Sound City – More Than The Music


The weekend has arrived, the best metropolitan festival at the UK Festival Awards, Liverpool Sound City is upon us and its extra special this year as it celebrates its 10th anniversary right here in our city.

Sound City has always been more than just an annual fling though. The curators have taken great pride on working towards a UK edition of SXSW, an American Music and Arts festival that provides a platform for artists and business alike. This formula has granted our own version of events a reputation within the industry that is hard earned and cannot be bought or faked. To the average gig-goer, this type of thing may pass you by, so, let us know indulge you in exactly why Sound City is more than just the music.


Innovation Through Location

Sound City used to embed itself in to the heart of the city, being spread around various venues, literally turning the centre in to a sound city. Recent years have seen the proceedings move to Liverpool Waters, Bramley Moore Dock and now Clarence Dock, around 10 minutes drive out of the centre; a move that was seen as a little risky. However, ever the innovators, the team at Sound City made the move to help create a buzz around new areas of the city, much in the way that The Baltic Triangle has grown, and it seems to be paying off. Businesses close to the site are getting more customers as they develop to keep up with the high crowd numbers that the festival welcomes. It is safe to say that Sound City is right at home on the dock road, with an open door for many more to join it.


A Social Network

Image Credit: Sound City, by Andy Hughes

As previously mentioned, Sound City has been deemed the UKs equivalent to the US festival juggernaut, South By South West (SXSW). What does that mean? Well, it essentially means that anyone who is anyone will be there, to connect with artists and creative businesses alike. If, as an artist, you are welcomed to SXSW, then big things are going to, if not already are, happening to you. The same can be said with Sound City as it climbs up the pecking order to compete with its US cousin. Regular networking events are put on around the festival grounds as well as in the Titanic Hotel. There are press conferences, master-classes and good old-fashioned p**s ups all arranged to put people in a room with each other, learning and connecting. We all love a classic festival, but for businesses and creatives, this type of innovation puts Sound City heads above the rest.


The After Party

After parties are a festivals equivalent to an encore, only a lot cooler. As well as various precursory events, mainly focussed around industry networking, Sound City 2017 has half a dozen after parties, on various days of the weekend, at various venues. The relatively new Invisible Wind Factory takes up the main mantle with after parties in its main room and basement, as well as the North Shore Troubadour welcoming the party until 2am.



The Music Industry is big on collaboration. Music is big on collaboration, neigh, art is big on collaboration. So guess what? Sound City is MASSIVE on collaboration. This year we see stages sponsored by big names like Skull Candy and Soundcloud Go, both of whom have generated fan competitions, as well as local names like Pirate Studios, Fiesta Bombarda and The Cavern. The list of festival partners tallies up to nearly 30 and again includes big brands and local labels, from Jack Daniels to Liverpool Vision. Collaboration is essential for any artist and any entrepreneur, therefore it is fantastic to see one of the city’s leading exports, well…lead the way.


Youth Projects

Another thing that is important to the longevity and development of the music industry is bringing the youth through, another thing the Sound City does with great pride. For the fourth year running, BIMM (The British & Irish Modern Music Institute) is proudly taking part in Sound City. BIMM alumni, Cabbage, Fickle Friends and Pale Waves are among the bands playing and – as with previous years – BIMM will be bringing a variety of must-see acts from across its network of colleges for the annual BIMM Official Showcase on The Cavern stage between 3-6pm, Saturday 27th May.


Travel Packages

What on earth else can Sound City possible provide? I mean, surely that’s the lot…well, not quite.

Most festivals will link you to a few sites that you can check out if you don’t want to camp, or need to get a shuttle bus to the site, but Sound City has curated an array of packages from which you can choose. With it being an urban festival, camping isn’t the done thing, therefore, Sound City are collaborating once again. This time with Euro Hostel, Jury’s Inn and The Suites Hotel the ticket and accommodation packages give visitors to the city an easy choice of where to crash out after a long day of music and networking.

As with most things in the city that are successful, there is always much more below the surface. With Sound City you need not dive in very deep at all to find out about what is below the surface, as they work on it so much. However, if there is anything that you want us to shout about that you feel has gone unmentioned, get in touch at

If you are heading to the festival we will see you there, and of course for all the latest updates, stage times & more head to the Sound City website here


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