Supersonic 2017 Collective Memory


Photos by Katja Ogrin, Joe Singh and Mark Rhodes

Wow! Supersonic 2017 was an absolute blinder. Our hearts are completely warmed. Thank you friends. We couldn’t have asked for a better weekend full of mind bending, life altering music and art, paired with fun and frolics shared amongst a loving, open minded community – something much needed in our current times.

Huge thanks and congratulations to our hard-working Supersonic team and volunteers who all go beyond the call of duty to make it happen and to our incredible artists and audience alike who elevate the whole experience to something truly special.

We will start posting up our Supersonic Collective memory (first started in 2009over the next few days, so feel free to send your comments and blog post links and photos to us, let us know your highlights. Keep checking back as we add more content.

Supersonic photos should be added to our Flickr group (if you could tag them with band name & supersonic 2017 or ssfest17).


We know that people who come to SUPERSONIC are a knowledgeable and opinionated lot so we’d like to ask for your assistance to develop and improve the next festival by answering a few questions about you and your experience. This should take no more than a few minutes of your time, and your feedback is greatly appreciated.

Your answers here will aid us in keeping our work going and in making sure new and interesting artists will keep coming to the festival – so your input really does matter in making SUPERSONIC work.



“A deeply experimental weekend but also a genuinely accessible one too. During a period in which many line-ups of alternative festivals are becoming increasingly uniform, Supersonic brightly stands out as a true alternative to the alternative..”

ARTS DESK –  5* live review 

“The Supersonic Festival is Birmingham’s annual gathering of the sonically weird and wonderful pitched at “curious audiences” happy to lend their ears to sounds that would ordinarily be difficult to discover without a lot of effort.”

THE QUIETUS – live review

“Supersonic reasserts itself as the best European festival for new music…..Show me a room full of Napalm Death fans singing Lennon’s ‘Imagine’ with tears pouring down their faces and you show me the very reason we gather to experience live music in the first place.””

NOISEY – Feature on Napalm Death and DIY culture

“No other city has played such an integral role in defining and shattering what heavy music can be.”

ECHOES AND DUST – live review

This year’s Supersonic Festival was an amazing experience with so much quality acts and so many forward thinking styles going on at a wonderfully organised event.”

DROWNED IN SOUND – live review

Britain’s premier experimental music weekender: three days of risk-taking, thought-provoking, genre-defying, toe-tapping, eardrum-popping sounds for the discerning.

FIGHTING BOREDOM – live review of Friday   / Saturday / Sunday 
“It wouldn’t be overstating things to say that Supersonic is our musical home. “

MUTUAL GRIMNESS – live review
“Supersonic Festival – Munificent. Mesmerizing. Mindblowing……Music is powerful. A platform to convey socio-political ideas. A tool to inspire and connect people.”



BBC RADIO 3 – Supersonic preview on Late Junction (14 June)

NTS RADIO – Supersonic preview (23 May)

BBC 6 MUSIC – Stuart Maconie’s Freak Zone reveal

BRUM RADIO – Supersonic Take-over show




MIDLANDS ROCKS – initial announcement

GRAPEVINE BIRMINGHAM – initial announcement

BIRMINGHAM MAIL – initial announcement


GUARDIAN GUIDE – Preview (10 June) 

GUARDIAN GUIDE – Inclusion in the festival guide (6 May)

WIRE – Inclusion in festival listings (June issue)



GUARDIAN GUIDE – listed as the top experimental music festival in Europe

“Huddled down the canal from the retail palaces of central Birmingham sits Digbeth, an area permanently flirting with regeneration – making it the perfect place for the accessible yet decidedly off-grid lineup at Supersonic.”

THE QUIETUS – general Supersonic preview 

“Birmingham’s Supersonic festival is returning bigger, bolder and more experimental than ever this weekend (June 16-18).”


“It’s all back to Birmingham for round 15 of Britain’s best city fest.”

ATTN – Q+A with Khyam 

“Beyond the entertainment factor of it all and the generous support of those at that show, it meant so much to me because it was one of the few times in my life where I felt like I actually belonged somewhere and was surrounded by like-minded spirits. Since then I have always considered Supersonic my spiritual home.”

CRACK – news article 

“Boundary-pushing experimental festival Supersonic have completed their lineup for this year’s edition, adding a crop of new artists to a bill that already includes performances from Jenny Hval, Richard Dawson, and Raime.”


“Everything that Fighting Boredom love about music is captured by Capsule’s Supersonic Festival.”

GET INTO THIS – news article

“Where too often festivals can play it safe, settling for the same tried-and-tested headline acts guaranteed to swell ticket sales, Supersonic reads like a breath of fresh air.”

