The innovative, pioneering and independent Sound City launches its first round of artists to kick-start the festival season in 2020. For its 13th edition, Pale Waves are the first headliners, with many more revealed.


Tickets go on sale from 10 am Friday 25th October.

Liverpool’s iconic Sound City, the UK’s leading independent festival and industry conference for emerging music, arts and discovery, returns for its 13th year across Friday, May 1st – Sunday 3rd 2020 to launch next year’s festival season in fine style. The festival is incredibly proud to reveal its first headline artists, the goth-pop champions Pale Waves taking centre stage with their female front-woman, Heather Baron-Gracie, and their music emboldened from last year’s sell-out tour and their critically acclaimed debut album. They are joined by a wealth of initial talent including The Blinders, Tim Burgess, The Lathums, Stealing Sheep, The Mysterines, Jamie Webster and The Lottery Winners.

Further support comes from Abbie Ozard, Alfie Neale, Bessie Turner, Catholic Action, Diving Station, Dylan, Elm, Far Caspian, Fever, Grace Lightman, On Video, Para Fiction, Sam Calver, Social Contract, Sophie and the Giants, Talkboy and Wargasm. Many more artists will be revealed soon.


Widely regarded as one of Europe’s most innovative and pioneering festivals, Sound City is a true celebration of the eclectic underground, the next generation of maverick talent and those who have already reached the top of their respective games.

Sound City 2020 and it’s Sound City+ conference will bring together 100s of artists, performers, labels, collectives, speakers, thinkers, showcases, collaborators, panels and more from around the world for an unrivalled three days and nights, sound-tracked by some of the most electric talents from around the world. There is no place quite like it, where a pulsating energy ripples through the festival’s many intimate venues and urban spaces.  

Sound City is also the UK’s lead partner for Keychange. In 2019, Sound City+ was proud to achieve a 50/50 gender split throughout its speakers. The festival’s lineup champions gender equality and its first announcement is close to achieving parity towards the pledge for an equal gender split by 2022.

The dazzling weekend also celebrates Liverpool itself and all of its present and possible future glories, set across perhaps the country’s most dynamic cultural landscape in the shadow of the Anglican Cathedral – the thriving Baltic Triangle. 

Rebecca Ayres, Sound City’s Managing Director, says:

“It doesn’t feel that long ago since we were partying to Loyle Carner, Mabel, The Magic Gang, slowthai and Louis Berry earlier in the year – and now here we are releasing our first wave of names for Sound City 2020. For our 13th year, we will continue to champion the very best sounds the UK has to offer across an incredibly diverse spectrum, as well as reaching out around the world to brilliant artists making a difference. Liverpool is the perfect backdrop for our festival and conference, and working again with the Arts Council England and a range of partners, we are determined to create a weekend and wider series of events and showcases which will once more shape the agenda for music, arts and culture across the UK and beyond. We cannot wait to be back.”   


Sound City Friday 1st – Sunday 3rd May 2020

Taking place across Baltic Triangle, Liverpool

Tickets go on sale from 10am Friday 25th October

Twitter: @soundcity

Insta:  @liverpoolsoundcity

About Sound City

Sound City is the brand responsible for organising a range of boutique music, media and technology festivals and conferences around the world. Since its inception, it has designed, delivered, marketed and hosted events in cities on three continents that range from a series of shows, conferences and product and service launches to full music and arts festivals and creative and digital industries conferences. Sound City consistently delivers high quality, high calibre events that have been acclaimed by audiences and critics alike. Sound City owned events include Liverpool Sound City festival and conference, Dubai Sound City, Tromso Sound City New York Sound City, Gateway to the Asian Music Markets, Sound City Korea and Sounds of the Xity, Beijing and China.

Sound City is proud to work with many leading and innovative partners during the campaign. These include the Arts Council England supporting new artistic and industry talent; INES and Creative Europe, stage and festival partner The Cavern Club, official curator Horus Music who are bringing some of the best new music from across the UK and many exciting showcases from Modern Sky UK, BIMM and Leeds College of Music.


About Arts Council England

Arts Council England is the national development body for arts and culture across England, working to enrich people’s lives. It supports a range of activities across the arts, museums and libraries – from theatre to visual art, reading to dance, music to literature, and crafts to collections. Between 2018 and 2022, Arts Council England will invest £1.45 billion of public money from the government and an estimated £860 million from the National Lottery to help create these experiences for as many people as possible across the country.


About INES and Creative Europe

We are part of Innovation Network of European Showcases. The INNOVATION NETWORK OF EUROPEAN SHOWCASES, or INES, is a European cooperation project initiated by eight international showcase festivals and gigmit, the European digital platform for artist booking. Co-funded by Creative Europe Programme of the European Union.




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