Sounds From The Other City

January 30, 2020

Sounds from the Other City 2020 first announcement – promoters & venues

Back for 2020, back on Chapel Street – and now we can reveal the first batch of promoters and venues who are going to shape the Sounds from the Other vibe for this year, with more announcements – from artists to afterparties – coming in the next couple of weeks. We’re also pleased to give a first look at our poster, lovingly crafted – as ever – by the brilliant David Bailey, with a fruity twist as we enter the new decade. Great, isn’t it?

A return to Chapel Street wouldn’t be worth the name without certain spaces, so we’re pleased as punch to be heading back to The Old Pint Pot, with psych specialists The Beauty Witch taking the upstairs, and DIY promoters extraordinaire Bad Uncle & friends taking up residence in the downstairs bar. St Philip’s Church is an iconic SFTOC venue, and the keys are being handed over to two of the best: Heavenly Recordings will be programming alongside Strange Days – expect something special, befitting the spectacular space.

Towards the other end of Chapel Street, SFTOC legends Hey! Manchester will be making iconic pub The Kings Arms venue space their own, with Pen:Chant hosting the studio space, while just around the corner at The Salford Arms fellow newcomers The Singing Box and Do Your Best Records will welcome in the return to another classic Salford boozer.

In the middle, Bexley Square will become a party hub once again, with Me Gusta and Regal Disco making the Sounds marquee their home, with perennial festival favourite Good Afternoon returning to their spiritual sanctuary of The New Oxford. SFTOC 2020 also sees the School of Electronic Music make their return, as they present a selection of some of their favourite acts – always a festival favourite. 

After holding the fort with our Quindecennial last year, Regents Trading Estate is back as a hub for SFTOC 2020, with collaborations between SFTOC promoters legendary and latest to the team: Unit 2 with see Fat Out pick alongside Alphaville; Unit 3 is a joint venture between Grey Lantern and Them There Records; Unit 4 will see Band on the Wall sharing with NIAMOS. We’re super excited for them all, as well as our friends Partisan Collective making the bar space their own, too.

We’ll be announcing the first raft of names playing the festival this time next week, while we’ve got plenty of big surprises up our sleeves with more venues, more promoters, and more of the stuff that makes Sounds great still be revealed. It is going to be the best SFTOC ever, no doubt.

Our second release of tickets are now available through Skiddle (or purchase below), while physical tickets have also made a return – pick yours up, from Saturday 1st February,  at Piccadilly Records (includes booking fee), or Siop Shop if you’re in Manchester city centre; Grapefruit in Sale; Font Bar in Chorlton; Wilderness Records in Withington; or the Kings Arms, and the University of Salford Students Union right here in sunny Salford.

To buy tickets for this event please visit the events page: Sounds From the Other City 2020 tickets from Skiddle.

November 8, 2019

SFTOC 2020 | Tickets on sale now

We sell out every year and, if pre-sale was anything to go by, we’re going to be running out of tickets earlier than ever before as we head back to Chapel Street. Get yours quick below, through our friends at Skiddle.

To buy tickets for this event please visit the events page: Sounds From the Other City 2020 tickets from Skiddle.

Gig, Club and Festival tickets by Skiddle

Find out more about Skiddle’s ‘Remind Me’ service here (links to

November 6, 2019

Sounds from the Other City 2020 | Chapel Street, Saturday 2 May 2020

Sounds from the Other City (SFTOC) is back once again for 2020, and back to Chapel Street after our 15th birthday blowout last time out. We’re seeing in the new decade by, as ever, giving your favourite promoters creative carte blanche to book the best new bands in the country, and have them play in your favourite spaces – the strange, the surreal, and the spectacular – as our community festival of art, new music, and culture returns to the pubs, churches and community corners of Salford.

With the early May Bank Holiday Monday moved back to Friday 8th for VE Day, we’re taking the opportunity to move SFTOC forward to 2nd May 2020 – a once in a lifetime chance to experience Sounds on a Saturday before moving back to our usual Sunday slot in 2021. We’ll also be bringing lots more new ingredients to mix in everything that has made the festival one of the most idiosyncratic and individual events in the country, making sure the best day of the year stays as fresh as ever as we reach our sixteenth year.

