Students there’s a FREE party happening on Saturday and you are invited

Freshers week is on and the ultimate introduction to the city and it’s amazing music scene is happening this weekend…

We’ve been told never to refer to the Smithdown area as “Studentville” but you can’t help but notice just how quiet it is around these parts when some 50,000 or so students leave Liverpool every summer! Smithdown Road has long been the spiritual home of Liverpool’s student population, and this September SRF will be throwing a great big free party to welcome them all back.

That’s not to say that the one-day festival won’t appeal to the wider public of course! There is a kick ass line up of up and coming local and touring acts across eight stages, to wet your Autumnal whistles…

READ MORE: 100 Things You Need To Know About Student Life in Liverpool

So here is the Smithdown Road Festival Student Party plan…


The massive talents of Lyons and La Zel, will be headlining The Brookhouse stage this year. Both respected musicians in the hip hop behemoth The Fire Beneath The Sea this duo have set about stripping things right back, to just vocals, guitar and some absolute world class beatbox flute. Lea La Zel’s blues heavy vocal talents are something to behold, and so this is going to be one show definitely not to be missed.

Lyons and La Zel play The Brookhouse at 10.30pm


Caffee Oro will be playing host to some fantastic post-punk, jazz and acoustic acts over the day – with a headline set from festival favourite Kevin Critchley. A man who wears his haunted heart firmly on his sleeve, he will be playing acoustic tracks from his acclaimed debut album As I Disappear. After a storming set supporting Beans On Toast at the last festival, this is guaranteed to send shivers all the way down the A562.

Kevin Critchley plays Caffee Oro at 9pm

Another cracking act due at Caffee Oro are the wonderful brass tinged jazz rock ensemble Glossom. Having played around Liverpool for a couple of years now since meeting at university, they’ve built up quite a following and are bound to blow a few people away. Their latest EP Verbatim is well worth checking out!

Glossom play Caffee Oro at 6pm


As always, Kelly’s Dispensary is the place to be at this festival if you’re after a full on fun day of foot tapping, singalongs and more craic than a night out with Shane McGowan. They’ve got a headline set from dance rock duo Killaflaw, who always put on one hell of a show. Not to mention the main support from The Cubical side-project Alex Gavaghan & The Boss Jockeys. An indie rock band whose party vibe would put Andrew WK to shame!

Killaflaw play Kelly’s at 11.00pm
Alex Gavaghan & The Boss Jockeys play Kelly’s at 9.40pm

Kicking off proceedings at Kelly’s, the ever popular Nick Ellis will be playing an earlier than usual set with some tracks from his widely acclaimed Grace and Danger EP. His acoustic troubadour stylings have gained him an army of followers, so expect a bit of a crowd for this one.

Nick Ellis plays Kelly’s at 3.00pm


Over at Evil Eye they are keeping the punk rock scene alive, albeit in the afternoon, with sets from the brilliantly named Disastronauts as well as punk heavyweights Elevant starting the day with a bang. Later in the day, riff laden rock duo Rival Bones will be putting Royal Blood to shame. Smithdown Festival organiser Andy Scott will also be sticking his punk rock oar in, with his new three piece Snakes Everywhere ripping up the stage mid afternoon.

Disastronauts play Evil Eye at 2.00pm
Elevant play Evil Eye at 3.00pm
Snakes Everywhere play Evil Eye at 4.00pm
Rival Bones play Evil Eye at 7.00pm

Main support comes from veteran scouse three piece Voo, who have often been favourably compared to The Pixies over the years. Although they certainly like to stamp their own unique style on each of their sweet indie pop nuggets.

Voo play Evil Eye at 9.00pm

Liverpool University’s Band Society will be taking over Frank’s Bar for the day! With 12 bands hitting the stage between 2pm – 11pm, followed by BandSoc DJs until late late in to the night, this will be a real taste of things to come from the local unsigned scene.

Highlights would have to include the brilliant Black Pulp, who bear more than a passing aural resemblance to the likes of indie popsters Two Door Cinema Club, Everything Everything and Bombay Bicycle Club. Absolutely worth keeping an eye out for these guys.

Black Pulp play Frank’s Bar at 7.45pm

Headliners Damn Fine played a big part in the last Smithdown Fest, with a huge set over at the Brookhouse stage. Former BandSoc BOTB winners, Damn Fine are accumulating something of a cult following in the student world and are sure to break out any time soon.

Damn Fine play Frank’s Bar at 9.15pm



In an interesting twist, popular shoegazers The Floormen will be opening the stage over at Fat Flamingo for some mid-afternoon psychedelia. Fresh from a massive foodbank charity show at the Buyers Club earlier in the week, these guys never fail to put on a great performance.

The Floormen play Fat Flamingo at 2.30pm

Quirky jaggy indie rock bunch We Were Glue play their SECOND set of the day here, having already played over at Caffee Oro at 4pm. So you really have no excuse to miss them. The four piece have been making some great waves since hitting the scene earlier this year, and you can expect big things from them in 2017.

We Were Glue play Fat Flamingo at 5.30pm



Naked Lunch co-operative is the newest addition to the Smithdown Road fold, and a massively welcome one it is too. Made up of over 45 owners from all walks of life, the co-op boasts quite a few musicians and artists in its ranks too.

Top pick here has to be the legend that is Vinny Peculiar, known for his collaborations with the musicians from the likes of Oasis, The Fall and The Smiths. Described by Tom Robinson (BBC 6music) as having songs that “make you laugh and cry and think all at the same time”, this is bound to be a busy one.

Vinny Peculiar plays Naked Lunch at 6.10pm



As Smithdown Road Festival develops its fledgling relationship with LIMF Academy, there are a selection of fantastic bands from their roster well worth checking out.

Winner of the LIMF ‘Most Ready 2016’ accolade LUMEN will be headlining the stage at Evil Eye. This young songwriter has an ambitious electronic sound, peppered with echoey vocals and gritty guitars, and a live set that can grab the attention of even the most cynical of musos.

LUMEN plays Evil Eye at 10pm

Another of the LIMF academy graduates making waves this year is the incredibleLUNA, an ambient electro songwriter with an incredibly engaging voice to match. She’s no stranger to the Smithdown Festival however, having delivered an awesome set here back in April.

LUNA plays Kelly’s Dispensary at 4.50pm

Other LIMF artists include HICARI and AZTEX, who can both be found over at the Brookhouse Stage from 7.30pm.

LISTEN to the latest Merseyrail Sound Station which features a live session and interview with AZTEX



If you need a break from the noisy professional musicians, or you just have the urge to get up and sing, then head over to the recently renovated Willowbank where you can enjoy hours of pure unadulterated karaoke fun. They’ve even promised some free food! Winner!

The full line up for all stages can be found at

For further information, or to arrange any interviews with artists playing at the festival please contact

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