BIRMINGHAM WIRE –!/coming-soon-supersonic-festival-2017

“A truly avant-garde, tightly-curated and rightly exalted experience.”



The Bug


The Bug is one of many music projects of London-based producer Kevin Martin. Kevin has been a part of a number of groups including Techno Animal, The Sidewinder, God, Ice, Curse of the Golden Vampire, Zonal, King Midas Sound, Black Chow, Cult Of The 13th Hour, Pressure and Experimental Audio Research through which he’s experimented with fusing such diverse genres as grindcore, industrial, metal, hip-hop, dub, jazz and ambient. The Bug’s music draws influence from dancehall, noise, grime, and hip hop.

For this performance Kevin Martin will be joined by the ‘world’s fastest rapper’ and founder of Raggamuffin hip hop Daddy Freddy and Flow Dan (co-founder of UK Grime collective Roll Deep).


Supersonic 2011: Video archive


Last year we brought you a pretty amazing line-up (even if we do say so ourselves) but for our 10th anniversary this year we want to do even better! We are taking a moment to look over all the good stuff from 2011 and we hope you’ll tag along and get excited about 2012 with us! Don’t forget there is still time to give us your suggestions for who you’d like to see this year, so here’s a little inspiration…

Agathe Max

Alexander Tucker

Alva Noto





Bardo Pond

Barn Owl



Cut Hands

DJ Scotch Egg

Drum Eyes

Drunk in Hell

Electric Wizard


Eternal Tapestry

Fire! with special guest Oren Ambarchi


Klaus Kinski

Lucky Dragons

Mike Watt + The Missingmen



Nathan Bell


Part Chimp

Pekko Kappi

Pharaoh Overlord


Secret Chiefs 3


Silver Apples


Teeth of the Sea

The Berg Sans Nipple

The Skull Defekts

Tony Conrad


White Hills

Wolves in the Throne Room



Collective Memory – The Reviews


Part of the Supersonic 2011 Collective Memory compiled by Pete Ashton.

This is the big one. The acres of words written by people with keyboards. Some are in the classic journalistic style, some are gonzo-stlye diary entries, some are capsules of reactions.

Pic by Alice at Quaint Living.

Lets’s start with the (relatively) straight reviews.

The Quietus got their review up nice and sharpish by spreading the load across various contributors.

Ross Cotton did a review but also did a great feature on being a Supersonic volunteer.

Clash Music did a review.

Gareth at Bearded did a review.

The Sleeping Shaman did a long review.

Grant Hobson at IHRTN wrote a review which amusingly opens with an apology that he didn’t catch all the acts and is being subjective. Don’t worry Grant – that’s par for the course in this game.

Gordon Reid did a review for Middle Boop Mag.

Jack Traveller did a review for where he gave each band a mark out of five. The festival as a whole got 4.5/5, which is interesting as his average score for the bands was 3.2/5, meaning the non-musical bits of Supersonic must have scored an impressive 24/5. Well done the non-musical bits!

Robert Knowles reviewed Friday, Saturday and Sunday for eFestivals.

Jordan Dowling did a review for Contact Music.

James Self did a review for Artrocker.

Scott McMillan wrote a review for The Liminal.

David Bowes did a brief review for The Fly.

Jack Chuter did a review for ATTN.

Jude Clarke did a review for The Line Of Best Fit.

Martijn did a review for Mass Movement Magazine.

Jon Stickler over at Stereoboard did a review of the weekend.

Phil Styles over at Sonic Abuse gave his thoughts on this year’s festival.

Kim Monaghan from Right Where You Are Sitting Now kept a Supersonic diary over Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Russell Cuzner at Musique Machine dissected the proceedings at this year’s festival and scored it a sweet 5/5.

Chop at Midlands Rocks wrote a 3 day review. Read his breakdown of Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Kailas Elmer did a review for Trebuchet Magazine.

The Pictorial Review of Supersonic Festival 2011 with photos by Greg Neate is up on the Collapse Board.

Francis Morgan over at the Frieze blog gives her take on Supersonic Festival 2011.

Ann at Mental Meltdown did a special review of Wolves In The Throne Room’s festival performance.

The University of Birmingham’s Redbrick newspaper covers the festival and talks to a couple of the labels who were present at this year’s marketplace.

Steve Walsh did a review of the festival for Vibrations Magazine.

Daniel Mackenzie over at Fluid Radio gives his low down on the weekend.

Adam Cooke wrote a review over at Behind The Wall of Sleep (photos by David Smyth).

Josh Daniel reviews the acts that took to Supersonic’s stages in 2011.

Liam Cagney at Musical Criticism has a written a short review and awarded the festival experience 5 stars out of 5.

