Workshops Call Out 2023

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We are on the lookout for some wonderfully creative minds to bring us unusual, imaginative and engaging new workshops that will take place as part of the festival weekend.  

From in-depth sessions to indulgent fun, we want you to craft something extraordinary for our curious audiences. Whether you’re flying solo, a group or an organisation, we want to hear ideas that embrace our passion for collaboration between both artists and audience alike, forging lasting and meaningful connections across art forms.

We are a festival which celebrates expressive, challenging and generally out-there music and art. We remain inclusive, accessible and engaging to varied audiences; new and returning. Workshop proposals should present a singular, innovative idea that encapsulates a clear understanding of what Supersonic is about.

There is a fee of up to £150 available for the workshop (also to include materials), as well as 2 weekend tickets to the festival.

To apply, please complete the online form below. The deadline is 5pm, Monday 26 June, 2023.  

 

| APPLY HERE

For enquiries please contact: [email protected] 

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WE’RE RECRUITING TWO NEW ROLES FOR SUPERSONIC 2023!

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Capsule is looking to recruit two part time, freelance roles to support and deliver Supersonic Festival 2023.

 

Supersonic Festival which takes place 1-3 September in Digbeth, Birmingham will this year be celebrating 20 years since its inception. It has been named as the UK’s premier experimental music festival, with rave reviews from The Independent, Arts Desk and The Quietus to name but a few, and topping The Guardian’s Guide to the best experimental music festivals in Europe.

 

Supersonic Festival Marketing Assistant (Freelance)

This short-term, focused role is designed to assist the Festival Programme Coordinator, working across marketing and programme logistics support. 

Deadline for application: Wednesday 14 June, 2023
Interview date: Tuesday 20 June, 2023
Start date: Tuesday 4 July, 2023
Fee: £2600 / 26 days @ £100 per day

| DOWNLOAD: Festival Marketing Assistant – Person Specification |

| DOWNLOAD: Equal Opportunities Form |

 

Supersonic Festival Operations Assistant (Freelance Position)

This short-term, focused role is designed to assist the Executive Producer, working across all festival operations.  

Deadline for application: Wednesday 14 June, 2023
Interview date: 
Wednesday 21 June 2023
Start date: 
Tuesday 4 July, 2023
Fee: £2600 / 26 days @ £100 per day

| DOWNLOAD: Festival Operations Assistant – Person Specification |

| DOWNLOAD: Equal Opportunities Form |

 

Since 2003, we have been hosting superior weekends for the adventurous audience, taking care to present only the most artistically relevant and irreverent acts from the UK and across the globe, while simultaneously making sure to fill every moment with opportunities to let loose and party, or sit down at engaging talks, discussions and workshops, or take in exclusive screenings and exhibitions. Nowhere else will you find a festival experience quite like ours.

These freelance roles will work closely with Capsule’s Programme Coordinator & Executive Producer. Capsule’s office is in the Zellig building, Digbeth, and whilst some remote working may be required, predominantly these roles will be office-based.

We are a small but ambitious organisation. These roles would be ideal for emerging / early-career, freelance arts professionals, keen to expand their knowledge and enthusiasm and develop their skills in both the promotion and production of live events within a highly creative and dynamic organisation.

We actively encourage applications from practitioners who identify as at least one of the following under-represented in the music industries; Black, Asian or other underserved Ethnicity, female, LGBTQ+, from a low socio-economic background. Since its inception in 1999 Capsule has been female-led, uniquely championing female and Black, Asian or other culturally diverse artists.

 

Application process:

To apply for this opportunity please email the following to [email protected] by Wednesday 14 June 2023 with ‘Marketing Assistant application’ or ‘Operations Assistant application’ in the subject line:

  • A completed equal opportunities form
  • A letter of application outlining how you feel you would fulfil this role to (maximum of 2 sides of A4)
  • Your CV + 2 named references

The deadline for applications is 5pm, Wednesday 14 June, interviews will be taking place on Tuesday 20 & Wednesday 21 June. We will notify candidates that we wish to interview by 5pm, Friday 16 June. If you haven’t heard from us by then please assume your application has been unsuccessful on this occasion. We cannot provide feedback on unsuccessful applications, but we will endeavour to provide feedback to those candidates we interview.

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Market Place Call Out 2023

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The Market Place has been a vibrant part of Supersonic Festival for many years now. It’s a space for independent distributors, record labels, poster artists and pedlars of all kinds of curiosities to sell their wares, network and meet audiences & likeminded folks face to face.  

 

Taking place on the weekend of 1 – 3 September 2023, we’re bringing our global community back together with an ambitious programme of mind bending music, sense shifting art and life altering experiences.

 

We’ve invited old friends and new to join us including… the critically acclaimed Lankum, Birmingham figureheads Godflesh, DeerhoofOxbowElvin Brandhi, the first live show of Silver Moth (inc. Stuart from Mogwai), Matana Roberts, Sirôm, experimental supergroup Ondata Rossa, Infinity Knives & Brian Ennals and Canadian-Zambian rapper Backxwash who is joining us for her debut UK performance. They’ll join the likes of Shovel Dance CollectiveDivide & Dissolve, DJ Bus Replacement Service and Nyege Nyege Tapes affiliates MC Yallah and Debmaster at our celebratory gathering.

 

Want to join us?! A weekend Market Place stall booking costs £160 which will include 2 x Supersonic Festival weekend tickets. To apply for a stall booking please complete the form below by Monday 12 June 2023.  

For enquiries please contact: [email protected] 

APPLY HERE

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Volunteer Call Out 2023!