SFTOC is a festival of music and art, a day of discovery, a community festival in its truest form, bringing Manchester and most importantly Salford together in creating something downright magical and unique to be enjoyed by everyone – whether you are on stage, behind the scenes, or soaking it all in from venue to venue with a beer in your hand.

Tickets go on general sale on Friday 8 November at midday via Skiddle. To join the pre-sale list for early access to tickets you can also sign up to Skiddle’s ‘Remind Me’ list for the event by clicking here or filling out the form below. We’re expecting to sell out well in advance of the day itself, as we have done for the past 7 years – don’t miss out.

To buy tickets for this event please visit the events page: Sounds From the Other City 2020 tickets from Skiddle.

News on promoters, venues, performers, artists, and after-parties will be announced in the new year – this is going to be our biggest and best SFTOC yet.

You can watch highlights from SFTOC 2019 below.

October 10, 2019

SFTOC nominated for Best Small Festival & Best Grassroots Festival at UK Festival Awards

After our Quindecennial year, Sounds from the Other City has been nominated for the Best Small Festival & Best Grassroots Festival at the UK Festival Awards 2019. The award goes to the best festival with a capacity of under 10,000, and we’d be honoured if you could take the time to vote for us while you wait for some big SFTOC news coming soon – you can click the image above to do so, or simply click here.



May 20, 2019

SFTOC Quindecennial: Emma Davidson’s review of the day

We asked our writer Emma Davidson to spend the day of May 5 experiencing the sights and sounds of SFTOC – here’s her review of our 15th birthday party

It was the morning of the 5th of May, and a sneakily sunny corner of Salford was about to turn into the best paradisiacal place this side of the pond. A place where beer is poured from the inside of a caravan, Britney Spears is belted out the door of a portaloo and tequila is shot straight into your gob from the spout of a water pistol. It is, of course, Sounds From the Other City 2019. Here to celebrate its 15th birthday, I donned my Dr Martens for a day at Regent Road.

Arriving at the site early Sunday afternoon, I’m greeted by a man in a flattering blonde wig asking if I’m Jenny and “did I order a L-Uber?” to which he gestures at the empty shopping trolley he is moving backwards and forwards beneath him. Unfortunately, I had to tell him that in fact, I was not Jenny, but I was sure I’d just saw her standing on the corner of Unit 2 looking a little lost! Off he went into the eye-catching site, decorated in glittering tinsel moving in a gentle breeze briefly catching a quick glimpse of your cheesy festival happy reflection. It’s not quite the flip flop weather we were graced with last year, but It’s the perfect place for a bunch of artists from far and wide to gather under a tin roof that on every other day of the week houses a printer’s and a paint stockist. Sounds From the Other City fits right in with its similar DIY ethic and a plethora of overalls.

Aadae action shot by Kirsty Fox

I start my day at unit 2 catching the remarkable Aadae who played a beautifully, industrial poetic set that comprised of only her and her drummer. The bass driven performance had notes of afro-beat, at times drawing a stark contrast to Ibibo Sound Machine who Aadae has just recently finished a set of dates with. Her songs provoke an emotional response from the packed-out crowd that are huddled into this warehouse like a herd of cattle, and her presence is enough to provide an angelic atmosphere to warm us ready for the rest of the afternoon.

With a vocal as powerful and poetic as it is, it seemed only natural that Aadae breaks into a beautiful Etta James cover which transfixes her audience and displays just how incredible her voice is. Her music has the ability to give everyone that pleasant groove and happiness, a familiar feeling that usually washes over us after the first couple of beers on a sunny afternoon.

Feeling cleansed and super excited to see what the rest of this year Soundstown has to offer, it was time to check out Yorkshire based garage punk rockers Avalanche Party. Residing in unit 3, the band have already started when I arrive, the walls dripping with the sweat of their frontman Jordan Bell, who is in the crowd topless and completely lost in the bands energetic dynamic. Their performance is theatrical at times with each member in a possessed state, angst driven and wildlife-like. Avalanche Party create a frenzied environment that I could watch for hours, the perfect band for any frantic festival goer.

Sneaks was next on my list, an enigmatic character that took to the stage of unit 5 hidden behind a pair a darkened sunglasses, clearly prepared for the 11 degree heat that just wasn’t showing up. I was intrigued by what I was about to witness as she danced robot-like to songs such as ‘Look Like That’ which merges pogo punk bass lines with trap beats. Her performance is somewhat minimal compared to what I have already witnessed, but her celestial hip-hop transports the room to the realms of outer space, overlooked by a huge grey planet that hangs above her as she plays. Maybe if I stay here long enough, that’s where I’ll end up?

