No one likes Sound City more than us. But we’re dismayed to see that, in the past two years, their Early Bird tickets have shot up, to more than double their 2013 price. No matter how you slice it, that’s quite a hike.
As Brighton’s The Great Escape freezes its prices over the past two years (and have only increased by a fiver over four years), Sound City’s have soared:
Sound City 2012 £20 + £2BF
Sound City 2013 £20 + £2BF
Sound City 2014 £30 + £3BF
Sound City 2015 £50 + £5BF
We support Sound City, every year we pay our way. We’re punters, same as everyone. We write a website? So what? That gives us the right to feel the squeeze, unlike those who grab free tickets and moan. You didn’t pay: reel it in.
So, for us, this price rise stings. And we wanted to know why.
“Our early bird is higher than in previous years,” says Sound City’s Dave Pichilingi.
“There is a clear reason that will become very apparent when we make our first announcement,” he adds.
Can he give us a clue? Can he give us a reason to part with £110, now, for a couple of tickets? Honestly, if it’s to secure front row tickets for Kooks, we’ll probably pass.
“All I can say at this time is that Sound City is under going a dramatic change next year as we move to our next phase. It will set the agenda for metropolitan festivals on a world stage,” he adds.
“It’s going to be a massive challenge but amazing. We’re very excited.”
We’re happy to pay our way if we get good value. If we’re honest, this year’s event wasn’t a vintage (sort out the security, guys: queuing up half an hour to get into a half empty Nation? What’s that about?) – and, in many ways, it did feel like a festival that had outgrown its original clothes. A festival in transition.
That the city is a better place for having it is in no doubt. What happens next will be something we’ll be watching with interest.
If it was us? We’d dump the keynotes, and focus on the music and the brilliant knack Sound City has of infecting the city, of making us crash headlong into our new favourite French band, and hatching plans to work together. The city as one all-inclusive musical melting pot. We love that.
But we doubt that’s the smartest way to unlock grants and funding. We imagine catalyst funding, youth development, digital futures, inclusivity and all that jazz is music to the Arts Council’s ears. There is a danger, with events like these, of embracing all things shiny and new, spreading your offer too thin, and generally jumping the shark.
Sound City flirted with football and fashion this year. And while they were doing so, they let the Kooks through their defence. Let’s hope ‘growth’ doesn’t mean ‘ill focused land grab’.
What do you think? How would you like Sound City’s difficult second phase to sound?
Sound City Early Bird Tickets
Pic: Pete Carr