We’re over the moon to be bringing the festival and conference back into the city centre this year. We’re going back to our roots to delve into and explore what truly fascinated and excited us when we first started doing this ten years ago, which was championing exciting emerging artists and showcasing them in the best music city in the world.
This year, in our new home of the Baltic Triangle, Sound City fans (or Sound Citizens as we affectionately call them) will be able to see 320 new artists from 32 different countries around the world in 18 unique venues from Camp and Furnace to Craft Minded, the Baltic Warehouse to newly opened Brick Street. Within the city-based set up there’s so much to explore – you could quite feasibly watch as many bands as you can manage to cram into your schedule, but equally watch the world go by in some wonderful non-music venues like Coffee and Fandisha and the Botanical Garden. We hope that music fans and fans of exploring new things will experience the community of the Baltic Triangle in all of its unique splendour.
Bringing Sound City back to its roots brings our focus back to wanting to genuinely unearth and discover the best talent from every genre, every background and every corner of the world. We think we have gone a long way to doing that this year and this will continue to be our mission. It would not be remotely possible without our incredible partners which include 60 industry curators, who we worked with to find new artists from around the country and across the globe – including local innovators Abandon Silence, Mellowtone and Wrong Festival, label mavericks Heavenly Recordings, Modern Sky and Moshi Moshi, and media partners including DIY, Getintothis and BBC Introducing. A special mention goes to Brighter Sound and our Innovation partners Edge Hill University who have partnered on a commission with Stealing Sheep to celebrate 100 years of the Suffragette movement which will take place in the Blade Factory over the weekend, and to Rotterdam avant-garde agitators WORM who are bringing a multidisciplinary programme based on the international underground to Sound City.
Working with partners has been integral to our industry conference Sound City+ which this year takes place in the amazing British Music Experience and Cunard House. Sound City+ is the heartbeat of Sound City and aims to help artists and those new to the industry to get started on their journeys, inspiring them to challenge and disrupt the status quo, while welcoming leading industry players from all over the world. This year we’re excited to host our eight European partners from the INES festival network at the conference which, as well as Sound City, includes MENT (Slovenia), Waves (Austria), Live At Heart (Sweden), Sonic Visions (Luxembourg), Westway Lab (Portugal), Monkey Week (Spain), Spring Break (Poland) Gigmit (Germany) plus 27 artists from across Europe who will perform at various festival showcases. We’ll also be hosting panels on topics including mental health with Help Musicians UK, championing diversity with BPI and international distribution with Ditto.
We’re also extremely proud to be the official UK festival partner for KeyChange, a pioneering international initiative that empowers women to transform the future of music and encourages festivals to achieve a 50:50 gender balance by 2022. As the Liverpool music community starts working together on a music strategy for the City Region, it’s more important than ever that we work together in partnership to help Liverpool continue to establish itself as a major hub within the industry.
We want to welcome everyone to Sound City with open arms, whether you’re an old friend or a new one – we can’t wait to see you there!