Sounds From The Other City

May 13, 2019

SFTOC Quindecennial Audience Survey

Photo by Joe Smith

We want to make SFTOC the best festival it can be so we’ve put together a survey which will go towards shaping the future of the festival – we couldn’t do it without you and we want to know your thoughts and feedback.

Everyone who completes the survey will be entered into a prize draw for a cash prize of £50.

You can complete the survey here or in the page below.

May 4, 2019

1 DAY TIL SFTOC | Last minute essentials

Well, we’re almost there: the best day of the year is tomorrow. We know your heart is ready, but there are some last minute essentials that will help you get the most out of our Quindecennial celebration. Here’s all you need to know ahead of the day itself – we’ll see you at Regents Trading Estate tomorrow.


Opens at 2pm – Last entry at 9pm.

Wristband exchange takes place at the entrance to the festival site on Oldfield Road. For sat nav purposes the nearest point of reference is Mr Cook, 1 Regent Trading Estate, Oldfield Rd, Manchester M5 4DE.


Please download or print out your tickets to help speed up the entrance process. Early on, there will likely be queues at the entrance which we will endeavour to move through as quickly as possible – so if you want to see the opening acts, including the one-off BBC Philharmonic x Young Identity show at 2.45pm, we advise arriving early. There will be NO TICKETS available on the day: resale is available through Skiddle at face value here: Please be aware that scammers selling false/non-existent tickets has been on the rise on social media in recent years for all events, and we strongly advise against buying tickets through any means other than Skiddle – doing so through any other platforms puts yourself at the risk. Find out more about resale here:


We strongly advise bringing cash on the day. Due to limited facilities on site, all of the bars will be CASH ONLY. There is no cash machine at Regent Trading Estate but there are nearby ATMs at the Co-Op (closes 10pm), Costcutter, Sainsburys and some local newsagents. Be warned that ATMs in the local area often end up with large queues and a shortage of available funds – so bringing cash on your way to the festival is advised.


There will be bag and wand checks at the site entrance, therefore we request that bag size is kept to a minimum in order to reduce delays.


As we’re on an enclosed site for this event there are some items that we can’t allow through the entrance: please don’t bring food or drink into the festival, there will be a great selection of food stalls and bars to take advantage of (see below). No controlled substances please. No glass, cans or metal containers. Nothing that could be explosive, flammable or is likely to be used as a weapon.


There are four food vendors at Regent Trading Estate: Honest Crust pizzas, Dim Sum Su, Seitan’s Kebabs and Diamond Dogs hot dogs. We are operating a 50% veggie/vegan menu across the site. All of our bars will be serving a choice of award-winning Magic Rock craft beers (all vegan) plus Swansong Coffee will be offering a selection of tea, coffee and hot chocolate. Find out more here.


Unfortunately dogs (other than assistance dogs) and all other pets are not permitted at this year’s festival as we feel we are unable to offer a suitable environment for the welfare of our animal friends at Regent Trading Estate.


Once you have collected your wristband you are free to come in and out of the festival site at Regent Trading Estate at any time. Please note however that you will have to undertake a bag search each time you enter the site and there will be no fast-track queue for wristband holders which may mean another wait at peak times. We’re also a fringe event at The Eagle Inn, which you can find out more about here:


Regent Trading Estate is relatively flat and on one level, but due to its nature the terrain is rough and uneven in places – please wear appropriate footwear. The area is wheelchair accessible and there are seating areas around the site. If you have accessibility requirements and have any specific questions please contact us at


Entry to all stages are subject to capacity. If our security team advise you that the venue is at full capacity they will employ a one-in one-out policy for your safety so please be patient with them.


If you want to plan your day, a clashfinder is available via our website – you can find it here. There will also be programmes available at the Entrance gate which will include stage times so make sure you pick one up.  Line-ups and running times are all subject to change – you can listen to our official Spotify playlist to get yourself in the mood here.


Our official afterparties take place from 10-4am at YES and 11-5am at The Pint Pot. SFTOC wristband holders will have priority entry, subject to venue capacity.

Read all about them here:

Keep up to date with everything on the day on Twitter and Instagram – @SFTOC. If you’re taking a picture of anything, be a pal and tag it with #SFTOC.

We look forward to seeing you tomorrow for our Quindecennial celebration!

May 3, 2019

2 DAYS TIL SFTOC | A look at Life at Large – It’s All Gone To Shit

Toilets: we all need them, we all use them. A fact of life, much like the queue to use one at a festival being the most boring part of any day. Minutes spent waiting, while you could be off doing something else, something fun, something exciting. Naturally, spotting a section of SFTOC that was sub-optimal, we have taken decisive action for this Quindecennial year: and we’re happy that L.A.L (or, Life At Large) have accepted the roles of Portaloo attendants for this special edition of the festival.

As well as undertaking all the usual, not so glamorous tasks that you’d expect of the position, the L.A.L. team – artists Amy Pennington & Kevin Clarke – will be on hand to make sure that not a moment of the day is wasted, bringing fun and wonder to the obligation of waiting to have a wee. Expect Karaoke, make-overs, and a million other things beside: there’s every chance the bogs are going to be the most exciting spot at the entire festival. You can find out more over on Instagram, where we’ve given the L.A.L. team carte blanche to do whatever they’d like with our Stories for the day. Follow in full here:

Life At Large have just come off the back of a hugely successful spell of running their own Health Spa Retreat at Islington Mill, which promised to “Take your mind of the woes of the world and come to our non for profit but for profit FEEL GOOD health spa. Here at FEELGOOD we do exactly that while you watch us. There is plenty of opportunity at Feel good to talk out any issues, get a makeover, dance, feel isolated, start a new hobby”. You can see their promo material for it below.