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Our internationally renowned Supersonic Festival returns to Digbeth 1 – 3 September 2023 and we need a dedicated team of volunteers to help deliver it!
 
| APPLY HERE |

 

Supersonic has secured its experimental reputation with consistently innovative and explosive concoctions of visual installations, films, exhibitions and music. Guaranteed to open eyes and ears to music and art outside the predictable genre labels and familiar performance spaces.

You will be part of an ever growing, friendly community of music and art lovers helping to maintain the values of bringing the extraordinary to curious audiences in an all inclusive way. This is will be an invaluable experience into how our festival runs but not only that, you’ll be contributing to something truly Superspecial whilst making friends along the way!

 

The festival is small enough for every volunteer to give real input and value in the following areas:

  • Artist Liason
  • Box Office
  • Hospitality
  • Site Set up
  • Merch
  • Promotion

 

If you would like to get involved, please complete the application form.

Volunteers must be over 18 years old.

 

| APPLY HERE |

 


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SUPERSONIC FESTIVAL 2023 – day tickets on sale!

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After lots of planning and prepping behind the scenes, we are delighted to reveal more artists and the day lineups for our latest edition. We’ll be returning to Digbeth, Birmingham from 1-3 September with a lineup championing boundary-pushing acts, exclusive performances and special collaborations.

 

★★★★★ – The Guardian
“Supersonic is ahead of the curve again.” – The Wire

 

| DAY TICKETS & WEEKEND TICKETS |

“My mission is to create a line up that champions the most significant artists from the underground, artists that challenge us to think about injustices of the world we are currently living in and those that are pushing the boundaries of adventurous music. These indescribable links bind the programme together to make a festival which makes a space for those with open ears and hearts. Over the last 20 years our aim has been to provide a means for unity, for escapism, camaraderie; for belonging and most importantly for unrestrained joy.”
 Lisa Meyer, Artistic Director/co-founder, Supersonic Festival

 

GET TO KNOW THE ARTISTS PERFORMING AT SUPERSONIC THIS YEAR…

[Backxwash Photo Credit: Méchant Vaporwave]

 

We are celebrating twenty years with headliners Godflesh whose origins are deeply entrenched in the backdrop of post industrial Birmingham, and who have had a huge impact on heavy music, and the Irish quartet Lankum who have been selling out shows since the release of their critically acclaimed new album in March. Joining them is Zambian-Canadian rapper & producer Backxwash, performing the first and only UK performance as a Supersonic Festival exclusive. Backxwash makes cathartic and expressive music rooted in horrorcore, hip-hop and industrial metal, exploring themes around faith, identity and queerness. Also performing are one of indie music’s most influential bands, the ecstatic quartet Deerhoof who will bring the joy with their unruly avant pop music.

[Lankum Photo Credit: Sorcha Frances Ryder]

We’re also proud to be hosting the debut live performance of Silver Moth, an atmospheric noise-rock collective comprising of Stuart Braithwaite (Mogwai), Elisabeth Elektra, Steven Hill and members of Abrasive Trees, Burning House, Prosthetic Head, and Evi Vine. Alongside Ondata Rossa, a brand-new project from an experimental supergroup of epic proportions, comprising four renowned and wildly experienced musicians and improvisors Valentina Magaletti (Vanishing Twin, Moin, Holy Tongue), Agathe Max, Dali De Saint Paul (HARRGA) and Yoshino Shigihara (Yama Warashi) with 16mm film footage as part of the performance.

We pride ourselves on curating a line-up of forward-thinking musicians with unique approaches to composition, and are proud to announce Matana Roberts, an internationally celebrated composer, performer, band leader, saxophonist, sound experimentalist and mixed-media practitioner.

[Infinity Knives x Brian Ennals]

Baltimore hip-hop/neoclassical experimentalists Infinity Knives & Brian Ennals craft a mighty, omnivorous set, masterfully executed with both ferocity and vibrant joy. DJ Bus Replacement Service provides a head-spinning rush of anything-goes bangers, using techno to form the base layer of her sets, wasting no time criss-crossing Asian hip-hop, yodelling, donk, gqom, spoken word, and more. Elvin Brandhi (Yeah You) is an improvising lyricist, producer and sound artist, who builds aberrant beats from field recordings, tape, vinyl, instrument and voice.

[Elvin Brandhi]

Born of Slovenia’s rural DIY free festival scene, Širom a trio who create vividly textured and mostly imagined folk music, a revelatory mix of improvisatory acoustics, post-jazz and drone, fusing handmade and global instruments with fearless sound exploration, the results are unbound by tradition or geography. Dynamic Birmingham based trio Total Luck who have quickly found their identity in Birmingham’s music scene with their robust sound and forceful audaciousness to create an intense live show.


[Oxbow]

A Supersonic line-up would not be complete without old friends, Oxbow, who have graced the Supersonic stages numerous times before, and last performed in 2012 with the jaw-dropping Oxbow Orchestra. Now in our 20th milestone year, and with their first new album in six years on the horizon, Oxbow will shake things up with their electrifying and visceral embrace of distortion, volume, foreboding emotional timbres, meticulous execution, and tension-baiting restraint.

 

“[Supersonic] have been the sisters in arms everyone should be lucky enough to have. To say I love them is an understatement. To be able to play Supersonic again this year, both a treat AND an honour.” – Eugene S Robinson/OXBOW

 

Returning to the festival following stand-out performances at the 2022 edition are Divide And Dissolve promoting their new album, Systemic, and BIG|BRAVE, who shall perform a special collaboration with fellow Montreal-based violinist Jessica Moss (Thee Silver Mt Zion, Black Ox Orkestar), a collaboration exclusive to Supersonic which we cannot wait to witness.

