What a contrast a month makes when it comes to the U.K weather – a month ago the city of Southampton was introduced to what the city’s music scene can really produce with the introduction of SO:Music City Festival.  Local artists, local bands, and local businesses involved, local everything!

Whereas right now, a month later, the city is stuck in a mixture of dark clouds and rain.  It was a simpler time when the Guildhall Square provided eight hours of different genres of music all in one festival, one stage and one location.

It wasn’t just gigs from different artists, there were music industry panels for all types of creatives – whether you’re a promoter, musician, manager or writer there was something for you to attend in the different venues within the Guildhall Square.

If you wanted your music heard then you needed to head over to Orange Rooms, where the Demo Surgery was happening.  Four panellists judging demos of new or old tracks and seeing what Southampton has to offer.  Although it was great to see a mixture of BBC Introducing (Steph Newenhouse), two members of Band of Skulls (Emma Richardson and Russell Marsden) and (Hannah Shogbola of Echo Location Agency) there was no real constructive criticism that they provided, it was all happy, smiley and small bits of advice.  Not a lot for the bands to go on when it comes to how to make the track better.

Mettricks, one of the best coffee places Southampton has to offer, provided hours and hours of panels that were a mixture of open dialogue about the industry and how to put yourself out there and advice panels such as marketing for musicians.  So, coffee and music panels? You can’t complain really.

Throughout the day you had music from Roots 2 Routes, Bash, The Edit and more with the locals enjoying coffee or food from the local cafes and some music that kept bringing in new people to listen to their new music.

That was the beautiful thing about this festival, the local industry boomed this day and that was the idea! The campaign that this festival helped kick off is SO:Music City, which is all about making Southampton a music city and helping the local music industry become bigger and bigger.

The music scene in Southampton is always expanding and it’s a pleasure to see more and more artists/bands become noticed and for people to enjoy. The bands had a great time performing, the city enjoyed a taste of what the scene has in-store and creatives had an opportunity to gain advice about their industry. Sorry, but why isn’t this happening more often?