More about L.A.L.

L.A.L is a queer-led performance duo using satire & comedy to create performance, video & print. By subverting the language of wellness our work critiques mental health rhetoric under capitalism. We create interactive performance environments temporarily queering the galleries, institutions & community spaces we inhabit: challenging power structures & questioning who gets to feel good, when & how.

Our workshops and interactive performances are designed to be all inclusive for our participants and co-creators. Our aim is to create a safe space which encourages creativity and play to take place.

L.A.L is a long term collaboration between artists Amy Pennington & Kevin Clarke who have worked with Duckie Queer Fun 2017, Camberwell Arts Festival 2018, Islington Mill 2018, Strange Perfume South London Gallery 2018, Manchester Contemporary 2018, Planes & Perverts LGSMigrants fundraiser 2019.

May 2, 2019

3 DAYS TO GO | Frank N Hank Instagram Takeover

In our final Instagram takeover before the big day (3 days to go!), we’re handing the keys over to Frank N Hank – who were involved in creating the vision for our 2015 festival with their MICRO COSMIC DELIRIUM. Find out more about what to expect from them below, as well as reading an exclusive interview on their plans for the big day too! Follow the carnage over on Instagram here:

Tickets are now SOLD OUT – however, resale is available through Skiddle. If you need to sell a ticket you can’t use any more, or buy a ticket, you can find out more via our post here:

👑Drawing on and re interpreting traditional May Day celebrations, participating dancers will take part in a choreographed chaos dance to bless and celebrate the new site. A Queen Big Wig will be chosen and, garlanded in finery to become guardian of the good party vibes, holding court until the next festival. ⁣

Frances Heap and Hannah Bitowski really made their mark when they joined us as part of the 2015 art direction team. Under the name Costumologist x Faux Queens they created ‘Microcosmic Delirium’ ☄️- the party spirit in its most viral form, embodied by costume, installation and performance. Then they set it loose on our festival – letting it spread across venues to infect the audience something terrible. This year we’ve invited them back – and given them carte blanche to wreak havoc on on our Quindecennial.💥⁣

You were part of our artistic director team for SFTOC 2015 – what have you been up to since then?

Since 2015,we’ve gone in different directions, Amy and Hannah’s highlight (Faux Queens) was supporting Peaches as their last show before Amy moved away to Japan, another big change to the group.  Some of us have moved town, done residencies, started a family, live on a boat, but we’re all still creating in one form or another.

What are your memories of that day? Personally, I remember the colour and the energy that you brought to the festival: turning up outside the Mill and immediately being blown away by how vibrant everything was

Our memory from 2015 is a kind of manic energy, non-stop whirlwind, free roaming  around Salford and all the unique interactions we had along the way, especially related to the gift giving cat bum handbag, which will be rekindled this year! 

Top memories include randomly gate crashing a kids birthday party (non Sounds associated) just round the corner from the Mill in the housing estate. The big balloon disco dancing explosions in First Chop and the big pinata smashing procession with Barberos are all highlights for us. The general memory of the day was electric, colourful and excited, one we will never forget.

Could you give us an idea of what to expect from yourself this time out?

This year we are bringing a Maypole to sounds, and we invite the audience to dance and bless the new festival site with us, whilst crowning some queens with ‘big wigs’ in the process, so expect more colour  from us and some loosely organised fun and dancing!

Finally – is there anything you’re particularly looking forward to on the day?

We’re both especially looking forward to seeing what all the other art directors are up to and generally seeing the magic of all the creations together in the new space, and of course, seeing the maypole in action!

May 1, 2019

SFTOC Fringe Event | VAM Street Party

As well as our Quindecennial at Regent’s Trading Estate, we’re sure that SFTOC goers will be heading round to some of their favourite Salford haunts for a couple of drinks. As previously mentioned, wristband holders can come and go as they please – and we’re certain that many will be making the small walk over to The Eagle Inn, where VAM are holding a Sounds Fringe Street Party.

Free entry for SFTOC ticket holders and the general public alike, the line-up features some Sounds legends and is certain to be a fine addition to the Quindecennial vibes.

Line up:
Hesska b2b Clemency – DJ
Madame Zhou
Daniel Ruane (DJ)
Jüngle Julia
Sid Quirk
Izzy Bolt
Howl Creative

Address: Eagle Inn, 19 Collier St, Greengate, Salford M3 7DW

Facebook event:

More about VAM

VAM is a collective group set up as a platform for visual artists, musicians, and audience to share and experience creative ideas. The collective encourages artist to perform and collaborate at events without promoter restriction such as a set genre. VAM events are opening up a space for live visuals and electronic music in Manchester. Whether you’re interested in performing or supporting, come join the vamily!

More about The Eagle Inn

Located in Salford just a stone’s throw from Deansgate and Victoria train station, The Eagle Inn is a friendly, relaxed and traditional local pub with a long history dating all the way back to 1848.
But there’s much more to The Eagle Inn than just the traditional bar. In 2014 a terraced house that stood empty next door to the pub was converted into a bespoke, fully functioning 80 capacity venue complete with raised stage and balcony, all the while retaining some of the house’s original features (look out for the fireplace – you’ll know it when you see it).
As well as working with established and longstanding promoters from Greater Manchester and beyond, The Eagle Inn prides itself on being a welcoming, supportive space and a creative hub for the area’s grassroots artistic communities; with many now successful bands, artists, performers and promoters cutting their teeth within its walls.
Thanks to this rare combination of space, attitude and approach, The Eagle Inn is able to accommodate a full calendar of live music, spoken word, comedy, theatre, film screenings, exhibitions and much more on almost every night of the week.