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SouthBound Festival, November 17th-18th at the SU.

The festival, run by Goldsmiths Music Society, will run on November 17th-18th at the SU.

The student-run SouthBound Festival will return to Goldsmiths next week. Andrew Rolland, the BMus Music graduate heading up the team, said, ‘We started it last year, it was all about giving students the opportunity to practice and perform.’

And this time it’s set to be a much bigger affair. It’s now ticketed, open to the public, and acts now include notable alumni alongside current students. ‘This year we wanted to show the progression from students to alumni, and encourage people to put themselves forward a bit more, and see where and how you can develop as a musician.

‘There’s a much better mix of genres of music, but also people who have just started playing live who are still students at uni, and much more seasoned players who are alumni now and still want to keep going with what they’re doing.’

Such alumni acts include: D.A.N, Bubbles, Tony Njoku, and Rosie Everett, with headliners Temptress and Noctürn. DJs to look out for include Natalie Sandi, Jamie Rosso, Iagö, and Blasé Vanguard. No Blur, alas.

SouthBound will be held at the SU across two stages. Upstairs in the SU Bar there’ll be the Main Stage, where performances will run from 6pm to 11pm, and DJs from 11pm to 3am. On the first floor in the SU Café will be the Acoustic Stage, with performances from 6.30pm to 10pm. ‘It’ll be a nice environment, more intimate and less demanding.’

The Music Society have been collaborating with the Visual Cultures Society, who have produced postcards and posters, and are putting on an exhibition in the corridors of the SU during the two days of the festival. Other than that, everything has been organised by the Music Society’s team of eight: Andrew, Ed Dingley (BMus Music third year), Henry O’Brien (BMus Music third year), Susanna Lee (BMus Music third year), Dom Johnson (BMus Popular Music third year), Kirsty Lewis (BMus Music third year), Madeleine Smyth (BMus Music second year), and Ayman Sinada (BA Politics second year). No official staff help.

Needless to say, this has taken a lot of work to pull off. The sheer amount of planning and organising that has gone into SouthBound since July makes being on an episode of Grand Designs look easy. Andrew, Ed, and the rest of the team have had to work within a budget, negotiate with artists and their managers, and have met with red tape and their fair share of ‘speed bumps’ along the way.

According to Henry, ‘We have had, through no fault of our own, financial issues and budget issues. There are a lot of external costs.’

And as it turns out, these external costs are a real biggy. Because the festival counts as a ‘private function’, any booking costs are higher. The Leopard has learnt that one Goldsmiths alumnus had asked for a cheeky £10k to DJ for an hour at this year’s SouthBound. Needless to say they haven’t made it onto the bill.

But despite this, things look good. ‘We haven’t had a lot to work with but we are still managing to put on something that we are really proud of. Andrew and Ed have spent their whole summer working on it. They’ve been working on it solidly since July.’

When asked if it was too much to take on, Ed said, ‘It would’ve been too much for me on my own.’ Andrew clarified, ‘We had to spend about four hours a day since July getting everything together. It’s a huge deal and a big task. From talking to booking agents and artists to organising things like tech plans and stage plans.’

As the old saying goes, ‘Prior preparation prevents piss poor performance,’ and the Music Society have certainly been doing their preparation. It’s clear that any event, even one as big as SouthBound, can be tackled as long as there is a solid team behind it, who are willing to muck in and put the hours in.

And they’re excited. It’ll be much better and more professional than last year, it’ll be a real music festival. Even my parents are visiting at some point!’

SouthBound Festival will run for two days across Friday 17th and Saturday 18th of November. Weekend tickets are £5 and day tickets are £3. Tickets are available from the SU website, with any remaining tickets sold on the door. The event is 18+ only.

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