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State of Independence

Independents Day is ready to roll

The UK is world famous for its independent record labels. Names like Buzzin' Fly, Ninja Tune and 20:20 Vision are all synonymous with quality: small imprints dedicated to releasing original, diverse and exciting music, offering an alternative to the often pedestrian product of majors and conglomerates. In the changing climate of the music industry, it's become increasingly difficult to compete in the crowded marketplace. But Independents Day is set to change all that.

A new global initiative conceived as a collaboration between some of the world's finest labels, Independents Day takes place on 4th July this year and aims to celebrate the incredible music and cultural richness that indie labels foster. Leading UK participants such as Rekids, Fabric and Hospital are all putting their weight behind the project, which aims to raise national and international co-operation and funds. On the day, there will be a celebrity auction which puts artist memorabilia and musical rarities under the hammer. As well as an online auction, each participating country will host its own physical auction - meaning that twenty events will be occurring in synchronicity around the planet.

Under the auspices of Independents Day, there will also be a special album produced, containing exclusive new tracks from some of the participating labels and artists, and a definitive list of the greatest independent albums of all time compiled, which will be announced live on the day by the partnered radio stations.

Artists involved with the project include Radio Slave (Matt Edwards), Craig Richards, Luke Solomon, London Elektricity, Ali B, High Contrast and DJ Spooky. Edwards was vocal in his support. "It's invaluable that we preserve such labels, those that take risks, champion new genres and look beyond the mainstream. That's what Independents Day '08 is all about."