SAE students help with Liverpool Digital Music Festival 2020

11 Aug 2020

SAE students are collaborating with Liverpool Digital Music Festival, which will take place from 29 - 31 August over the Bank Holiday. 

The festival is free to watch on the festival website with performances from Zuzu, Natalie McCool, The Peach Fuzz, YOUSEF, Tokky Horror, Phil Jones, The Merchants, SPILT, The Heavy North, Sfven, Lauren Lo Sung, KUSP & Sophia Essel. Other artists to feature at the festival are The Cheap Thrills, The Kairos, Monkey Junkey, Aimée Steven, Paul Dunbar, SHARDS, Venus Demilo, Ben Burke, Amber Jay, Sam Cooke, Kate O’Dempsey, Zulu, Cafe Spice, Garnets, Meg Shaw, Lucy Mayhew, Joshua Kane-Rice, Green Tangerines, Gallia, Sienne, New Junior, The Mono LPs, Luna, Livvy K, Jessica Luise, Natalie and the Monarchy, Mason Owens, James Morgan, Blueprint, Toriah, Existential Pleasures, Lupini, G33, Cassine, Saigon, Nautica, Moritz, Nikki Chong, Kingfast, Kid Gorgeous, Subcora, Larmour & Ross Robertson.

SAE Audio, Music Business, Film, Animation and Web students are all getting stuck in to help coordinate the event. 

SAE Liverpool Audio Production Programme Coordinator James McCormick said: “I'm really excited to work on this festival with our students. It is in support of a variety of charitable causes, and in the current pandemic is an excellent opportunity to pull together a streamed festival in support of the local music scene, and an industry which has been hit hard by the necessary restrictions to control the spread of the virus. This is a large-scale event that converges all of the subject areas we teach at SAE and applies them to a real, challenging and socially responsible project. It gives students fantastic work experience of festival infrastructure at venues such as the M&S Bank Arena, at a time when access to such venues and events is extremely limited.” 

Audio Production students and alumni will help with the festival set-up and the live sound. Lead student Ellen McGovern said: “We’ve been involved with organising each stage from the audio perspective as well as organising the team of other audio students that will be invited to help in each venue. For the pre-planning, we have been looking at each set up of the venues and putting together a tech list of what kind of equipment we will need for each considering the type of bands that will be playing, for example, one of the venues will be holding full band performances so they will need more equipment than a venue that is holding acoustic performances. We will also be inviting other audio students (recent alumni and current second years) to help with the live sound at different venues. Their roles will mainly be to work the sound desks and make sure each of the acts is staying on schedule at their venue. Joe Punter and I will be making sure each of the venues is on schedule as well and will be going round each venue where we are needed. I think it’s a great opportunity to help and get involved in the local scene as well as an exciting project to get us back into working after the months off. It’ll also be a great opportunity to network again and possibly get more work with the festival in the future as it hopes to grow.”

Music Business students have been working on social media management and artist liaison. The social media role is quite a big one, handling all platforms before and during the festival including promotion and announcements. Kev Dixon is covering this part, and will be doing all the work remotely due to the pandemic.

Bec Seddon is involved in artist liaison. She'll be passing information between crew and artists, and will be the artists’ main point of contact for any queries the artists may have, so this is a quite a hands-on role, with excellent opportunities for further networking.

Stu Burton will be working as stage manager across all venues. This involves helping work out the logistics for artists moving in and out of the venues efficiently and ensuring all teams are able to work effectively together - e.g. making sure maximum social distancing is taking place. He will also be looking at the artists' performance schedules and working with artist liaison to ensure the technical teams can work efficiently and run on time. This will ensure the smooth running of all stages. 

The film students involved are Rachel Cowley, Kate Larmer, Saul Murphy, Jackson Graham, Sam Morphet, Tom Eccleston and Lucas Davies, and they will be occupying the roles of producer and camera operator. 

