Sound City 2014

Sound City 2014 by John Milburn

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Liverpool Sound City international music festival and conference opens the 2014 festival season this coming May. In it’s seventh year the festival and conference will take over the city centre from May 1st to 3rd. In addition to 350 live bands over 25 stages throughout the city the conference programme has the business of music, football and style as its central themes. The organisers strongly believe these cornerstones of our city’s identity are so powerful, but still have a lot to learn from each other.

Here at we have known that Football and Music culture are almost inextricably linked and terrace fashion was effectively born of our fine city. The fact that such a prestigious event concurs with this view gets our thumbs up and it’s safe to say that we are eagerly looking forward to this years event.

Liverpool Sound City is the largest metropolitan festival in the UK attended by some of the most influential music industry people in the UK.

LCAB and myself attended last year and the conference programme was outstanding, discussions and debates with artists and industry experts including social media campaigner Jon Morter, particularly strong. Panels on the role of the fanzine and the intersect between fan culture on music and footy – again proved really revealing.

New bands are being added all of the time and whilst all the names may not be familiar to you now – believe me a large number will be in the coming months. Last year artists booked for Sound City just on the cusp of breaking through to major success included The 1975, Bastille, Alunageorge and Savages. Relatively unknown at the time of booking but by the time the festival came around they were enjoying major mainstream radio rotation and all featured at Glastonbury just 8 weeks later!

This year’s line up includes recent number one artists Clean Bandit, Kodaline and the amazing Drenge. Gruff Rhys will be making an appearance as will Doves front man Jimi Goodwin and the excellent The Hold Steady. I would heartily recommend seeking out the Liverpool Sound City playlist on Spotify – to get a flavour of what is in store and lots of acts who maybe you haven’t heard before.

The music conference programme has pulled off a major coup in the bookings of Velvet Underground founding member John Cale and Thurston Mooore (Sonic Youth) both incredibly important in the development of counter-culture globally.

This year Sound City have really beefed up the Conference programme to focus even more on our national sport and asking the lads from The Anfield Wrap to curate the football content. The full conference line up is not fully announced but so far the speaker line up includes James Corbett, major sports correspondent who amongst working for most of the broadsheets collaborated with Neville Southall and Howard Kendall’s excellent autobiographies.

Former LFC and Premier League Chief Executive Rick Parry, who not only oversaw the creation of the premier league but also was tasked with taking a football institution into the 21st century. A period of stratospheric highs and almost catastrophic lows during his watch at Liverpool make this a compelling booking for fans of any club but particularly reds..

Jerome Champagne, FIFA presidential campaign candidate – the Parisian has held executive roles in FIFA since 99, before leaving in 2010 for a role in Palestinian football. Jerome will prove an enthralling speaker at this year’s conference.

Check out the website for updates on the growing list of announcements and follow @soundcity on twitter.

The festival tries to encourage early booking and the prices rise as the event gets closer – Currently a 3 day live festival wristband will set you back £55 this grants you access to venues across the city and over 350 live acts.

Footyscene recommend however if you can stretch to it go for the Conference and Live Festival Pass – this gets you full access to the Conference including the speaker programme mentioned and special access to private delegate bar and special late night parties – AND coffee and bacon butties each day in the Hilton! For £120 this represents great value.

It’s a Bank Holiday weekend – and you can still take in Everton’s home game against Manchester City and make it into town for the final night’s shows leaving two clear days to recover. Last year we were blessed with beautiful weather but even if we are not all venues are indoors and not a spot of mud in sight – a festival, no wellies required and you get to sleep in your own bed! What’s not to like?
See you down there.

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