Sound City Fleshes Out Forum

Revered and acknowledged as a defining voice for new music for over 15 years, Sound City is set to land in force this May with another essential weekend pointing towards the future of new music into 2024 and beyond. With the first details out in the world, Sound City 2024 is shaping up to be a true evolution in the history of this staple of the new music diary – with even more unmissable artists confirmed across the weekend and news of a new-look and industry-leading conference programme.

Sound City Forum will bring together those working across the music industry, artists, entrepreneurs and aspiring creatives amongst others to delve into the pressing questions that face the industry today. Across two days (2nd-3rd May 2024) Sound City Forum gathers together in one place an exciting array of programming including award ceremonies (taking place in Liverpool for the very first time), panel discussions, keynote conversations, interactive networking opportunities and much more – ensuring on that weekend that the most vital conversations in music are going on in Liverpool. This includes:

  • LIVE (Live Music Industry Venues & Entertainment) announcing the results of their newest + influential Festival Industry Report + hosting roundtable discussions with trade association partners such as the Association Of Independent Festivals and the Association Of Festival Organisers, with industry research by Delloitte.
  • Sacha Lord, the Night Time Economy Advisor for Greater Manchester + Co-Founder of The Warehouse Project/Parklife talking in-depth about his upcoming book ‘Tales From The Dance Floor’ spanning over three dances in dance/electronic culture.
  • The UK Music OMG Awards 2024 returning to Liverpool and celebrating the next generation of industry leaders and educational lecturers
  • EarthPercent (a charity organisation providing solutions and assistance for the music industry to tackle the climate emergency) hosting industry roundtable discussions.
  • Legendary Kraftwerk member and composer Karl Bartos dives into his latest work – creating an original composition for 1920 horror classic ‘The Cabinet Of Dr Caligari’ – offering a behind the scenes look at its creation.
  • Panel discussions including: SAE Presents ‘#YourParentsWereWrong!’, ‘How To Turn AI Into An Opportunity’, ‘Are Festival Headliners A Thing Of The Past’, ‘Escaping Digital: Is Creating Art The Key To Protecting The Planet’ and ‘You Didn’t Choose Your Favourite Band – Technology Did’ amongst many others
  • Virgin Music Presents Keynote: Virgin Music President Vanessa Bosåen in conversation with Korda Marshall
  • A Dragon’s Den-style pitch event where the audience will decide on their favourite new music tech

Just a snapshot of wider programming to come alongside networking sessions, Forum Conversations (facilitated roundtables introducing peer-lead conversations between professionals), special Artist Discussions and more – Sound City Forum sits as a pioneering date in the diary for the industry where discussion and exploration leads to actual change.

Joining a lineup that pours across the essential artists ready to leave their mark on the year ahead are even more names creating ripples and turning heads in their own distinct way across the UK. Garnering critical acclaim upon the release of their debut album towards the end of last year, the mercurial world of Bleach Lab heads to Sound City for a set of spell-binding alternative rock that garners fans in every city they find themselves whilst the word of mouth buzz from the likes of Spider, Welly, Good Neighbours and Pynch is sure to point to why many are keenly looking at what each of them do next – primed by the time of Sound City to be new artists making even more waves across new music fans. The arena-sized alt-rock of King No-One returns to Sound City fresh from massive headline dates across Europe whilst Toby Sebastian continues to showcase his stunning musical journey fresh from appearances across TV and Film. Soaring indie-pop arrives in abundance with Natalie Shay and Maxwell Varey whilst the next wave of essential guitar favourites drop into Sound City 2024 with The Kairos and The Rolling People following on from sold-out dates across the UK to continue that word of mouth rise in the heart of Liverpool this May. From the returning The Family Rain alongside Casino, Jaws The Shark, Skylights, Shefu, Dove Ellis, Fiona Lennon and more – making Sound City the perfect destination for the new music playlist fans will be listening to from here on out.

All of these names join a packed first wave of artists already confirmed across the Sound City weekend, including headliners Caity Baser and The Snuts as well as Antony Szmierek, Brooke Combe, Flowerovlove, Seb Lowe, Viji, Corella, LALA HAYDEN, Balancing Act, Cameron Hayes, VENUS GRRRLS, G!rlband, Megan Wynn and many more.

Truly showcasing its place as that intersection between all elements of the music industry, an array of partners have been revealed for the show – all making their mark through various moments that echoes their feeling of simply having to be a part of the Sound City weekend. One of the most commanding voices in independent music Rough Trade will build on its recently announced arrival in Liverpool, announcing a year-long partnership with Sound City which will include live performances, Sound City Forum programming (including a special Tunecore mixer and showcase of their amazing artists on the Friday) and more incentives for festival-goers to dive into music culture during their time in Liverpool.

Returning as long-standing Principal Creative Media Education Partner is the SAE Institute whose creative media programmes helped provide the framework and gateway for those looking to get into the creative industries and at Sound City Forum will be presenting their own panels and discussions integrating students into the full weekend. Celebrated monthly music night Worn Out Tuesdays will mark their its ever edition outside of London at Sound City with a special showcase in partnership with independent UK label Venn Records and CLASH Magazine sponsored by streetwear titans VANS, whilst Virgin Music will be on hand for special showcases through unique sessions during the Sound City Forum and a showcase night as part of the main Sound City festival programming.

Speaking of unique showcases, and a highlight for us here at Festival Insights, Sound City’s Official Food Partner Bundobust won’t just be on hand with special offers for festival-goers but also hosting their Bundo Sessions in the Liverpool store – joining the likes of Self Esteem to have played a surprise show in the beloved street-food store.

Gigseekr returns as Official Discover Partner with the Gigseekr Hub and Discovery Trail, while Amplead returns as a major partner on the event as the Official Innovation Partner hosting the Apply To Play stage to spotlight grassroots artists within the far-reaching world of Sound City. With further showcases across the main two days of the festival from partners ATC Live, Sentric, BBC Wales, Leeds Conservatoire, SESAC, Modern Sky, Run On Records and more – it continues to show why an industry spanning across recorded music, live, tech and more all make sure that Sound City is firmling in their diary as a coming-together like no other.

With much more to be announced across the Sound City music programming and Sound City Forum, tickets for both are on sale now. Weekend Festival Tickets (gaining access to music programming across multiple venues between the 4th-5th May) start from just £49.50, with access to the full Sound City Forum (including networking features, events, mixers and more) in addition to full access across the Sound City music programming for just £99.50.