Web students Gabor Sebestyen, Les Tasker and Emma Smith are also involved in the development and maintenance of the festival website. Les Tasker, who has been working on the frontend of the site, said: “I've been working with two others to redesign and streamline the Liverpool Digital Music Festival website to enable it to cope with hundreds of users accessing the site and viewing live streams simultaneously. As a musician for over 16 years, I am really excited to be involved in a project that is all about music in Liverpool and I am proud to be associated with LDMF and the charity work they do.” 

Gabor Sebestyen said: "The LDM Festival in itself is a really good opportunity for all of us to work with clients, and Ben gives us the necessary creative freedom to solve the issues that come up through development. I am mainly focused on the Wordpress-implementation aspect of our work, while also giving a hand with the back-end and the scripting part as that is my forte. It basically means I link Emma’s designs and Les’ back-end work together on the Wordpress platform and make sure there are no compatibility issues while also adding movement and interactivity to the site." 

Emma Smith said: "Being a part of this project has given me a great insight into what it will be like working in the Web industry. Working with Ben and the rest of the team has been a really great experience for me and I'm glad that I got to be a part of it." 

Animation student Lucas Puckey was invited to design the event poster. He said: “For me, this opportunity which I was given was way too far above my head for the skills that I have and for what they're looking for. That being said, it also seemed stupid to me to not even try because for me it was a win-win situation. If my art got chosen then that would’ve been great, however, if my work did not get chosen then at least I could say that I was given a brief and did some artwork for the Liverpool Music Festival 2020. And also, it was something cool to do whilst in quarantine. When I was going through the design process of the posters which I made I thought of a few aspects which sort of summed up what people, and myself, thought of about Liverpool and the music which has defined Liverpool, making it stand out. I thought that there needs to be a lot of colour on this, making the text bold and easy to read and most importantly to follow the brief which I was given as well as many other people. This involves some famous landmarks such as The Liver Building and Radio City Tower. The star which I placed in the very centre of my posters was to symbolise the city as its own star and the people within it.” 

After a highly successful inaugural ‘lockdown’ event in May, Liverpool Digital Music Festival are delighted to announce their first free live-streamed music festival from venues across the city.

Festival organiser Ben Roberts said: “The effects of Covid-19 across the Liverpool music scene and wider creative industries have been devastating for scores of artists, venues and music-related businesses. In these times of limitation and uncertainty, the need to collaborate, evolve and adapt creatively is of crucial importance. By teaming up with the Liverpool campus of the world-renowned SAE Institute, LDM Festival will be able to stage the festival at the end of August, something that simply would not have been possible otherwise.

The presence of SAE students providing essential audio and visual support across the range of venues participating in the festival will ensure LDM Festival can deliver high quality, uninterrupted coverage throughout the event. LDM Festival will provide a positive way to unite a newly disconnected music community through collaboration and digital technologies involving students, artists, venues and the people of Liverpool for a unified good cause.” 

A celebration of Liverpool’s music scene, bringing artists together for a unified good cause, LDM Festival 2020 brings a fresh perspective to live music during the current COVID-19 crisis.

The August event sees LDM Festival being broadcast from venues across Liverpool with the centrepiece of the weekend at the M&S Bank Arena, the largest indoor venue in Liverpool City Region. 

The initial event held in May saw over one hundred artists streaming live sets from home during lockdown featuring All We Are, Zuzu, Spinn, Haarm, Natalie McCool and Jamie Webster. In addition to the M&S Bank Arena headline stage, SAE Liverpool will host a stage, alongside independent city centre venues Jacaranda Phase One, and E.B.G.B.S.

Pulling in over 10,000 online viewers, the weekend in May helped raise over £2000 for the NHS and The Music Venue Trust. Free to watch from the LDM Festival website, the online music festival will again be partnering with a number of local charities. The charities being supported by the festival are Claire House Children’s Hospice, Mary Seacole House (Granby Community Mental Health Group) and Merseyside Youth Association, with donations for the organisations handled via Ticket Quarter.

Artist announcements, stage times and how to get involved will be made in the coming weeks ahead of the event and you can apply to play now via the festival website until midnight on the 14 August: