Sound City Ipswich 2021

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What an incredible live music extravaganza!

Sound City Ipswich was a two-day multi-venue live music festival across Ipswich town centre. Kicking off with a music conference with panel discussions on subjects such as developing a career in the music industry, or how to licence your music for film & TV which lead nicely into the spectacular of live music.

Your purchased wristband allowed entrance to all the 5 venues, which were: The Corn Exchange; The Bath; St Stephen’s Church; The Smokehouse; and The Cornhill, the latter being outside and free to the public, a nice touch from the festival organisers for everyone to enjoy a part of Sound City Ipswich.

St Stephen’s Church had been converted to be able to have music and a bar and what a treat it was, the lights and the sound were great and it all made a wonderfully unique live music venue.

The Baths were opened for music again for the first time in more than 40 years and what a great venue this turned out to be. Plenty of space for stage, crowd and bars. Sound quality was spot on for all the bands and singers, which obviously is down to the sound crew too – to have to adapt quickly to all the various instruments, pitches, and artists to make the experience enjoyable for the public. This was also true for all the venues – the sound crews did fantastically amid varied challenges.

There were over 70 live artists across the venues and with late night DJs at two of the venues to continue the enjoyment and dancing into the early hours. The number of artists coming to Ipswich for this festival is exciting for the future of live music in this town. Acts included: BC Camplight, Porridge Radio, Yard Act, Chubby & The Gang, Reno & Rome, Sink Ya Teeth, Gabby Rivers, Alabaster DePlume, Ebi Soda, Holiday Ghosts, Billy Nomates……an endless and remarkable list. Full listing here:

We had local bands, regional bands UK-wide bands and even artists across the pond who managed to squeeze us in while on their European Tour – how lucky were we to be able to bring all these acts together? An opportunity to see such a variety of genres and artists in different stages of their career journeys it was exciting that we were part of it.

The only challenge for the crowd was to decide which artist to go and listen to due to the swathe of variety. There was a real opportunity to see a rising artist and to experience genres you wouldn’t normally listen to and have your musical mind expanded. There was urban rap, post-punk, indie punk, indie rock, Euro pop, modern prog jazz, psychedelic rock, psychedelic pop, psychedelic soul, R&B, pop, killer rock, old school rap, pop punk, kaleidoscopic pop, electronic rap, British pop…….and still so much more!

The weather was not kind however this really didn’t stop the crowd venue-hopping to experience the festival to the fullest.

Stand out artists from the ones I managed to see were Lynks: the avant-pop disco band with high energy dance moves and sharp lyrics; TrueMendous: female rapper with fast modern lyrics; Monster Florence: a old school rap with modern energy; and Ren Harvieu who had a voice that dragged you into her classic yet fresh sound.

An absolutely stunning weekend which was well organised and well attended, the crowd looked as though they were having an amazing time, despite the weather. Well done to the organisers, the sponsors and Ipswich Council for supporting this incredible event. Hopefully this is going to put Ipswich on the map for music and will become a regular festival for all to enjoy.

This review first appeared on GrapevineLIVE.

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