Liverpool Sound City is celebrating the launch of it’s 8th festival with a momentous move from its original home in and around the venues of Wolstenholme Square to the iconic Bramley Moore Dock. The music festival and conference will take place at the Dock, in Vauxhall, between May 21-24. It will see the redevelopment of the dock, built in 1848, using existing industrial architecture and warehousing on the docks as venues, alongside pop-ups, big tops and tents with an outdoor main stage.
Sound City CEO Dave Pichilingi said: “Our goal year-on-year is to evolve, grow, challenge, inspire, surprise and delight. We have never been one to rest on our laurels. We often get compared to South by South-West, which is, of course, a great compliment but our aim is to become the best event in Europe. This seismic change moves us towards that goal. The Bramley Moore Dock site is quite literally incredible, at once a blank canvas but at the same time a powerfully evocative backdrop of the real Liverpool, its industrial heritage and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to breathe new life into the sleeping heart of this city. Ultimately, we have outgrown our old home. It will be sad to part with the people and venues we have worked with over the past years but we don’t want a situation where people have to queue to watch acts or, worse still, not get to see them at all. We chose the new site to ensure everyone who comes gets the chance to see and engage with everything. We have some big ideas, very big ideas, about how we’ll use the river and waterways, all to be revealed.
Head of marketing and sales, Alex Simmonds, said: “Sound City 2015 is going to be bigger and better. An awesome new site and lots more budget going into acts and audience experience. Our ticket prices are remaining the same, though. We might well be achieving the next level in the Sound City journey but we are most definitely not selling out.”
Organisers have revealed the three-day event is to include a magnificent tall ship as the centre piece for this year’s festivities. The stunning Kaskelot tall ship will sail into Sound City’s new festival site on Bramley-Moore Dock where bands will play on board for lucky revellers and delegates. Originally built in Denmark in 1948 as a supply ship for the Royal Greenland Trading company, the Kaskelot has in more recent years enjoyed a more glamorous life on the ocean wave featuring in dozens of film and TV productions including The Three Musketeers, Longitude and Shackleton. Its appearance at Sound City this year is not only to provide an incredible feature but will serve as a floating venue for special intimate gigs, parties and happenings for a lucky 100 people at a time.
Sound City’s Laurence Fenlon said: “It’s going to be amazing having the Kaskelot berthed at the festival, she’s quite spectacular! “The gigs and parties we’ll be hosting onboard, which are in partnership with Heineken, are going to be incredible too and not just for VIPs. Across the three days of the festival we’re going to give away exclusive tickets to lucky Sound Citizens on site through various cunning methods. I’ll not give the game away now but make sure you get on site and keep sharp, its one not to miss!”
Conference Speaker Announcements…
This year, Sound City is delighted to announce its conference will take place in the magnificent Rum Warehouse at The Titanic Hotel, Stanley Dock. The now legendary international music conference will debate, discuss and highlight key issues with the contemporary music business on – brought to you by some of the leading figures in the global industry. The key theme for 2015 will be the notion of The Unsung Hero.
First to be announced as part of the conference line up, under the theme The Unsung Hero, will be The Fall’s acclaimed front man Mark E. Smith, king of NYC punk and Ramones manager Danny Fields and ‘local lad done well’ Billboard hall of fame master of EDM, James Barton, creator of Cream. Said Dave Pichilingi, CEO of Sound City, ‘We all know the names of the people who are the supposed Godfathers and saviours of rock and roll; Elvis, The Beatles, The Stones, The Sex Pistols, the list goes on. What about those who lie in the murky shadows? Those artists and individuals who single handedly helped to shape and change the direction of rock and roll forever but have never really been recognised. What about their journeys? These are the stories that we want to hear. These are the stories that need to be told. For your delight and delectation, Sound City presents The Unsung Heroes!’ What’s more, in true Sound City style, the conference is upping its game for the eighth year. This year’s conference site will be a festival in itself with live bands performing, a VIP showcase and, for those who don’t want to miss out on the legendary music festival, Sound City delegates can jump on a boat, complete with live music, and be jetted from the conference venue to the festival site.
Sound City is adding to an unparalleled line-up of inspirational music figures for this year’s conference with a key theme of The Unsung Hero, focusing on the mavericks and mayhem makers who have helped shape the face of rock and roll. Joining experimental rock pioneer Wayne Coyne as keynote speaker is Orange Juice legend and accomplished solo artist Edwyn Collins. Edwyn will be in conversation with his love and ally, Grace Maxwell. He will explore his long and influential career including how his life and music changed following a cerebral haemorrhage in 2005. The conference will also feature an exclusive live performance and a screening of his acclaimed new film “The Possibilities are Endless”; the title being a reference to one of only four phrases he was able to speak during his neurological rehabilitation. As if that wasn’t enough, Sound City is announcing a partnership with their legendary Mediterranean cousin – Primavera Pro. (27th-30th May). As part of this partnership they are offering discounted tickets to the Primavera Conference for all delegates who attend Sound City.
