An Indoor Festival for Outsiders?

“Better pass boldly into that other world, in the full glory of some passion, than fade and wither dismally with age.” James Joyce

Other Worlds is an Experimental Music and Sound Art multi-venue festival which is taking place Friday 10 to Sunday 12 April 2015 in and around Blackpool and which is set to challenge our perceptions of music-making and appreciation.

Supported by Left Coast (Arts Council England), Other Worlds is the brainchild of Rick Thompson and Carlito Juanito who are otherwise known as Must Die Records. With a line-up of emerging and established artists, they say the festival will be “somewhere between art and music” and that it will push the boundaries of what audiences expect of a festival experience.

Rick and Carlito started Must Die Records in 2010 with the intention of releasing experimental music, sound art and outsider music.  Must Die has over 30 releases across vinyl, cassette, and CD from local, national and international artists and have been featured in international publications and had radio play across the globe.

They proposed the festival and curated this non-mainstream line-up as they feel that currently there are few existing opportunities for sound/music artists to have freedom to experiment and that, through Other Worlds, they will be able to create a suitably supportive environment for artists and audiences to explore new directions.

Highlights of the line-up so far include: Thomas Truax – a writer, performer and inventor of experimental musical instruments from New York, Isnaj Dui – who writes glitchy neo-impressionistic music using flutes, home-made dulcimers and electronics, Ichi from Nagoya in Japan, who takes the notion of a one-man band to new limits, combining quirky handmade instrument inventions with steel-drum, ping-pong balls, toys and everyday objects, plus Ceramic Hobs from Blackpool who have been a spectral presence at the fringes of the UK’s experimental music scene since the mid-1980s.

Alongside the performances there will also be a series of workshops including from Shaun Blezard’s Capriccio which involves participants working together to develop an original score for performance and from the Octopus Collective from Barrow which invites attendees to create music using hand-made instruments. Regular guided Sound Walks will offer people the opportunity to listen collectively to the interesting and hidden sounds that are all around us. On the final day there will be an open debate led by leading field recording artist Jez Riley French plus many more activities for everybody to engage with.

Venues and artists are being confirmed daily so to ensure you have the most up-to-date Other Worldly information about this ground-breaking new festival then do join their Facebook page or visit their website.  If this feels like something that you’d like to be a part of, as a performer or as a volunteer, then do contact the organisers via their website.

Tickets can be bought online here. An early-bird ticket is available until 10 January priced at just £20 for the weekend. The normal price of £25 applies after this date unless you are local in which case you can get a 20% discount with proof of a local post code (Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre).

“Go then, there are other worlds than these.” Stephen King


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    Melanie Whitehead is the Creative Director of The Old Electric, Blackpool's newest theatre. She previously worked for the Royal Shakespeare Company and the National Theatre.

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