[Ragana]

Supersonic champions creative subversion from all walks of the underground, celebrates artists who are portents of hope and solidarity like Shovel Dance Collective, who’s modern folk music reclaims the narratives of the working class, people of colour and the queer community, alongside playful storyteller Josephine Foster and Ashenspire who’s music demands attention and argues for change. The queer and antifascist idiosyncratic black metal of Ragana join the bill, as well as the absolutely vital Taqbir, who are working against a culture that deems their music an insult, and instead they create a space for people like themselves to freely express their anger.

[Horse Lords]

This year’s edition promises to bring the stamina of krautrock and math-rock, fused with aspects of jazz in a variety of joyous performances, with the elemental rhythms from 75 Dollar Bill, the airtight grooves of Horse Lords and the frenetic sound world of Avalanche Kaito, both traditional and experimental in nature. Blacks’ Myths will meditate on the history of blackness via their frantic collisions of free jazz, post-rock and dissonant noise. Local to Birmingham, Un.Procedure creates a post-apocalyptic sound through an avant-jazz filter, with 70s rock influenced grooves and heady, sci–fi tinged soundscapes. MC Yallah and Debmaster will bring their high energy performance with rapid flow and rugged beats.

Supersonic is also welcoming back two distinct acts; Ex Easter Island Head, whose live performances have been praised for their hypnotic energy and unique spectacle, and Hey Colossus – who are celebrating their 20 year anniversary and promise to put on a special performance.

 

Alongside all these formidable acts on our line-up, we hope you’ll join us for a weekend of pure escapism. Further programme announcements including workshops, talks and more will be revealed in the coming months.

| DAY TICKETS & WEEKEND TICKETS |
FRIDAY

Deerhoof | Ex Easter Island Head | Hey Colossus | Infinity Knives x Brian Ennals | MC Yallah + Debmaster | Ondata Rossa | Total Luck | un. procedure

SATURDAY

Godflesh | Backxwash | Ashenspire | Divide & Dissolve | Elvin Brandhi | Horse Lords | Oxbow | Ragana | Taqbir | DJ Bus Replacement Service + more TBA

SUNDAY

Lankum | 75 Dollar Bill | Avalanche Kaito | Blacks’ Myths | Big Brave with Jessica Moss | Josephine Foster | Matana Roberts | Shovel Dance Collective |Silver Moth | Širom

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Backxwash – first ever UK performance at Supersonic 2023!

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This has been a long time dream of Team Supersonic! We are bringing the formidable BACKXWASH to Supersonic Festival 2023 for her first ever UK performance, and only UK appearance this year. Backxwash is a Rapper/Producer noted for her work rooted in horrorcore, hip-hop and industrial metal genres.

 

Born in Lusaka, Zambia, now based in Montreal, the music Backxwash makes is cathartic, expressive and based on her lived experiences. Winner of the prestigious 2020 Polaris Music Prize, her output includes a culmination of themes around the intersection between faith, identity, and queerness. The poetry of her lyrics are the beginning of a cathartic healing process in which she is granting herself permission to be angry. Prepare yourselves for an immense live performance.

 

“with more pronounced fury and possession barreling from her chest about condemnation and eternal judgment over noise rock arrangements, hell has never felt more real in Backxwash’s music.”
Loud & Quiet 

 

https://www.backxwash.com/ 

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Deerhoof join the lineup for Supersonic 2023!

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Supersonic Festival are thrilled to announce that the joyous noise-pop band DEERHOOF will be joining our lineup of formidable acts at this year’s festival. Deerhoof speak in a secret code in which hooks abound, genre is nonexistent, and magic ever awaits us.  

 

The fiercely DIY band have been producing avant-garde carnivals since their humble beginnings as an obscure San Francisco noise act. They’ve become one of indie music’s most influential bands with their ecstatic and unruly take on pop where Satomi Matsuzaki plays bass and sings, Greg Saunier plays drums, John Dieterich and Ed Rodriguez play guitars.

Throughout their 28 years as a band, they’ve constantly shifted sound despite very few line-up changes. Their latest output, an album called ‘Miracle-Level’ sees the quartet manipulating traditional rock sounds, collaging them with distortion until they’re essentially unrecognisable. Fizzing with needlepoint riffs, shifting time signatures and catchy vocal melodies entirely in Japanese, this will be an utter treat in a live setting.

Pitchfork went so far as to label Deerhoof as “the best band in the world”, and so we’re honoured that they’ll be bringing their joyous Deerhoofian nuggets of melodic, harmonic, and rhythmic gold to the Supersonic Stage. We cannot wait!

 

“Their origins lie in punkish experimentalism; live, they veer closer to powerpop, with its chunky riffs and sugary tunes.”The Guardian

 

“Playful, glorious, transformative, experimental, funky, bold, beautiful, brave, magical, hopeful, psychedelic, sexy, poetic, lyrical, a sonically packed galactic wig-out.” – Echoes & Dust

 

https://deerhoof.website/

 

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The Supersonic Festival 2023 line-up is here!

