Guitarist, Total Guitar and Guitar Techniques, in association with the Academy of Contemporary Music, have announced the first-ever U.K. Riffathon 2003.Supported by none other than former LED ZEPPELIN guitarist Jimmy Page, the Riffathon is designed to encourage players of all ages to get out there and riff. And it's all in a good cause as the money raised goes to the ABC Trust to help the street kids of Brazil. The Riffathon is a chance for aspiring guitarists to win the guitar of their dreams, raise money for charity and have a whole load of fun at the same time. There will be music shops across England acting as "Riffathon Centres". All applicants need to get hold of an entry form from one of the Riffathon Centres listed, fill it out, send it to the ABC Foundation with a cheque for £15 and then get practicing! But they will need to be quick as there are a limited number of forms at each Centre being handed out on a first-come-first-served basis. On the applicants' Riffathon Centre's chosen day, they will need to visit their Centre and be prepared to get up and play their riffs. These riffs can be classic riffs from rock history, or they can be ones that they have made up themselves. Jimmy Page himself has insisted that there are extra points awarded to players who display creativity and perform their own original riffs. There will be one winner from each regional heat and one runner up, making a total of 100 regional winners. These winners will go through to the next round of the Riffathon. The runners-up will receive a prize on the day and the honor of knowing that they were very close indeed! The regional winners will be separated up into three groups, depending on where they live, and will then be asked to attend the semi-finals. The semi-finals will take the same format as the first round. From 100 semi finalists 10 will be chosen to go through to the Grand Final. The final will be held in Guildford at a secret location in December 2003. The ten finalists will be required to perform two pieces of music. They will need to be able to perform an original piece, and to learn and play a classic LED ZEPPELIN track with a full live band made up of ACM tutors. The judging panel will be made up of Jimmy Page himself, along with a number of surprise special guests. First-place prize will consist of a Sunburst Gibson Les Paul standard, second place will get a Brown Fender Telecaster, third place will end up with an Epiphone SG 1275 Twin Neck, and fourth place will get a Black Danelectro DC. "The U.K. Riffathon is a really fantastic idea to get the nation's guitarists rocking," said Jimmy Page in a statement. "Well done indeed to Ian Edwards at the Academy of Contemporary Music for coming up with the idea, and Guitarist magazine for supporting it. I really hope that it is great fun for everyone who gets involved, and I am looking forward to hearing some fantastic riffing at the final in December. "I am also delighted that the organizers have made the ABC Trust, of which I am patron, the beneficiary charity. This will be a real boost to those children whose lives have been blighted by poverty. I hope that in its first year, the Riffathon 2003 will be a great success. Rock on!"
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