For the second of our bitesized guides to this summer's most exciting festivals in the UK, we head to Liverpool, where SoundCity returns with even more up-and-coming talent.

With over 25,000 people attending last year's first SoundCity festival and even more expected this year, Liverpool SoundCity has already become the UK's biggest summer city centre music festival.

In addition to performances from the best bands of tomorrow, a series of events, talks and discussions will take place throughout the duration of the festival. New for 2009 is The Trial, an innovative approach to conferencing putting the music industry on trial at the Victorian Law Courts in St Georges Hall.

When is it?

 Wednesday 20 May to Saturday 23 May 2009.

Where is it?

Performances and conferences in over 30 venues in the heart of Liverpool City, including the Hard Days Night Hotel, the O2 academy and dozens of bars and theatres.

Who's playing?

Liverpool SoundCity 2009 will welcome more than 400 bands from home and abroad, some familiar names and some, well, more unusual. Here are some of the confirmed acts -

The Zutons
Juliette Lewis
White Lies
Little Boots
Pulled Apart by Horses
An Experiment on a Bird in the Air Pump
Cage The Elephant
You Me At Six
Billy Nasty
The Rascals

SoundCity conference
20 and 21 May - Hard Days Night Hotel

The key and most original event of the festival, the conference will feature over 500 decision makers and executives from all levels of the UK, European and international music business industry. The theme this year is Starmakers, Chameleons, Mavericks and Svengalis. The conference will also provide a unique platform for aspiring local artists, music businesses and key industry figures to meet, exchange contacts and inspire one another.


The John Peel World Cup is a charity competition taking place on Friday 22 May. Twelve teams, including The Zutons, will take each other on to raise funds for the British Heart Foundation - the nominated charity of John Peel's family.

The essentials

Tickets: a pass giving access to all gigs and the conference costs £120 and can be ordered on the festival's website.
A map of Liverpool: with over 30 venues, it will be useful to know your way around the city.
A place to stay: situated in the centre of Liverpool, the Hard Days Night Hotel is this year's SoundCity's official hotel and conference host, and as such, is offering conference and festival goers a preferential rate (tel: (0151) 236 1964, quote 1805Sound). You can also get a deal if you stay at the Staybridge Suites (tel: (0151) 703 9701, say you are visiting for the Liverpool SoundCity event).

Getting there

Bus: As always, public transport is likely to be cheaper and quicker, as well as greener. National Express is running regular coach services connecting Liverpool with various destinations in the UK including Victoria Coach Station in London.

Virgin West Coast and Intercity services run from major towns and cities into Liverpool Lime Street station, the city's main railway station located in the northeast of the city centre. The journey time from London to Liverpool is just over 2 hours. Other rail operators running services to Liverpool include Arriva Trains, Central Trains and First Great Western. Plan your journey on

Car: Liverpool is easily accessible via road and is signposted from the M6 and the M62 if travelling from the south and the M58 if travelling from the north.

For more information, check our Liverpool city guide.

Check back next week for our Bitesized guide: Hop Farm Festival.
In the meantime, check our Bitesized guide: Glastonbury Festival.

Visa and passport information is updated regularly and is correct at the time of publishing. You should verify critical travel information independently with the relevant embassy before you travel.