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★★★★★ – The Guardian   ★★★★★ – The Arts Desk
“The mother of all British underground festivals” – The Quietus
“Supersonic is ahead of the curve again” – The Wire

 

We cannot wait to celebrate twenty years since Supersonic’s inception. Our internationally recognised event will be returning to Digbeth, Birmingham from 1-3 September with a lineup of crucial and innovative acts. And today is the day we reveal those formidable artists performing at our 2023 edition. So without further ado, drum roll please…

 

75 Dollar Bill / Ashenspire / Avalanche Kaito / BIG|BRAVE + Jessica Moss / Blacks’ Myths / Divide and Dissolve / Ex Easter Island Head / Godflesh / Hey Colossus / Horse Lords / Jessica Moss / Josephine Foster / Lankum / MC Yallah + Debmaster / Ragana / Shovel Dance Collective / Taqbir / Un.Procedure + more tba

| TICKETS ON SALE NOW |

 

A message from our Artistic Director, Lisa Meyer…

“In 2003 we naively created our first edition of Supersonic Festival, a one day event that reflected our own curiosity as music fans. This lineup included LCD SoundSystem, Coil and The Bug with the Warrior Queen, set in the warehouse spaces of post industrial Birmingham. The last 20 years have been a right old rollercoaster but we’ve held on with determination. The weight of the pandemic, the political situation locally, nationally and globally and another financial crisis could have done us in for good. Instead we’ve channelled that heavy energy into the festival and look forward to celebrating 20 years, gathering as a global community for one weekend, and joyfully embracing adventurous music.“

 

Introducing our headliners for 2023…

[LANKUM – credit Sorcha Frances Ryder]

Supersonic is proud to welcome critically acclaimed Irish quartet Lankum who will make their long awaited appearance this year, bringing with them their close vocal harmonies, instrumental interplay and dramatic storytelling. Their gritty updates of folk standards bring anger and contemporary viewpoints to traditional elements. With a diverse set of influences as disparate as Sunn O))), they show that folk music can be angry, progressive and is a vital force today.

 

[GODFLESH]

 

“Supersonic is a unifying experience of this culture I exist within, and us as a band; Godflesh, but all in my/our hometown/birthplace, Birmingham. Besides that fact, it’s run by a stellar collective and feels warm and homely.”
– Justin Broadrick, Godflesh

 

Supersonic welcome back Godflesh whose origins are deeply entrenched in the backdrop of post industrial Birmingham, and who have had a huge impact on heavy music. Godflesh’s storied history is legend, forming in the West Midlands, alongside the first incarnation of Napalm Death, to create landmark releases like Streetcleaner, which laid groundwork for other extreme and experimental metal releases. For the festival’s 20th edition, Godflesh will perform music from an expected new album.

 

[BIG|BRAVE & JESSICA MOSS]

Following stand-out performances at the 2022 edition, Divide And Dissolve will return with their incendiary work towards indigenous rights and the end of white supremacy, and BIG|BRAVE are also back to carve out their singularly gigantic sonic space of dynamic heavy minimalism. BIG|BRAVE shall perform a special collaboration with fellow Montreal-based violinist Jessica Moss, a collaboration exclusive to Supersonic which we cannot wait to witness. Jessica Moss will also perform a solo set over the weekend, her distinctive melodic sensibility channelling Klezmer, Balkan and Middle Eastern tropes, with an ear for textural grit and timbral noise forged from her 15-year tenure in political post-punk band Thee Silver Mt. Zion.

“One of the first things that struck me about entering the festival as a space was how at ease I felt with regards to how diverse, inclusive and authentic everyone attending and working there seemed, not to mention with regards to the music! The bill was incredible! 

– Robin Wattie (BIG|BRAVE)

[RAGANA]

Supersonic champions creative subversion from all walks of the underground. Shovel Dance Collective weaves queer, proto-feminist and working class narratives together in a new kind of folk music. Storytelling and tradition get upended in the playful music of singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and composer Josephine Foster whose music challenges perception.

Supersonic celebrates artists who are portents of hope and solidarity, like Ashenspire’s challenging and abrasive musical textures of violin and saxophone in an enraged progressive, post-black metal framework that demands attention and argues for change. The queer and antifascist idiosyncratic black metal of Ragana is heavy, dark, beautiful and punishing in its expression. Paying tribute to the female pioneers of the UK punk scene through a riot grrrl lens is the absolutely vital Taqbir, who are working against a culture that deems their music an insult, and instead they create a space for people like themselves to freely express their anger.

[MC YALLAH]

This year’s edition promises to bring the stamina of krautrock and math rock, fused with aspects of jazz in a variety of joyous performances, with the elemental rhythms from 75 Dollar Bill, the airtight grooves of Horse Lords and the frenetic sound world of Avalanche Kaito, both traditional and experimental in nature. Blacks’ Myths will meditate on the history of blackness via their frantic collisions of free jazz, post-rock and dissonant noise. Local to Birmingham, Un.Procedure creates a post-apocalyptic sound through an avant-jazz filter, with 70s rock influenced grooves and heady, sci–fi tinged soundscapes. MC Yallah and Debmaster will bring their high energy performance with rapid flow and rugged beats.

Returning to the festival after some time are two distinct acts; Ex Easter Island Head, whose live performances have been praised for their hypnotic energy and unique spectacle, and Hey Colossus – also celebrating their 20 year anniversary – promise to put on a special performance.

“Supersonic/Capsule have done everything in 20 years. They put their minds to it. They’ve built a world. People travel miles to visit it, to visit the home of metal. This will be our third time playing the festival. Cannot wait to play again, cannot wait to see who else is playing, the unpredictable variance is one of the many attractions. Happy Birthday Supersonic.”

– Joe Thompson (Hey Colossus)

| TICKETS ON SALE NOW |

 

For your listening enjoyment, we’ve created a 2023 Line-up Playlist – a great sonic introduction to this year’s acts…

 

More of the programme will be revealed in the coming months!

Visit our line-up page here for further information about the artists.

For more information on hotel deals, and festival information visit here.

 

We’ve thought carefully about ticket pricing, and we want to make sure the festival remains accessible. We recognise that not everyone has equal access to live events and that the cost of entry is a barrier to some people. We are working to create an inclusive space which is accessible to all, regardless of their financial situation. Find out more about our ticketing options this year to support those people in our music community who are on low wages or are unemployed here.

