Grass roots festival Above the Beaten Track celebrated its eighth year in style this September, as a range of quality acts brought Bluecoat’s historic building alive with live music, DJs, artists and makers, participatory events and live art.
Originally conceived to celebrate the range of diverse songwriters in the city, launching at the View Two Gallery in 2008 it has since expanded to reflect the full range of musicians, DJs, artists and makers of Liverpool to provide a fully immersive cultural experience. The festival re-located to Bluecoat in 2010 to cope with growing demand.
Underpinned by a strong philosophy of inclusion, the free festival’s intention is to uncover the best of Liverpool’s acoustic underground. Above The Beaten Track prides itself on being a festival for Liverpool, celebrating its original talent.
Highlights of a splendid sonic gathering included Spectral Chorus, Seafoam Green and Xander and the Peace Pirates. Joining them were engaging sets from the region’s finest including; Paul Dunbar, Paul Wilkes, Moguls, Chris Woolf and Nick Ellis as well as some of the city’s finest DJs.
Festival co-founder Dave McTague said: “We were proud to once again showcase some of the areas best grass roots music talent. The festival aims to give artists and organisations a platform and hopefully take them to a wider audience. This year was genuinely the biggest and best yet.”
Established in Liverpool in 2008, at the View Two Gallery on Mathew Street, Above the Beaten Track hosted four annual events before taking a break. 2014 marked the return of the festival as an even bigger celebration of Liverpool and Merseyside’s creative grass roots scene, bringing emerging and under-the-radar live music to the fore.
Mellowtone have been brining the best songwriters, blues, folk and roots artists to the most intimate venues in Liverpool for over 10 years. Resident DJ’s spin the finest funk, soul, blues, jazz, hip-hop and reggae, making for the perfect cocktail of laid-back good times. More info
Beaten Tracks are a Liverpool-based collective of DJs, promoters and afficionados who champion the rare, the dusty and the forgotten… expect funk, soul, reggae, afrobeat, latin, hiphop, blues and jazz; leftfield beats and soulful enlightenment… The Beaten Tracks DJs are renowned for framing some of the most interesting and diverse live acts from the city and beyond. More info
Liverpool Acoustic acts as a central resource for anyone interested in the thriving acoustic music scene within Liverpool and the surrounding area. They are famed for their award winning events and also provide news, podcasts and gig reviews.More info
Capstan’s Bazaar – a pop-up urban Market in Liverpool celebrating their 5th birthday this year, that champions local independent businesses and artisans. Like traditional markets they offer a diverse range of goods from arts and crafts to locally grown food to vintage trinkets and much more besides. More info
Draw the Line is a Liverpool art social event bringing together the everyman and artists to enjoy casual doodle workshops together. This relaxed and open event is a chance to network and vent some artistic expression, share ideas and techniques or a place to scribble your name and drink with friends. More info
the Bluecoat – Liverpool’s creative hub, this A Grade I listed, 300 year old building in the heart of Liverpool’s city centre showcases talent across all creative disciplines including visual art, music, literature, dance and live art. The venue also accommodates a community of artists and businesses and runs a participation programme with local communities. More info
Merseyrail Sound Station‘s objective is to celebrate and spread the word on emerging new music from Merseyside. A free monthly podcast showcases a variety of quality music from the region and their annual prize goes to support a specific artist with professional music management and studio recording. More info
The Red Sofa Sessions offer a platform for under-the-radar & established musicians to perform. The format is simple: quick intro, original song, acoustic only. Alongside emerging musicians, artists have included Miles Kane, James Walsh, John Power and Nashville’s Jenn Bostic. More info
Oxjam – Local Music. Global Impact. Oxjam is a month long celebration of local music in October, with hundreds of events taking place nationwide all in the name of charity. This year the Oxjam team for Liverpool will be staging their biggest event yet on October 17th. More info
Threshold Festival is an annual three day event based in the Baltic triangle area of Liverpool. The focus of the festival is collaboration, grass-roots music, first view visual arts and innovative performance. Established in 2011 Threshold is dedicated to artist development and driving forward the music and arts industry. More info
Merseyside Arts Foundation is an independent development organisation supporting engagement in the arts and creative industries. Their remit is to identify, nurture and establish creative talent, be that a young person or a more established artist. More info
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