Sound City Ipswich: Festival aims to raise town's music profile

Sound City Ipswich poster Image copyright Sound City Ipswich
Image caption Sound City will make its Ipswich debut on 4 October

A music festival will launch a one-day event in Ipswich this autumn, in a move to boost the town's appeal to touring bands.

Sound City Ipswich on 4 October is modelled on the Liverpool-based festival with 21 live bands and industry conference events.

The initial line-up is set to be announced on 2 August and will also feature street food and workshops.

Organiser Joe Bailey hoped it would "bring more life to our town centre".

"We hope to create an aspirational day for artists and audience members alike, showcasing some of the best regional talent alongside national artists shining a well-deserved spotlight on the town," he said.

'More live venues'

Mr Bailey, who also runs The Smokehouse music venue in Ipswich, said more visitors would "prove the need for investment in the area's music infrastructure", which was often overlooked in favour of Norwich or Cambridge by touring acts.

"[That will lead to] the creation of more live music venues, increased engagement in live music and for Ipswich to culturally thrive; while supporting the development of bands and artists in the eastern region," he added.

Image copyright Philip Charles
Image caption The Smokehouse will be one of the venues taking part in the one-day event

The Smokehouse, Manor Ballroom, Corn Exchange and Cornhill will host live music, and there will be a free BBC Introducing in Suffolk stage.

The conference will promote the area as a destination for artists, labels, booking agents and other industry figures, with talks and networking sessions.

Other activities such as coffee shop acoustic gigs and DJ sets are being lined up.

Image copyright Lois Warrington
Image caption Mabel was one of the headliners at this year's Liverpool Sound City festival
Image copyright Jazamin Sinclair
Image caption Loyle Carner also headlined at this year's Liverpool Sound City festival

The festival has been organised by The Smokehouse, Out Loud Music and the team behind the Liverpool Sound City festival, where this year's headliners included Mabel, Loyle Carner and The Magic Gang. It started in 2008 and has also staged events in Dubai, New York and South Korea.

Ipswich has hosted acts including the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Elton John, Rod Stewart and Pink at Ipswich Town's Portman Road stadium in recent years, but has struggled to attract acts who play small or medium-sized venues.

Ed Sheeran is giving local unsigned acts the chance to perform in front of a crowd of up to 45,000 people as part of his homecoming shows at Chantry Park in the town next month.

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