We’re an independent festival, we achieve a huge amount through good will, hard work and amazing support from our community.

Thanks and see you on the dancefloor!

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SUPERSONIC FESTIVAL 2023 – ticket information…

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BIG NEWS… line-up announcement & tickets go on sale for Supersonic Festival 2023 on Tuesday 28 February at 13:00 GMT ⏰

 

So in anticipation of our big announcement, we’re pleased to share our Highlights Reel from 2022 – a great reminder of what a joyous occasion the ‘UK’s best small festival’ can be! Bringing together live performances by some of the worlds most extraordinary artists, visual art, and audience participation to create a legendary one-of-a-kind gathering.

 

From Grove’s queer swagger to Circle’s ecological visions and Divide and Dissolve’s call for decolonisation, this thrilling underground fest has radical utopianism at its heart”
– The Guardian ★★★★★

 

Ahead of the announcement, here’s an important message from the team about tickets for this year’s festival…

 

We were thrilled to be back in person with artists and audiences in Birmingham for Supersonic 2022. Your photos, feedback and a 5* review in the Guardian reminded us what a high producing a festival can be!

However, as you probably know, costs are rising everywhere – from venue and kit hire to crew fees and hotel prices – putting on a festival is becoming more expensive every year. We’ve been crunching the budget, and we need to make more from ticket income in 2023 to make the numbers balance. So we will be raising the cost of our standard ticket price this year.

We’ve thought carefully about ticket pricing, and we want to make sure the festival remains accessible. We recognise that not everyone has equal access to live events and that the cost of entry is a barrier to some people. We are working to create an inclusive space which is accessible to all, regardless of their financial situation. This year, we’ll be working with our partners including Decolonise Fest to give away a % of free tickets to people in our music community who are on low wages or are unemployed.

SOLIDARITY TICKET – Equally, we know that some of our long-standing fans could afford to pay more. Inspired by the global “solidarity ticket” movement, we are also introducing a new voluntary tier ticket. So if you are able to invest in Supersonic through a solidarity ticket, you’ll be subsidising a % of free tickets for others, whilst also ensuring the good ship Supersonic keeps sailing for many future festival editions. More information on that soon.

OTHER WAYS TO GET INVOLVED – Plus we’ll be looking for Workshop proposals and Volunteer applications in the coming months, so there’s always a low-cost way to get involved with Supersonic.

We’re an independent festival, we achieve a huge amount through good will, hard work and amazing support from our community.

Thanks and see you on the dancefloor!

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MATTERS debut album ‘Echolocations’ on Supersonic Recordings

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Supersonic Recordings are proud to release ‘Echolocations’, the hypnotic new album from Matters, a Birmingham-based band pushing the boundaries of techno, psychedelic, industrial and electronic music.

Since 2015, Brid Rose & Stuart Lee Tovey of Matters have weaved a dark, driving, all-encompassing sound; shifting seamlessly from film score to basement nightclub to industrial noise. Taking a DIY approach, they produce intoxicating live shows with self-made animated visuals and immersive lighting designs. 

Their latest output ‘Echolocations’, an innovative collection of five songs, sees the band delve further into otherworldly realms; journeying through the deepest polarities of sound and exploring the planes between reality and imagination. Inspired by the aesthetic of liminal spaces, the music responds to the ambiguity of present day, capturing a feeling of collective disorientation and limbo. ‘Echolocations’ wills us to traverse the tunnel, acknowledge our liminal state and break out of it, into something tangible and genuine. 

 

Super limited-edition Pop-Up Book of 50 with handprinted artwork by Brid Rose of Matters.
+ digital download of Echolocations album

Pre-order the Echolocations accompanying book of artwork, featuring pop-up and interactive elements. Cloth bound with a transparent wrap around and screen printed throughout. 7” square, 20 pages, super limited to 50 handmade copies.

Option to add Vinyl and Album Launch tickets.

Available to pre-order here!

 

The digital album ‘Echolocations is’ out now:

 

Forged with a multitude of synths, pedals and guitar, Matters’ signature blend of pulsing beats, soaring synths, and transcendental soundscapes are both experimental and accessible, challenging and comforting, and above all, truly captivating. Having previously garnered much support from BBC 6 Music & NTS Radio, Matters’ ‘Echolocations’ is an album that demands to be heard in its entirety, leaving you to question reality and yearn for more.
 


Supersonic Recordings is a label championing the best in experimental and genre-bending music for the ears of curious audiences. 

 

The album ‘Echolocations’ will be launched with an immersive show at The Old Print Works, Birmingham on Saturday 4 March in celebration of International Women’s Day, with support from PRNCSS, Arch Femmesis and a late-night party hosted by Limpid & DJ Birthday Girl. 

 

| TICKETS ON SALE NOW | MORE INFO |

 

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SAVE THE DATE! Supersonic Festival 1-3 Sep 2023

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Grab those diaries folks…

Supersonic Festival 2023 is taking place 1st – 3rd September! 🎉

This year marks a whopping *two decades* since our first festival took place in 2003, so you can expect an extra special edition this September. The team are working hard behind the scenes prepping a jaw-dropping line-up for our wonderful audiences worldwide.

First line-up announcement, hotel deals and tickets will be going on sale end of February – keep those eyes peeled! 👀

 

In the meantime, here’s some very happy reminders of what happens when we all meet under the rumbling roofs of Digbeth…

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NEW SHOW! BIG | BRAVE return to Birmingham

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Supersonic presents:

BIG | BRAVE

+ Aicher

 

The Castle + Falcon, Balsall Heath
Sunday 14 May 2023
Doors 7.00pm
£15 adv – tickets.

