Who's Who in the North East Music Scene... Northern Soundz and Break the Silence Festival
Can you tell us a little about yourself and the idea behind Northern Soundz?
Northern Soundz came from a desire to try and give a platform to new and original bands, and we have already helped many bands climb the ladder by paying venue hire fees so that they can play in more places. This often also means giving them their first chance to play live.
We also give artists a chance to get more exposure as we often video performances and bring along photographers to help promote them.
We have many sites on social media to promote our gigs. I run most of these and use them to help original and cover bands. Gizagig, Young Northern Talent, Originals, Musicality, Northern Soundz promotions, Live Music Fans and Maze Of Music are all our pages and are designed as platforms for both original and cover bands, and are used regularly by musicians to advertise their gigs.
What are your plans for Northern Soundz in 2019?
Plans moving ahead are to work on marketing the new Northern Soundz North East Directory, a new place for all North East bands and musicians to have their own webpage with 24 hour access. This will also be a space for them to register themselves so that venues will have free access to their details and availability. This was designed to make it easier for venues to access bands and artists and we already have bands registered and will be building on that by advertising in local newspapers, radio stations, music magazines and in person.
Any bands or artists wanting to join the site can access it here.
How did the idea for the festival come about and why did you choose mental health as your chosen charity?
The idea for the festival came about because I know about mental health and the stigmas it involves, having been ill myself many years ago. I decided that I wanted to do something about it and, as live music is what I know, I knew I could organize a festival.
Funds raised at the festival will go to mental health charities and Break The Silence Festival is aiming towards becoming a non profit Community Interest Company.
A few of us want to work more in this area, doing things that can help raise awareness and trying to change attitudes around this subject of stigma and mental health. This will be is a separate company to Northern Soundz.
We feel there should be no stigmas attached to mental health issues. We do not attach stigmas to any other illness, if people are ill then they should be able to speak out and not feel like it has to be hidden. There’s a big change in our approach to this subject but we need to be able to make it easier to speak up.
How has the promotion and fundraising been going so far?
The Fundraising for the festival will be through Tyneside Crowd and Spacehive. It will be launched in the next couple weeks and we would like to ask everyone if they can donate as little as £2. We are hoping the community gets behind us as many musicians have been involved and helped with their time and talent.
What can we expect from the festival? What is the line-up like? Will there be other things going on as well as music?
Oh the line up is amazing with some top tribute acts and some original musicians! We have tried to keep it as general as possible to encourage fans of different genres. We have tributes to ABBA and Bruno Mars, we have Rap and we are pleased to say Avalanche party will be joining us.
Music will be from 12 noon to 11pm and we have street food and a bar as well as amusements, a funfair and activities for all the family.
Of course, because its about getting the message out, we will have many mental health groups there with information about how they can help.
It’s been 2 years work in 8 weeks but we are very excited about it.
In addition to the music stage there will also be an area where people can have a space to “vocalise how they feel about their mental health, express and share”.
These quiet areas will be open for the public to approach and talk to many of the local mental health groups involved in the project.
If you want to donate to the cause there is also a crowdfunding initiative that can be found here with more information about the festival and its various activities.
Currently over £7000 has been raised, with a goal of around £18,000.
The upcoming fundraising events are taking place on the following dates:
March 24th – Break the Silence Fundraiser
The Exchange, North Shields
April 27th – Rigid Digits at The Black Bull
The Black Bull, Peterlee
August 17th – Break the Silence Festival