Salford’s homegrown Sounds From the Other City Festival (SFTOC) has  announced that it has, with heavy heart, taken the painful decision to cancel the beloved May Bank Holiday event for the second year in a row, due to the impact of the global pandemic.

After much deliberation and investigation into alternative solutions, the team has conceded it is impossible to recreate the true, sweat drenched, hands-on, DIY spirit of SFTOC as a socially distanced or fully digital festival and all ticket holders will receive an automatic refund.

The festival industry as a whole is faced with the prospect of huge monetary risk in putting on events due to the indefinite restrictions and cultural uncertainty 2021 faces, and it is a risk that SFTOC sadly cannot afford to take, as even now the financial future of the event is extremely precarious.

FTOC has been a firm underground favourite since 2005; delivering a unique annual event that champions local promoters and celebrates the off-kilter beauty of Salford, the oft-overlooked ‘other city’ to Manchester so it is vitally important to the team that the festival survives the pandemic and returns to get the gang back together for a show-stopping 2022 festival in true Sounds style.

Due to receiving no income from ticket sales for 2020 and 2021, SFTOC is now wholly dependent on grants and funding, so in response to requests from its dedicated community, the organisation has launched the SFTOC Lifeline appeal, which creates the opportunity for those who wish to and have the means to donate to help the festival survive the year, and march on into 2022 and beyond.

To keep in touch, and as a creative outlet whilst the team works hard behind the scenes to develop the Festival’s future, SFTOC is launching brand-new newsletter publication The SoundsTown Gazette, featuring interviews, listings, promotional offers plus more from artists, promoters and partners.

Ticket holders will receive an email from Skiddle confirming their refund, plus links to the website for further details on The SoundsTown Gazette and SFTOC Lifeline appeal and SFTOC are offering an exclusive 10% discount code for the Seven Bro7hers Brewery online shop to anyone who signs up before the end of February.

Rivca Burns, Creative Director for Sounds from the Other City, comments: “Sounds From The Other City is a festival run on people power and energy. It is an annual celebration of community and differences, of coming together, of music, performance and art and everything in between.

“It feels that now more than ever before we need this celebration but it is just not safe to do so. We hope that in 2022 Chapel St will once again be alive with the glorious sights and sounds of SFTOC and to celebrate like never before. The next 12 months will be just as hard, if not harder than the previous 12, but with hope and even more power from our people we will get there.

“Our commitment to our audiences, our partners, our musicians; our community, is that we won’t give up. They mean too much to us for that. We are gutted but excited to try to make ourselves more resilient for the future so that we can bring ‘Salford Christmas’ to the people year after year.”

Beth Atton de Sá from Salford-based Festival partner Seven Bro7hers Brewing Co. says “We can’t wait to welcome Sounds from the Other City back into our venues when life is back to some level of normality, the wait will ensure that on its return it’s bigger and better than ever, and of course flooded with great tunes and beer. Roll on 2022!”

Jon Wickstead from Manchester based promoters Now Wave says “Having been part of the festival for nearly a decade, Sounds is always a real chance for us to put together a line-up of all our favourite emerging acts to play to what is always a very open and receptive audience. So not being able to be part of that for the second year running is really sad for us here at Now Wave. Not only is SFTOC the best party vibe around, for us it’s one of the true highlights of the year and we hope to come back stronger when SFTOC can return.”

Sounds from the Other City is a genuine DIY success story, and the prior seven festivals have each sold out. The festival has also housed early-day performances from artists as diverse as James Ferraro, Marina, Alt-J, Slowthai, GoGo Penguin right through to 2017’s Mercury Music Prize winner Sampha, 2018 BBC Sound of 2018 nominee IAMDDB and 2019 Mercury Music Prize nominees, Black Midi.

For information on SFTOC, to donate to the SFTOC Lifeline appeal and to sign up to The SoundsTown Gazette with an exclusive discount for Seven Bro7hers visit:


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