Abi Bliss has reviewed the festival weekend over at Drowned In Sound.

Over at Wiki Festivals, Cynthia Franklin has given her impressions of Supersonic as a first time attendee. We appear to have a convert, as she’s already getting excited for 2012’s festival. Just what we like to hear!

The Nov/Dec issue of MUDA Magazine (Portugal) has an incredible in-depth feature on this year’s Supersonic Festival written by Alexandra Carvalho and Daniel Ferreira (in Portuguese).

Staf magazine have translated Ross Cotton’s review of the weekend for Spanish readers (in Spanish).

Simone Robeiro from MidiAtiva (Brazil) reviews this year’s events (in Portuguese).

Sven Schlijper at KindaMusik (Netherlands) let us in on his Supersonic 2011 experience (in Dutch).

Meanwhile, slightly outside the “review” paradigm…

Alice at Quaint Living turned her review into more of a travel piece, documenting the festival acts, venue and her time in Birmingham during the days. It’s a lovely mix.

Miss Cay was inspired by Supersonic to bake n Apple and Sultana Spice Loaf.

Paul F. Ferguson wrote an epic diary of his experience as a volunteer. Triffic stuff.

Mr Underwood documented his experience as a performer and contributing artist but primarily a punter.

Kevin Hand scribbled some notes on The Rock Club forum.

Stuart of Doom Tuba duo Ore reflects on their performance.

Pete Ashton from ASH -10 captured the Supersonic Festival 2011 hashtag over the weekend and made this rather fun word cloud. What do you think?

There’s bound to be more and we’ll keep adding to this list as long as they keep cropping up in the Google. Feel free to stick a link to your words in the comments.


Collective Memory – Photos


Part of the Supersonic 2011 Collective Memory compiled by Pete Ashton.

Couldn’t get to the front? Want to check out that shirt the guy from White Hills was wearing in more detail? Curious to know what Supersonic would look like if you could freeze time and peer into Scotch Egg’s open mouth? You’ll be wanting the photos then.

Here’s an ongoing list of what we’ve found so far…

From the pit

Circle by Katja Ogrin

First off is Katja Ogrin, effectively Capsule’s house photographer. She attempted to cover the whole festival from the first wristbands to the final snarl and pretty much succeeded. Her photos are in three Flickr sets for Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Fox Hopper shot Selfless, and only Selfless.

Selfless | Supersonic V

Craig Earp took many photos including this shot of Backwards:


Adam Pellin Deevee has a nice pic of Drum Eyes:

Drum Eyes

James Robinson has a huge collection of photos all nicely categorised by band. I am overly impressed with his exactitude! This shot of Silver Apples jumped out at me though.


Greg Neate has put what looks to be a carefully chosen selection of shots up which shy away from the usual angles. I’m particularly taken with this one of Scorn.
Scorn at Supersonic

Later additions:

Robert Knowles for eFestivals has galleries for various bands.

From the crowd


b12 Simon


Scott Simpson




Richard Watkinson


Sergio Albert took some lovely portraits: Orthodox, Zombi and Barn Owl.

Antonio Roberts recorded the Zine Festival’s stall and other zine-related things.


ssf11 on Instagram

More to come?

If you’ve posted your pics on Flickr please add them to the Supersonic Flickr Group. If they’re elsewhere (particularly Facebook which is an arse to search) and you’d like a link here please leave a comment or @ me on Twitter.


Collective Memory – Twitter


Part of the Supersonic 2011 Collective Memory compiled by Pete Ashton.

We were tracking the #ssf11 hashtag on Twitter over the weekend to see what was being said at the time. Here’s the obligatory word cloud. The larger the word the more times it appeared.

That alone doesn’t tell us a whole lot but if you’d like to do some digging yourself (as we shall be doing later) the raw data is in this spreadsheet.

Here’s the top tweeters. Passionate fans or loudmouthed attention seekers – you decide.

50 tweets: peteashton
45 tweets: eprjcts
44 tweets: distractionrecs
42 tweets: judeclarke
41 tweets: alanstephen
35 tweets: migfreeman
32 tweets: psalm
29 tweets: brumcast
28 tweets: brum
26 tweets: beeandie
25 tweets: wintermintgreen
25 tweets: thrbbngwhstl
25 tweets: chrishathway
21 tweets: the
21 tweets: misterunderwood
21 tweets: liminal
19 tweets: simon
19 tweets: callotbomb
19 tweets: b
18 tweets: blackarkdiscipl
17 tweets: burialxchamber
17 tweets: asmallfurrybear

Thanks to Dave Harte and others for help with extracting the data from Twitter’s clammy grasp.

Coming soon – photos, videos, reviews and everything in between.