Liverpool Sound City reveals headliners for May 2019 Baltic Triangle based festival, Getintothis’ Lewis Ridley on Louis Berry and the other first waves of acts.
Embracing the wild spirit of discovery, the electrically-charged festival is again set to showcase hundreds of emerging bands, artists and performers from across the world and closer to home.
Hip hop’s Loyle Carner will headline on Sunday, May 5 as he returns to the city following a tour appearance last year which won over the Arts Club crowd.
That time the South London born rapper took to the stage in Liverpool FC red, and his links to the city became stronger recently when he tweeted asking: “Someone send me some good new music from Liverpool.” Getintothis staff took great pride in throwing some recommendations his way.
On Saturday, May 4, the child of the halcyon-age of 00s R&B, Mabel will take up the top slot.
The Swedish-British London based singer has released two mixtapes in the form of 2017’s Ivy To Roses and this year’s re-issue.
Also featuring at the top end of the lineup is Liverpool’s own Louis Berry. The genre-skipping artist released his debut recording in 2015, and received widespread exposure with 2017’s She Wants Me. Since releasing February’s Stumbling he played to a packed crowd at NBHD Weekender and next year is bound to have the same impact in his hometown.
They are joined by a wealth of further artists in the first announcement, including (A-Z): Alligator, Benin City, Cousin Kula, Dancing on Tables, Dayo Bello, Dot, Emily Burns, Giant Rooks, Goodies, Harry Miller, Heavy Lungs, Indigo Lo, Jvck James, Molly Rainford, Monks, Roman Lewis, Ryan McMullan, Saltwater Sun, Sophie and the Giants, Tamu Massif, and Vistas. 100s more artists will be revealed soon.
The festival weekend will start with the Sound City+ conference on Friday, May 4, featuring a full day of illuminating, engaging and inspiring keynote speeches, interviews, roundtable debates, workshops, business meetings and much more at Liverpool’s historic Cunard Building.
This year, Sound City very proudly became one of Arts Council England’s National Portfolio Organisations for 2018-22 receiving £200k per year to support talent development for artists and industry via Sound City, Sound City+, Sound City Korea, Off the Record and Sound City Music Entrepreneur Training throughout the year.
Rebecca Ayres, Sound City’s CEO, explains: “We are proud to announce the first artists joining us in May 2019 for the 12th Sound City. With Loyle Carner and Mabel we have two of the leading artists of their generation, and support from a wide range of emerging talent including our own Louis Berry. Earlier this year, we had a truly magical return back to our roots in Liverpool’s Baltic Triangle with our sold out 11th edition.”
“It was an incredible weekend for all who attended from right around the world. And for 2019 we will very much continue to champion new music and the next wave of stars in the making which is Sound City’s founding ethos, as well as further embracing diversity and equality in everything we do as a festival, from right here the office and our team to the lineup itself, and everything in between.”
“We are also all incredibly happy to have been nominated for Best Metropolitan Festival and Best Small Festival at the UK Festival Awards 2018, which are great accolades for everyone involved.”
Tickets are on sale on Friday, October 26 at 10am.
Editor’s comment: Sound City 2018 was a great success. For two big reasons: the move to the Baltic proved inspired and the team returned to their original ethos – new music discovery. Wondering around a shape-shifting Baltic Triangle in the May summer sunshine was a glorious experience; not just because of the event, but because there were at least a dozen venues no one had seen any live music in before. Some didn’t work, some resoundingly did – and even those that weren’t suited it proved an intriguing experiment. On the music front, the Sound City team axed artists you can pretty much see anywhere and dived back into the unknown. Many people – wrongly – dismissed the festival suggesting they weren’t overly keen on the line up – how ill-advised; because for the first time in four years, Sound City offered so much new talent you simply would have to have been the biggest music geek in the world to know everything about who was on display. And that’s our job – and we frankly weren’t sure either. What proved to play out was a great weekend – we found lots of new artists, new bands, new drinking dens, new places to grab a bite to eat, and most importantly a whole new experience to fall back in love with. The festival felt revitatlised – they’d found their mojo. Next year’s offering already looks to continue that feel. They’ve two ambitious and adventurous headliners – both from very different spheres you would usually associate with Sound City. It is a brave move, but one we’d encourage. The rest of the bill mixes that aforementioned discovery element and homegrown buzz-worthy talent. It all bodes well to build on that brilliant Baltic debut year. – Getintothis editor, Peter Guy