit.

Some have questioned whether The Hundred is technically necessary, but it’s 100-ball format creates a number of interesting new betting options that will no doubt prove popular with punters. This should serve to add another string to the competitions bow, and early signs are good that players, teams, and grounds are all feeling re-energized by this exciting new form of cricket.

Sport & Entertainment Collide: World Class Cricket meets Outdoor Live Music

Luke Hood, speaking unofficially and not on behalf of AEI or The 100, was happy to discuss some aspects of the upcoming tournament with me. “Whilst Friction won’t be participating this time – the emphasis is going to be on more mainstream sounds, in keeping with the traditional audiences who attend these games; this is going to be much more than just playing a little music before and after the game”.

Musicians have suffered having the majority of their planned performances cancelled, just like the shows that were intended to be held at venues such as The Oval. The 100 aims to being exposure to fresh talent such as The Orielles, Jerub, Lady Sanity, Oscar Welsh, Coach Party, and Rachel K Collier. These artists have been picked from the communities close to their local ground, and more acts are yet to follow in the run-up to the competition.

How It Will Work

A local DJ will actually form a real member of each of the eight new teams being formed for The Hundred. These artists have already begun work curating soundtracks that should reflect the culture and vibrancy of their city and immediate local area. These DJ’s have been entrusted with the task of recruiting local talent, with larger names being booked by the promoters and integrated into performances such as a traditional half time sure.

The DJ’s will introduce their teams by means of a traditional-style 2x2x2 DJ battle performance, bringing fans into the action in style, and all of this will be performed live on large screens inside the venues and streamed via social media. There will be in-game sounds too, although these will be reserved for reactions to major events as not to distract the cricketers themselves.

Finally, the team who emerge victorious will be providing a short set at the end of each game followed by walk out music, and plans are at an early stage for afterparties at the conclusion of each game to further mark the point that live music is finally returning to the UK this Summer.

The Full Line-Up of Confirmed DJs are:

  • Bodalia, representing Birmingham Phoenix
  • Jess Iszatt, on behalf of London Spirit
  • Roesh, for the Manchester Originals
  • Emily Pilbeam, waving the flag for the Northern Superchargers
  • Abbie McCarthy, embodying the spirit of the Oval Invincibles
  • Steph Niuwenhuys of the Southern Braves
  • Charlie Burley, representing the Trent Rockets
  • GRLTLK, holding the torch on behalf of Welsh Fire

In Conclusion:

Cricket has long struggled to attract a younger audience and it is hoped that by adding elements such as live music and US-style half time shows to this new tournament, it could attract more Millenials and Generation Z age people to consider attending a cricket match for the first time.

The line-up of music talent comes as part of The Hundred’s ambition to throw cricket’s doors open to new audiences this summer, welcoming in families and inspiring the next generation to say that cricket is a game for them. Let’s wish them luck with these goals.

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