Smithdown Road Festival 2021
23-26/09/21 – Various venues, Smithdown Road

Dominated by a thriving community of independent restaurants, cafes, microbreweries and record shops, Smithdown Road exists as a talisman against the bolted down shutters and empty façade that threaten to encroach upon other highstreets across the country. After a year which ravaged small businesses, the various venues transformed into bottle bars, takeaways and community hubs. The community coalesced and survived to re-emerge proudly and defiantly for Smithdown Road Festival, a collage of a year in Liverpool’s music scene.

Over three days, Smithdown Road Festival returns to celebrate the fading summer with a selection of free music across 18 venues. On Friday, MOTEL SUNDOWN will soundtrack the start to the evening with their fluttering harmonies and Americana sound, evoking imaginations of a highway drive at sunset. Shifting gear into the evening, self-described “noisy alt-rock country” outfit COW will descend on the Handyman stage.

Saturday’s proceedings will see alternative pop artist TILLY LOUISE drag out the end of summer with her sun-soaked tunes, while PISS KITTI will offer a dose of thrashing punk, riding high from their supporting slot for the rapidly rising Dream Wife. Saturday’s afternoon offering also includes live wrestling, ‘The Smithdown Smackdown’, held at Sefton Park Cricket Club, featuring the North West’s best indie wrestlers.

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On Sunday, MUNKEY JUNKEY will provide his selection of melodrama infused confessional tracks, reminiscent of Hobo Johnson. The DSM IV are sure to display their usual mullet driven dance rock sound and ALI HORN might offer a live glimpse of his recently released album. The 3 day event will also see KING FAST grace one of Smithdown’s stages, fusing loop pedal beat boxing with soul dripping vocals. The packed line-up also includes THE PEACH FUZZ, PSYCHO COMEDY, and TOKYO TABOO.

Smithdown Road epitomises the city’s expansion from its heartbeat centre into suburban capillaries, which beat with just as much ferocity. The explosion of independent businesses in the area has contributed to a growing sense of community, identity and regeneration. In this way, Smithdown Road Festival is as much a celebration of the venues that host it, as it is of the artists who occupy them. This year, the festival has expanded to include a range of new venues with Leaf Smithdown, Tavern Co., St Barnabas Church, Meatless, and Fogherty’s joining the line-up as the festival spreads towards Allerton.

For the fifth year running, Smithdown Road Festival will be raising money for The Whitechapel Centre, a Merseyside-based charity focused on preventing and resolving homelessness. The festival encapsulates the importance of independent venues, local music and the communities that underpin them.

Smithdown Road Festival runs from 23rd – 26th September and is free to attend.

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