Re: To be great in the UK
Festivals, also! Small festivals offer you exposure to a large audience, probably of people who will be interested in what you do also. My band and others I know benefited greatly from playing at Bloodstock festival in the last two years, for example.
Also, there's no substitute for just knowing the right people. But you can go out and meet those people quite easily, a lot of the time, and just work your way up.