Local bands offered the chance to play Academy gig with Reel Big Fish, Anti Flag and Mad Caddies

Anti Flag are one of the bands appearing on the Fireball - Fuelling the Fire tour.
Anti Flag are one of the bands appearing on the Fireball - Fuelling the Fire tour.
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North East bands are being urged to enter a contest which could see them share a stage with some of the biggest names in punk and ska music.

Reel Big Fish, Anti-Flag and Mad Caddies are playing 10 dates around the UK in October on the Fireball – Fuelling The Fire tour.

Nine up and coming bands will get the chance to join them at their hometown show, and have the opportunity to be crowned Fireball's Hottest Band 2018.

The winners will get a place as the opening act on the whole of next year's tour, as well as support throughout the year from Fireball and Academy Events, who are running the competition.

The North East leg of the tour calls at the O2 Academy in Newcastle on Wednesday, October 18.

Sheffield pop-punk quartet Sweet Little Machine, winners of last year’s competition and Fireball’s Hottest Band 2017, will appear on every date of the tour this year as part of their prize.

Since winning in 2016, they have gone on to land national tour supports with the likes of Me First & The Gimme Gimmes and Patent Pending, and will release their new EP just in time for the Fireball dates.

The competition gives bands the opportunity to win a 20-minute opening slot on their local date.

To enter, head to the Academy Music Group website HERE, fill in the entry form, and tell the judges why your band should open the tour in your city. Entries close at 11.59pm on Monday, August 21.

Winners will be judged and selected by a panel of industry experts, including members of Reel Big Fish, Ian Richards of Academy Events, Sean Ryman of Live Nation/Download Festival, Alex Baker of Kerrang! Radio’s FRESHBLOOD show, and James Pattison, the UK brand manager of Fireball.

The winners will be announced on Friday, September 1.

Fireball UK brand manager James Pattison said: “We are delighted to be bringing back the local band competition ahead of this year’s Fireball - Fuelling The Fire Tour after a great 2016.

"I guess the cat is out of the bag now with regards to the Fireball's Hottest Band prize, too, so there's even more to play for.

"I'm looking forward to hearing what they have to offer, and of course to see Sweet Little Machine strutting their stuff across the full tour this time around!”

Tickets for the tour, priced just £10 each, are on sale now.

Sweet Little Machine said: “The platform that Fireball and Academy Events have been able to offer us opened up all of these doors to get our music out to a wider audience.

"All these tours have been a wonderful experience and you can really tell that your fan base is growing while you’re doing it all, which is amazing.”