In 1992, three mates from Liverpool, including James Barton, saw the need for a home for those reveling in the dance music boom- enter Cream. Cream soon grew to attract over 3000 people every week from around the UK who saw dance music as a lifestyle and not just a source of entertainment. Not wanting to keep this haven locked up in Liverpool, Cream events soon spread across the world, drawing in crowds everywhere from Ibiza to Moscow. From there, Creamfields launched firstly in the UK (1998) and then in countries across the globe. James’s influence on EDM was saluted this year when Billboard recognised him as the most influential person in the world for electronic dance music. James Barton, “I know just how exciting it is growing a brand and a festival in Liverpool and taking it to the world. I’m really looking forward to being back home and playing a part in Sound City 2015.”
Described as “one of the godfathers of punk”, Danny Fields is best known for discovering and managing The Ramones and bringing them to England, where they had an enormous impact, inspiring the nascent UK punk movement of the 70’s. Fields’ lesser know achievements include his publicist work with The Doors and Jim Morrison, convincing Elektra Records to sign the MC5 and The Stooges, who both served as major inspirations for the US and UK punk music movements of the 70‘s. Danny Fields, “I am so looking forward to being in Liverpool for this event. I had the great pleasure of participating in Liverpool Sound City’s New York seminar last year and I can’t wait to bring those great vibes back across the Atlantic.”
Mark E Smith
As the only consistent member of The Fall, Mark E. Smith can undoubtedly be pinned as a key figure in inspiring generations of underground bands, ranging from waves of sound-alike indie rockers in the UK to acts in America and New Zealand. With the band’s music evolving through numerous stylistic changes, they maintained a strong cult following. The likes of Sonic Youth, The Happy Mondays, Suede, The Artic Monkeys, Belle and Sebastian and many more have expressed the influence the band had on their music, mimicking their style or covering their tracks.
The Glaswegian favourites will play on the waterfront open- air stage backed by a full orchestra. Stuart Murdoch, of Belle and Sebastian, said: “We’re looking forward to headlining Liverpool Sound City on May 24. This is the last date of our tour and we can’t wait to play at the Liverpool Docklands, it’s such an iconic location.” With more high-profile head-liners to announce in the coming months, Liverpool Sound City is also keeping its focus on new and emerging Mersey artists. The festival has previously provided a springboard for the careers of many now revered acts from Jake Bugg to Bastille to Royal Blood and aims to bring in artists and bands from across the globe. It is hoped the new venue will allow for more creative staging, with the possibility of floating platforms.
The Flaming Lips to headline Liverpool Sound City…
Following the announcement of a major move to an incredible new Liverpool dockland location, accompanied by the triumphant unveiling of indie-pop heroes Belle & Sebastian as the first addition to the 2015 lineup, Sound City is proud to reveal legendary experimental rock band The Flaming Lips as the festival’s Saturday night headliners.
Performing in the city for the first time in 15 years, The Flaming Lips appearance at Sound City on Saturday 23 May is akin to a spiritual homecoming of sorts, given the extensive influence Liverpool’s musical heritage – particularly the psychedelic legacy of The Beatles – has had on the band. Wayne looks set to be a busy man over the course of the Sound City weekend. Not only will his band headline the festival itself, he will also be delivering a keynote speech. In conversation with long time manager, Scott Booker, Coyne will discuss the ups and downs of his long and illustrious career in what will no doubt prove a fascinating and entertaining event. Flaming Lips frontman Wayne Coyne: “We are lucky to have a “place” associated with our identity. We hail from Oklahoma City and even though I’ve lived there my whole life, and the band has always been from there, we are probably more influenced by the city of Liverpool because of the Beatles and our curiosity about their life”
Having just made a triumphant return to the city with a gig at the Epstein Theatre, arch-drude and Liverpool alumnus Julian Cope will reflect on his varied and wonderful life. No doubt delving into some of the more abstract elements of his many decades in the music industry, the former Teardrop Explodes art-rocker will surely prove to be one not to miss. The conference will take place in the Rum Warehouse at The Titanic Hotel, Stanley Dock which looks set to be a festival site in its own right. Live bands will perform at the conference itself along with a VIP showcase and a promised boat for VIPs to be ferried from the conference location to the festival proper.
With her recent revelatory book, Clothes, Clothes Clothes, Music, Music, Music, Boys, Boys, Boys, having proved a critical and commercial success, former Slits guitarist Viv Albertine will examine the role of the the unsung hero in popular culture, considering how influence can often outlast initial recognition.
To buy wristbands or to apply to play at Liverpool Sound City 2015 visit http://www.liverpoolsoundcity.co.uk