Reconfiguring the landscape of heavy music is the mighty Canadian trio BIG | BRAVE. Following a stand-out performance at Supersonic Festival 2022, we can’t wait to welcome them back to Birmingham on their tour celebrating new album ‘nature morte’ (Thrill Jockey records).

BIG|BRAVE create heavy, vast post-rock. This elemental ensemble of guitarist/vocalist Robin Wattie, guitarist Mathieu Ball, and drummer Tasy Hudson, harness an earthen heaviness composed of distorted and textural drones, austere bombast, and Wattie’s heart-rending voice. Minimalism, structural freedom and meticulous timing form the cornerstones of their precise, rhythmical sound. 

The trio brandish sparseness and density like weapons, cast tense atmospheres with languid tempos and mutate feedback into eruptions of enveloping tempests. Their latest release, ‘nature morte’ sharpens BIG|BRAVE’s ferocity and expansive sound into emotional elegies for the disenfranchised, wringing abstracted textures and pure fervence into songs of unfathomable mass.

 

Support comes from AICHER is the latest solo project of musician Liam Andrews. For the past two decades, Andrews has been active in exploring amplified guitar music with the industrial group MY DISCO. With AICHER, he works within the atonal and monochromatic aesthetics he’s drawn to, the inclusion of place and the environmental influence of the bleak Scandinavian winters prove to be the perfect antidote. Eerie hollows of wind, solitude and the crushing of ice underfoot place the soundscape of the north into the brutalist path he is known for.

The results are a collection of sonic movements reimagined through generative computer software.

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NEW SUPERSONIC PODCAST! The Sounds of 2022

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We’re back with a new episode of the Supersonic Podcast, a carefully curated edition that celebrates ‘The Sounds of 2022’, looking back on the amazing year we’ve just had and of course the big return of Supersonic Festival!

 

It’s been a jam packed 2022, so in this new episode we’re gonna have a pit stop tour through some of the highlights of the year, spinning some cracking music from the many artists who’ve played shows with us and some exciting unheard live recordings from this year’s festival.

 

It’s an absolute stonker of a programme with music from Gnod, Dälek, Emma Ruth Rundle, Total Luck and live recordings from Divide and Dissolve, Shovel Dance Collective, Pharaoh Overlord & Aaron Turner and SO many more!!

 

LISTEN HERE

 

If you’re in a position to support the artists in this podcast too, we’ve put all their Bandcamp links below for your convenience…

Tracklist

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New Christmas Merch to raise money for The Trussell Trust

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We’ve commissioned the artist Ben Sadler to design a very limited edition Tea Towel featuring the Twelve Dogs of Christmas! With 100% of profit being donated to the Trussell Trust foodbanks.

 

| PRE-ORDER HERE |

We’ll be posting out on week comm. 12th December.

 

Ben Sadler is best known as one half of Juneau Projects, he’s a good friend of Supersonic creating joyously fun videos, paintings and drawings.

By purchasing you’ll be helping us raise essential funds for our local foodbank – we don’t think anyone in our community should have to face going hungry. Our foodbank is supported by The Trussell Trust, working to combat poverty and hunger across the UK.

 

 

SUPERSONIC KIDS GIG: BEN SADLER

Families! Ben will also be hosting our festive special Kids Gig at B:Music on Sunday 11 December. This Kids Gig will be hosted by everyone’s favourite alt-rocker and pyscho-storyteller, Anna Palmer from Dorcha

Ben Sadler is an artist who lives in a house with his wife Katy, their daughter Hazel and their three-legged cat Oscar. He has a suitcase full of wigs and costumes that he likes to wear to accompany his covers of popular songs. He also enjoys dancing and believes he can do magic. If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find him, maybe you can hire the Ben team! (PS he lives in Birmingham).

 

Symphony Hall, Birmingham
Sunday 11 December 2022, 11am – 12.30pm

Tickets £8 per person. Under 2’s go free.
All children must be accompanied by a guardian.
Recommended for children under 10.

BOOK HERE |
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Live footage from Supersonic 2022!

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We’re so pleased to be sharing some stellar videos of live-sets from this year’s festival, including BIG | BRAVE, Shovel Dance Collective & PRNCSS – with more to come!So whether you want to re-live these festival moments, or you couldn’t be with us, make sure to have a watch on YouTube and subscribe to our channel for more 🎥

 

Grove is a Bristol-based producer and vocalist with a constantly morphing sound; meddling together elements of punk-infused dancehall, jungle, bass and pop.

 

Shovel Dance Collective are a group of nine musicians exploring the folk traditions of England, Scotland, Ireland and beyond. They bring sensibilities drawn from drone, free improvisation, and metal. In so doing, aiming to uncover proto-feminist narratives and queer histories.

 

Closing the festival at Supersonic 2022 was the joyous collaboration of Richard Dawson, Newcastle’s dark-humoured bard and the Finnish rock-group Circle with their Krautrock beats, heavy riffs, arty noise & dark psychedelia.

 

The Montreal, Quebec trio BIG | BRAVE create heavy, vast post-rock. Minimalism, structural freedom and meticulous timing form the cornerstones of their precise, rhythmical sound.

 

 

PRNCSS is an synth punk artist & producer born in Zimbabwe, raised in Ireland and currently based in London.

 

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The 2022 Reviews!

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We just want to take a moment to celebrate all the amazing reviews, write-ups & feedback we’ve had of our 16th edition!

 

★★★★★

THE GUARDIAN

Supersonic is not just a music festival, but a site for resistance and community, a utopia made briefly real.

READ THE GUARDIAN REVIEW HERE.