Babii by Jody Hartley

After Sneaks’ captivating stripped down aesthetic, Babii was next to take to the stage at unit 5. Another one-man band, she had been top of my list to see since I’d first taken a look at this year’s lineup. Her on stage set up is like a huge jigsaw puzzle. Drum pads, machines, pedals, buttons, cables, lights, similar to that one draw we all have in our kitchen that houses everything from cellotape to a charger for that phone, emotionally parted with in 2007. However, Babii has an insane talent starting her set with the industrialised ‘SEiiZURE’ that sees her beautifully portray an electro-pop paradise, using every possible limb to bash out beats that could have been recorded under the roof of this very warehouse.

She sheepishly explains how she is surviving on only two hours sleep but that in no way affects her performance. Her music is refreshing as her sweet vocals lie beautifully over the dark, layered synth sounds she has managed to curate so uniquely. Babii was undoubtedly my favourite performer at this year’s SFTOC, I was not only amazed by her music but by her performance. There was so much to focus on that as an audience member you also felt fully immersed and engrossed with every movement. Her set was flawless and incredibly exciting to witness, it’s hard to even compare Babii to anyone else on the current music spectrum. If you haven’t already, then please grace yourself with her mind-boggling music.

Then I was suddenly transported to unit 4. Emerging from the tinsel that provided the perfect Instagrammable entrance, I was greeted by four bearded men dancing to the baby mobile beats of Tirikilatops’ ‘Snail Party (Wah!)’. The set is a blur, with one member of the band slumped, confused in the corner of the stage only leading me to question if he was part of the performance or a mere festival goer that had possibly peaked too early. Anyway, their set was a crazy explosion of neon hues and cult kawaii inspired costumes. With this being my first ever introduction to Trikilatops, the experience was eye-opening and a little over whelming but nevertheless they’re a band who fit perfectly into the SFTOC sphere that inhabits all things weird and wonderful.

After witnessing the world of Trikilatops I found myself in a lengthy queue for the hidden toilets inside unit 4. You may think that my toilet experience is completely irrelevant, but I doubt you’ve had one like it. I could already hear the bass pounding from behind the closed doors of each cubicle. As I stepped foot into the bathroom, three people dressed as red chillis and a couple of makeshift coppers armed with water pistols full of tequila were dancing hard to ‘You’ve Got to Show me Love’. It was a secret rave that provided the best post poo party going.

Trikiliatops by Jody Hartley

It was now nearing the end of SFTOC 2019 so it was time to head over to unit 3 and immerse myself in the 90’s dream pop of The Orielles. Packs of festival revellers stormed over to watch the quartet who had filled the unit to the brim and made everyone forget about the unfortunate beer shortage that had just hit the bars. The Orielles painted the walls of this bare venue with their positive, pastel pink garage rock that has grown so organically from the back rooms of local sweaty bars. Their sound is new but nostalgic with undertones of Luscious Jackson in the slick riffs and baby-faced beauty that the band so elegantly portray.

Songs such as ‘Bobbi’s Second World’ are a stand out on stage performance with funk fuelled melodies showcasing the bands unique post dance punk firmly rooted in nostalgic disco. They’re having an absolute blast on stage with guitarist Henry Wade transforming into a Dr Feelgood – Roxette-esque dance jolting his body in time with his stiff guitar playing, and front woman Esme Halford’s sweet spirit projects across this venue filling it with vibrancy and those proper festival vibes that are hard to find anywhere else.

Sounds From the Other City is a one of a kind experience, giving you everything you could ever dream of from a festival situated in a sunny little corner of Salford. It celebrates everything about the city and the artists that inhabit it, it’s welcoming, charming and completely incomparable to any other festival that is around at the moment. Living in this spectacular city is already an honour, but to be able to celebrate everything I love and share an undying passion for on my doorstep is an absolute blessing. Again, SFTOC has outdone itself. If you haven’t allowed yourself to dance around a car park, sipping cans and immersing yourself in art and culture from every corner of this small world, then really, what the hell have you been doing?