Bands told they’d be playing Liverpool Sound City before “heartbreaking” announcement

A "human error" meant that some acts were mistakenly told they'd be playing

Several acts who were told that they’d be performing at this year’s Liverpool Sound City but then had their applications rejected have reacted to the “heartbreaking” error.

Those who wanted to have the chance to play festival next month had to submit through the “apply to play” service on the Sound City website, which was handled by the platform Amplead.

But Amplead made a “human error” in telling everyone who applied they were successful when that wasn’t the case. Liverpool Echo has highlighted a number of acts who took to Twitter to share their disappointment after being selected and then deselected.


Band Fat Dads wrote: “Got an email off Amplead to say we’re playing @SoundCity this year, only to get another an hour later to say it was a mistake and we’re not playing after all. Went from absolutely buzzing to downright crushed. Spot on.”

New Nostalgia said: “Absolutely gutting stuff. You spend hours and hours applying for these sorts of opportunities in the hope that one will come off. This sort of carpet pull is just horrible.”

All Hail Hyena added: “We’re playing @SoundCity! Oh wait, no… we’re not. It was a system error. It’s a good job we’re a seasoned band and not some hopeful young act isn’t it? How unwholesome would that have been? @AmpleadHQ did you send success emails out to any other artists?”

Amplead issued a statement on social media, apologising for its error and stressing that it wasn’t the fault of Sound City organisers.

The statement said: “Hey @SoundCity and all who applied through the Apply To Play service. We unfortunately made a mistake on our end and contacted all who applied with a ‘You’ve been successful’ message.


“This was human error, and for all those affected you should now have the correct email as well as an apology from us. We can only hold our hands up and truly apologise for any confusion or disappointment.”

Sound City organisers also issued a statement, saying they were “heartbroken” to see what had happened following the “mistake and malfunction of the Amplead platform”.

They said: “We know how important this is to our beloved community. To have your hopes built up to then have them taken away is the most devastating act. Our artists and bands are our family. It hurts us so much to see this happening to every single one of you.

“We are speaking to Amplead to try and understand what went wrong. We promise to come back to every single band and artist with a proper explanation. We are aware they are sending apologies to everyone right now, but rest assured that will not be the end of it and we will come back with further and wider information.

“Once again we are so sorry you have been put through this ordeal. Sending all our love and best wishes, Becky and all the Sound City team.”

Amplead also replied to a post on Sound City’s Facebook page, writing: “All of us at Amplead are so sorry. We are genuinely gutted for all the upset this has caused artists like yourselves and take full responsibility. We are building this company to support independent artists and venues so we really are genuinely sorry and this is the last thing we wanted to happen.

“We haven’t taken this lightly at all and we are working on something to offer everyone that has been affected.”

Last year Sound City Liverpool has announced its first wave of acts for its 2023 edition, with Maisie Peters topping the bill.

The event returns April 28-30, 2023, with gigs held at various venues across the north west city, and the Sound City+ Conference taking place on day one.

Peters is set to headline with other performances coming from CourtingThe Goa ExpressOpus Kink, Beren Olivia, Delights, Finn Foxell, Shelf Lives, SOFY, EEVAH, Malady, Mollie Coddled, Re6ce, Reignmaker, The Royston Club, Trampolene and others.

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