“★★★★★ – Audiences were treated to feral drum and bass, doom metal, twisted folk music and some seriously experimental weirdness, amongst much else… a weekend of serious musical strangeness” 
READ THE ART DESK’S REVIEW HERE. 

 

“This is one of Supersonic’s core strengths: the way it tone-shifts between grinding sonic despair and expressions of positivity rooted in inclusivity and solidarity.”
THE WIRE MAGAZINE

 

“When artists offer humble acknowledgement of how well they’re being treated by the crew and how nice it is to play for such a welcoming audience it just underlines what a special festival this is.”
READ THE ECHOES & DUST REVIEW HERE. 

“A community exists around it, a music crowd seeking discovery rather than some predictable homogenous party… A little gem with a mighty message, Supersonic seeks to make you smile, think and extend – it was a genuine mission accomplished.”
READ BACKSEAT MAFIA’S REVIEW HERE.

 

When someone mentions Birmingham the first thing that springs to mind isn’t Black Sabbath. Nor is it Aston Villa F.C. Not even Godflesh. It’s Supersonic.”
READ THE SUN13 REVIEW HERE.

 

“In the bathroom after the performance, I can hear two women speak about how they’ve never felt safer at an event. It’s a serious compliment for Supersonic given the state of things.”
READ GODISINTHETV REVIEW HERE.

 

“In the bathroom after the performance, I can hear two women speak about how they’ve never felt safer at an event. It’s a serious compliment for Supersonic given the state of things.”
READ BIRMINGHAM REVIEW FOR FRIDAY + SATURDAY + SUNDAY 

“One of Supersonic’s true talents is finding heaviness and experimentation in the most unexpected of crevices, but that doesn’t mean the curators shy away from tapping into Birmingham’s storied metal heritage.”
READ ASTRAL NOIZE REVIEW HERE.

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Paul Purgas’ explorations in tape music

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Paul Purgas does not just produce music. His pieces are audio-visual exhibitions, stirring artistic performances.

Already as a part of The New Music Biennial Festival in Coventry and London’s Southbank Centre this year, Supersonic is proud to also have commissioned Purgas to create an exciting new project exploring the next generation of tape music.

With exhibitions in places like Tate Britain, South London Gallery, and Serpentine Gallery, a talk in Tate Modern, numerous magazine publications, and an Electronic India documentary on BBC Radio 3, Purgas has demonstrated his talent to the world over and over again. He is inspired by the development of modernism and technology in the 50s and 60s, and the history of electronic music, which heavily influenced his most recent installation – ‘We Found Our Own Reality’ in the Camden Art Centre.

Somerset House Studios, where Purgas is currently a resident, described his music as electroacoustic and computer, and his sound – broadcasting and spatialised. He redefines what we think of electronic music, adding new, previously unheard-of elements into his mix. We can certainly expect his Supersonic project to be as riveting.

Paul Purgas performs on the Sunday of Supersonic 2022 – tickets available here.

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No Home pushes the limits of noise-punk

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London-based solo musician Charlie Valentine, aka No Home, is the definition of experimental and truly one-of-a-kind.

Their most recent album, ‘Fucking Hell’, has been named one of the ‘The 35 Best Rock Albums of 2020’ by Pitchfork, and each song on it is a unique manifestation of their individuality. Their style pushes all boundaries of genre, their vocals are mystifying, and their sound is noisy and industrial.

The narrative of No Home is thought-provoking – it attacks capitalism and exploitation, with songs like ‘A B- in This Economy’ and ‘Who Cares, The State Wants Me Dead Anyway’. The vocals leave the listener haunted by the doom of our society, and this feeling is only pushed harder through the completely mind-bending soundscape. No Home confessed that writing and producing music for them is like therapy, partially because therapy is too expensive.

Their latest single ‘Warped Bow’, released just earlier this year, is a combination of ominous percussion, industrial uproar, and psychedelia. ‘Is it supposed to be so hard?’ they repeat twice, and the voice sounds more discontented than before. No Home’s next album is likely to reveal more of the world’s ugliness in a way we have never heard before and expand our minds beyond the limits.

No Home performs on the Saturday of Supersonic 2022 – tickets available here.

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Divide and Dissolve’s fusion of classical influences and crushing doom

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What do you get when you mix classical influences, the sound of crashing doom and the battle against systematic oppression? Divide and Dissolve are born.

The members Takiaya Reed and Sylvie Nehill see it as the primary goal to use their music to challenge white supremacy and fight for black and indigenous liberation. Their sound is heavy – you can feel the rage and the power of their will in it, trying to push against everything that is wrong in the world.

NME writes that ‘Gas Lit’, their most recent album released in 2021, ‘is a marked evolution of their absorbing sound, which spans doom, drone, and classical across a nuanced spectrum’, and calls Nehill and Reed ‘purveyors of sonic extremity’. Divide & Dissolve’s music is largely instrumental, but it does not feel like the vocals are missing at all. They have the ability to say what they want to say using the instruments alone, with extra meaning added through not-so-subtly political song titles, such as ‘Black Resistance’ and ‘Cultural Extermination’. They are not afraid to cause controversy – there is no battle without havoc.

Divide and Dissolve perform on the Sunday of Supersonic 2022 – get your tickets here.

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Getting to the Festival

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Our evolution continues as we move to an exciting new home on the outer edges of Digbeth, Birmingham. The post-industrial landscape of our midlands home is forever changing, so here’s the most up-to-date methods of joining us for our 16th edition festival…

 

FESTIVAL ADDRESS

The Mill, 29 Lower Trinity St, Deritend, Birmingham B9 4AG

 

ON FOOT/PUBLIC TRANSPORT

We encourage folks to use public transport as much possible to get to the festival. If coming from a Train Station in the City Centre, the quickest route to the festival is down the main Digbeth High Street – but HEADS UP – it is currently swamped with roadworks!

