Welcome back everyone.
Sound City has come so far in such a short space of time, it feels strange that we’re welcoming you back for our ninth year. The festival has changed immeasurably since 2008, and so has our city – always on the up. We’re delighted that the fabric of Liverpool’s thriving arts and music communities are represented again during this year’s festival: it’s what makes us tick. We’re also thrilled to be working with our brothers and sisters from Bido Lito! again for what will be the sixth year in a row, bringing you all you need to know about Sound City 2016 in this special, one-off Dockland Pink magazine.
It’s our second year down at the Liverpool Waters site of Bramley-Moore Dock, and we were delighted with how seamlessly the transition went first time around. We’ve got ambitious plans for our new home, and we welcome the challenge of incorporating this into our vision for Sound City. Since last year we’ve been listening to all the objective feedback and looking at how we can improve things and put together a different type of line-up. So we’ve brought in Freeze, who’ve been doing great things for dance audiences for a number of years, and various other partners to add more depth to the programme. Add into this more than 200 acts from over 25 different countries and you can see how easily these oft-forgotten industrial docklands can be brought back to life.
I’m really happy that we’ve got Catfish & The Bottlemen back this year. They’re a band that we’ve supported since 2011 when they applied on the Apply To Play scheme. Darren Roper, who was working on our unsigned programme at the time, discovered them and put them on. It’s great to see that a band like that are now headlining the main stage at Sound City five years later. Like most people, I love finding unearthed gems: the people and the bands that I’ve never heard of before that we put on for the first time at Sound City who then become pop stars further down the line. The Coral have had a longer journey to being a headliner, and it will be just as satisfying watching them close out the festival on Sunday.
We’ve decided to move our acclaimed Sound City+ business and technology conference to one day, to make it more concise, but we’ve made sure to pack a lot in. We feel that what we’ve put in to one day is as much as we would normally put in to two days – and we’ve also taken some of the content from the conference and put it in to the festival. For example, our acclaimed In Conversation pieces, which everybody seems to love, will now take place on the festival site so that more people can enjoy them and get to see what they’re all about.
The dockland site is also going to undergo a few changes this year, all to enhance your enjoyment of Sound City. We are working with a company called Visual Architects to add a splash of colour to the rustic, industrial style of Bramley-Moore Dock. We’ve got some really nice surprises in the way we’re going to use light to illuminate the stages, tents and spaces around the site – they’re going to be brought to life a lot more than they’ve ever done before. Amongst all of this we will also be delivering a varied arts and culture programme, interspersed with a series of spectacles designed to entice and delight. We’re also working with a.P.A.t.T. on a music and visual performance that we’ve specially commissioned for Sound City which will have a nod to Prince and David Bowie, and there will be further nice surprises along these lines dotted about the festival over the weekend. It will be a completely immersive and total experience.
Liverpool is our home, our playground, our incubator, a UNESCO City Of Music. We are helping to define the future of the city and put Liverpool firmly on the world map as a place to come and do business. We hope you fall in love with Sound City and ultimately with Liverpool. Have a great time – and see you on the dancefloor.