Sound Tracks Festival
A music festival along the right lines
This is a great idea for an urban festival. All the main stages are within minutes of the station, so it’s easier to get between them then by plodding through the mud at Glastonbury. The venues are linked by the 'Travelling Stage' i.e. a train with a upcoming and unsigned acts performing live in the unique setup of the London Overground train carriages.
Amanda Lwin - one half of the production team - told me how they came up with the concept. “The idea of a multi-site music festival appealed to me because as an urbanist and designer I wanted to tell this story about independent music migrating to places that happen to be connected up by the London Overground network, which circles central London.”
“Carolina, my co-producer, was really enthusiastic about bringing musicians onto the trains - breaking down the barrier between performance and audience. The two ideas seemed to work really well together, and everyone we've spoken to agrees with us - fortunately this includes Transport for London [who run the trains]!”
But, as with any new idea, all this can’t have been easy.
“One of our biggest challenges was persuading Transport for London to let us bring live music onto the trains, as no-one has ever done this before. We've had great in-kind support from them, as they recognise the great value that the festival brings to their London Overground brand.”
And already looking at expansion
“For our first festival, we've stripped our idea down to its bare bones - to make something exciting but achievable. There are, however, plenty of other culturally-rich places along this line - Hoxton, Highbury and Whitechapel all have great music venues - and the wider London Overground network more generally (Camden and Peckham come to mind).”
“We'd also like to bring music to other unexpected locations - we think that barbershops, restaurants, and florists would all make great venues for an impromptu acoustic gig.”
And it's not just other train lines in London that will be looking enviously at the festival, it's also other bus routes, trams, cycle lanes and the river. This is an idea that's going places.
Sound Tracks runs on the 17 September 2011.