The Judges

The Genfactor has had many amazing judges over the years, from John Craggs, Chief Executive at Gentoo, to Olivia Lawson, the local beauty who made it to the knockout round of 2015s The Voice!

Here's what a few of the judges have said about the Genfactor:

Michelle Meldrum, Executive Director, Gentoo (Operations)

"The amount of talent that has come out of Sunderland since we launched the Genfactor has been amazing. It’s great to watch young people’s confidence grow and we are so proud of all of our Genfactor finalists and of their achievements. The amount of emerging talent in our region is amazing and we can’t wait to showcase the talents of our 2017 finalists. I hope the competition continues to inspire future generations and open new opportunities for young emerging talent made in Sunderland.”

Barry Hyde, Former Futureheads Frontman

“I am delighted to be involved in the Genfactor. Sunderland is quite a special place when it comes to music and this initiative is a great way for young people to come together to learn new skills, improve confidence and show Sunderland what they’ve got.”

Martin Longstaff, Lake Poets performer

“The Genfactor is great for the City of Sunderland. If you’ve got people behind you, like those at Genfactor, encouraging you to do things and applauding you throughout, it can only build your confidence and make you realise your potential. As a musician and a proud Wearsider, my heart was full of joy to see and hear the caliber of young talent that we have on our own doorstep. Long may it continue to build confidence and inspire future generations.”