When we think of festival season, we think of muddy fields, cold showers, expensive beer and cheap tents. Deeper than that, we think of the music festival experience as one that ruptures routine, blurs boundaries, and ignites new friendships in overwhelming moments of euphoria.
Over the past eight years, the UK has seen a rise in city-based festivals, better known as the metropolitan music festival. Loved by many for their cosmopolitan vibe, these events follow the static formula of hosting hundreds of bands, across dozens of venues.
More than ever before, Liverpool Sound City 2015 promised to be a unique marriage of the conventional experiential festival, and the modern-day metropolitan festival.
Forgetting the frustrating noise bleed between stages, we can’t help but wonder what took Sound City so long to capitalise on Liverpool’s blessing. In a move to the historic Docklands of Liverpool, Bramley Moore Dock made the perfect setting for celebration of the wider arts including film, photography, crafts and performance art.
Liverpool’s own Lantern Company appeared with a brand new set of illuminated puppet creatures for their UK debut following a night time appearance in Hong Kong. Hot on the heels of the Flaming Lips headline set, festival goers were transported into a surreal world of the impulsive imagination.
Absurd art and questions of science continued to morph through Sound City’s midnight chorus of delirium. The Skeleton Family plus specially decrepit guests danced through the intrusive neon lights of the dark derelict docklands.
Other equally dazzling celebrations of the arts included Sunday night’s Spark spectacle. Theatrical thrashing of the drums delivered by Worldbeaters Music LLP.
We hope Liverpool Sound City continues to blur the boundaries of the metropolitan music festival, challenging both organisers and punters to redefine their understanding of the music festival as an extra-ordinary experience.