4th and 5th May 2019 / the Baltic Triangle
For more than a decade, SOUND CITY has been a focal point for celebrating one of Liverpool’s greatest cultural exports: music. In doing so, the festival has animated areas right across the city, helping to create new stories that enrich Liverpool’s world-renowned musical legacy.
This year, the festival deepens its roots in the Baltic Triangle, the former industrial heartland that is the city’s new cultural playground. The scene is set, the party is back – so head to bidolito.co.uk/soundcity19 to read our Sound City special preview features for a full rundown of what’s coming your way this year.
The beginning of May wouldn’t be the same without warm bank holidays, football fever and Sound City. Now that it has been restored to the heart of the city, the festival has resumed its role as the signpost to the summer, where possibility beckons. It just feels right.
Last year’s triumphant return had something of the Sound City of old about it. The multi-venue format suits showcase festivals well, creating a village-like atmosphere where people buzz from venue to venue, a proper sense of discovery lurking around every corner. Some of my favourite Sound City memories have come about due to a set-up like this, where you rub shoulders with familiar faces as you rush between venues, stopping only long enough to exchange recommendations, before darting inside to take a chance on a hot tip you’ve received from a stranger. It makes for a truly communal experience, where pop-up stages in car parks and parades animating the streets can be just as exciting places of discovery as established clubs and venues.
Sound City also provides us with a moment to appreciate the strength of the region’s music and arts scene. A lot has been made of Liverpool’s mercantile past, but the vital trade that goes on here today is more in the exchange of ideas and sounds between artists from across the world. Sound City’s range of international showcases is reminiscent of the import/export that used to take place in the very docks that now provide the backdrop to this festival’s vibrant activity. That we have a festival that brings artists here to our audiences each year, and also creates opportunities for local artists to play to new fans in other countries, should be massively valued. It’s also a sign of the continued importance of Liverpool as a global music hub, a place of pilgrimage for musicians the world over. Artists from Vancouver to Perth want to play their music in a city where music runs through its veins, and to knowledgeable audiences who appreciate talent of all different stripes. They also want to play alongside the people who are keeping the beat on Merseyside today, and learn from that creative spirit that always looks forwards, not backwards.
In recent years, there have been encouraging signs of a robust music industry that exists outside of London, which Liverpool is a key part of. This shift in focus is positive for musicians, artists and punters, allowing us attract and nurture even more musicians in a way that keeps the thing that matters – music – at the heart of our shared success. The region’s continuing presence as an authority within the global music network needs a focal point – Sound City gives it that moment.
Enjoy your weekend. And take a chance on something new – you never know what you might discover.
Tickets for Sound City are available at ticketquarter.co.uk.