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Learn and Join In: Project SoundLounge

Back in February 2014, deep in the basement of Symphony Hall, the THSH top dogs let seven young creatives loose in the Patrick Music and Multimedia Studio, challenging them to programme, produce and promote a three-day music festival.

Six months later, with the help of Mohini, Reuben and the rest of the THSH staff, all of our hard work paid off in an incredible weekend that was Project SoundLounge 2014.

The magnificent Town Hall hosted the opening evening of the festival, and saw jazz and soul performances from the likes of Lumi HD, The Forgotten Fairground, Emmanuel Waldron, and headliners Antelope.

Saturday’s performances began at the Bandstand in Brindleyplace, with .44 Pistol, spoken word artists Beat Root, and Lobster, before heading over to the Mezzanine at the Birmingham REP, after a minor battle with Hurricane Bertha! There we saw Dantanna, Deaf Inspector, and Hansu-Tori take to the stage.

The final day of Project SoundLounge back at Town Hall was all things folk and rock, with the Tom Walker Trio, the Mourning Suns, Bonfire Radicals and Boat to Row closing the show.

From turning the Mezzanine into a packed out club with Dantanna, to the goosebumps from Lumi HD’s voice, and the moment when audiences were wowed by the Tom Walker Trio, it’s safe to say every performance was amazing, and a real reflection of the huge amount of undiscovered talent that Birmingham has to offer – which is exactly what we aimed to do!

Aside from the indecisive weather on Saturday, the weekend was a complete success!

The team – Ashley, Monty, Joe, Victoria, Micheala, Maddie and myself – have all come from very different backgrounds, but share a huge passion for live music. Through Project SoundLounge, we have been able to work alongside industry professionals to learn, develop and hone the skills needed for a music career in our specific areas of interest.

This experience has given me the determination to pursue a career in marketing in the arts, and will hopefully go on to open many doors for me, as I’m sure it has done for the rest of the team too.

As a collective, we’ve grown to become good friends and a great working force together, and are hoping to establish a Project SoundLounge alumni to continue developing Birmingham’s culture, which will grow with each new year of Project SoundLounge applicants.

Spread the word and keep an eye out for Project SoundLounge 2015!

– Beth French

Watch the BBC Midlands Today report on Project SoundLounge 2014

Images: Mao Images, Maddie Flower