 

 

Here’s a google map with some main landmarks to guide you to the festival!

 

 

DRIVING

For those who are driving, Birmingham’s City Centre is now a ‘Clean Air Zone’ this means only certain vehicles can enter without being charged. The festival takes place within this zone.

IMPORTANT if you are arriving in a vehicle please check if your registration plate is compliant here.

If your vehicle isn’t compliant, you will need to pay £8.00 each day your vehicle is within the clean air zone. A ‘day’ is classified as midnight to midnight, not 24 hours from when you enter the zone.

During that midnight to midnight timeframe, you can enter and leave the zone numerous times and only incur a single charge.

You can pay:

• six days in advance of the day of your visit
• the day of your visit
• six days after the day of your visit

Payments can be paid online HERE or over the phone by calling 0300 029 8888 (Monday to Friday, 8am to 4:30pm).

 

 

PARKING

The B4100 is the main Digbeth High Street and is currently swamped with roadworks! If you are looking for somewhere to park, we recommend you enter Digbeth from the Ring Road, via Lower Trinity Street or Adderley Street. Here’s a list of recommended carparks close to the festival site…

  • Trinity Street Car Park aka the ‘Crushed Car Park’ – B9 4AL [more expensive, but most convenient]

  • JustPark Liverpool Street – B9 4DS [cheaper, 3 mins walk]

  • Green Parking Ltd  – B5 6DY [cheapest, 10 mins walk]
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Timetable announced for Supersonic 2022!

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Here’s the bit you’ve all been waiting for… the Supersonic 2022 timetable! So grab a pen and get circling, cause you won’t want to miss any of the mind-blowing music, workshops, films and talks we have in store for you! 

 

Have a gander below or download a PDF copy here: SS22 FULL TIMETABLE

 

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Grove promises queer sovereignty, drum and bass beats

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Drum and bass beats, elements of jungle and dancehall, and robotic 90s rave synths – this is all Grove, and so much more.

Having started producing original music when they were just 14, Grove always knew that they wanted to create something unconventional. Inspired by the freedom of expression of Bristol, Grove creates a sound so modern it feels like it could not have been produced any time but now.

‘Music with intention is a thing that I fully subscribe to,’ says Grove. Their lyrics are a brave and unapologetic expression of queer sovereignty, leftist politics, and pride for their black heritage. It is not all politics though – they also recognise the value of simply getting absorbed into the music for the sake of it and are ‘excited to just be sweaty with everyone again’ at live shows.

The earned recognition comes with their tunes being championed by such platforms as Radio 1 and BBC 6 Music among many others and being named one of Mixmag’s ‘Best EPs of the Year’. The community is only growing bigger, and that is good news – voices like Grove’s deserve to be heard.

Grove is performing on the Friday of Supersonic 2022 – get your tickets here.

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Food and Drink at Supersonic 2022

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We’ve got a whole host of traders in our food court to keep you well fed over the festival weekend. The Supersonic Tea Room is back keeping you topped up with delicious cakes, and our very own bars can be found across the site providing an array of real ale, cider and spirits to aid your enjoyment. 

Purity Brewing are proud to be supplying Supersonic bars once again. Continuing a long standing partnership that builds upon shared values and principles. Purity Brewing beers are crafted with a conscience in the heart of the Warwickshire countryside, each one of their award-winning beers embodies a love of great beer with real character – brewed responsibly to leave an even better taste in your mouth.

In the food court you’ll find…

BEET THE SYSTEM – Beet the System are a Vegan Worker Co-operative from Birmingham. They make the best Organic #FreshTempeh you’ve ever tasted and they are chuffed to be fuelling Supersonic Festival again with some amazing gastronomic delights!  

MASA – Bringing authentic Mexican street food to Supersonic for the weekend, with slow-roasted meat tacos and fresh vegetarian flavours being combined with local, seasonal, and unusual ingredients for something different and delicious.

BLOW WATER – A female-led enterprise based in Birmingham, Blow Water is passionate about introducing people to the spirit of Hong Kong through authentic East Asian cuisine. You can find Sabrina serving her take on healthy home cooked flavours from Hong Kong, including delicious Heavy Metal Dumplings, throughout the weekend at Supersonic Festival.  

REALLY AWESOME COFFEE VAN – Join our mobile barista, Phil Short who can offer a selection of bean-to-cup gourmet coffees, delicious hot chocolates and made-to-order smoothies, frappes and iced coffees.  

BONEHEAD – Treating us to a range of their delicious crispy fried chicken wings at Supersonic – be sure to try their sensational Cauliflower Wings too!

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Portland’s Abronia bring Map of Dawn to Europe

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‘No matter your taste, you have never heard anything exactly like Abronia’s The Whole of Each Eye, which is exactly why you should pick it up,’ claims Record Crates United, and rightly so.

The band simply does not fit into a single musical genre – one has to listen to them, and then agree on the uniqueness of the sound.

With a variety of drums and a saxophone in addition to the guitar and bass, the band is an orchestra of six people, all of which contribute a personal quality to the resulting melody.

The mystical sounds transport you into the deserts of Wild West, with the rhythm that Post-Trash identified as ‘prime and ritualistic’. The vocals are bewitching and the music entrancing.

Their third album ‘Map of Dawn’, released earlier this year, is a proud continuation of the distinctive beat of the marching band drum mixed with a synthesiser and spiritual-sounding aria.

The sound of Abronia will be spread further on their European tour this summer, and Supersonic is thrilled to be a part of it!

Abronia play the Friday of Supersonic Festival 2022 – get your tickets here.

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