This year, Bruntwood is sponsoring the Sound City + conference for the first time. As part of Liverpool’s Sound City festival, Sound City + will host a day of panels, workshops and ‘InConversations’ from a range of industry professionals. Welcoming exciting new artists every year, from all corners of the globe, Sound City + was founded to champion the North’s rich and diverse creative industry.
Now in their 11th year, both the festival and the conference started in 2008, when Liverpool was named the European Capital of Culture. Festival Director, Dave Pichilingi had been working closely with Tony Wilson on Manchester’s ‘In The City’ music festival, and saw the gap to bring a similar event to Liverpool, and celebrate music in the region.
“We started Sound City because we didn't want people to feel that they had to move to London to make it in the industry, it was then, and still is to a degree, rather London-centric,” explains Becky Ayres, Chief Operating Officer of Sound City. “We didn't want all these amazing bands leaving and going to London, we wanted to create something that has gravity and inspires people to want to stay here.”
Sound City champions the musical talent and energy in Liverpool, both past and present. “We have always believed that the best music has come from around a 25 mile radius of Liverpool and that does include Manchester,” says Becky. The festival showcases some of the very best up and coming bands and performances,
“The conference is the heartbeat of Sound City, it’s all about people meeting each other and making connections,” explains Becky. The ideas and topics covered throughout the conference are ever-changing, as the planning team watch what is happening in the industry and adapt to the trends. “When streaming first came about, we had Spotify at the event and many people in the industry said it would never take off.”
Sound City has moved around Liverpool over the years, with the move back to the Baltic Triangle taking them to an ideal place for future creativity to develop. “We’ve gone back to our roots, championing up and coming workers and artists in the industry,” explains Becky. “For the next 10 years, we see ourselves firmly as that channel for the emerging talent.”
Although being local to Liverpool is at the core of what Sound City do, the team are looking to take this talent and develop it internationally.
Partnering with Modern Sky Entertainment, who run 53 festivals in China, Sound City are working with them to bring Chinese talent to the West and in return develop UK artists in Asia. Collaborating with other international countries creates a melting pot of talent, adding to the cultural vibrancy of the Sound City festival.
This cultural vibrancy in turn attracts more people to the city regions, creating jobs and a thriving community which ultimately boosts the economy. “There is a strong citywide music strategy being developed which gives the community more of a voice,” says Becky. Working with stakeholders, including ourselves, and being part of that conversation, makes it an exciting time for the city.
“We’ve had a lot of experience with property developers that don't have the holistic and community views that Bruntwood have,” says Becky. “We’re pleased that with Bruntwood’s involvement in the conference, together we can help make a real difference to the community and the city;it's really exciting to see that happen.”
Sound City + will take place Friday 4th May at the British Music Experience in Liverpool’s Cunard Building, with the festival following on the 5th and 6th May across the vibrant Baltic Triangle. With artists from over 30 different countries and artists like The Slow Readers Club, Superorganism and the BBC’s Sound of 2018 artist, Dermot Kennedy, there is lots to be excited for at this years Sound City. For more information, follow Sound City on social media or visit their website.