Line-up revealed for Chichester’s City Sounds Music Festival

An exciting line-up of local talent has been unveiled for the City Sounds music festival, which returns to Chichester city centre on Saturday 25 November.

The festival, which will take place across eight venues in the city, will feature more than 40 acts from the Chichester area.

Completely new this time will be a dedicated under-18s venue hosted by the restaurant Franco Manca, located near the City Cross. From midday, the venue will come alive with a ‘Young Persons Showcase’, putting the spotlight on emerging talent from a range of the region’s music schools and colleges. Music colleges represented included BIMM based in Brighton; Northbrook College; Foot in the Door; Jam and Ovation.

City Sounds have also announced the very first ‘City Sounds Young Artist Of The Year’, Mia Reed. Mia has been recognised for the quality of her live show and her songwriting. She will play the only individual artist showcase on the Young Persons stage. As a prize, she will get free recording time at Quay West Studios, mentoring assistance from the Smithereen Music Group for a year, as well as other key music industry assistance.

Mia, 16, who studies songwriting at the music college BN1 Arts has always loved singing. She started learning guitar around seven years ago but it wasn’t until three years ago that she started combining playing and singing with writing her own songs. She puts part of her love of music down to her Dad, who she says played her lots of different styles of music when she was growing up, which has been a big influence.

“The best way me and my mum can describe my music is as indie folk-pop, and I’m influenced by quite a lot of other female solo artists such as Sigrid. Performing at City Sounds in March was really good, it was so well organised and I got to meet so many people, and other artists at the venue where I was playing. There is another artist called Rachel Hawker she’s been a big inspiration and I’ve watched her at other gigs since. I’m even more excited about performing at this festival because it’s people my age doing music, I get to show them what I’m doing and it’s going to be so much fun. My family will be coming, and I’ve told everyone at college!”

She says that events like these are crucial for performers her age. “It’s so important because as much as Chichester has a music scene, compared to places like Brighton, it’s quite small. It’s not so easy for people my age to get gigs and so City Sounds is good because it helps you meet other people doing the same as you. It’s a great opportunity.”

Other venues hosting performances during the evening will include: The Fountain in South Street; The Hole in the Wall in St Martin’s Street; La Havana Bar in Little London; Little Monster Tap in The Hornet; The Escapist in Crane Street; The George and Dragon Inn in North Street; and Trents in South Street.

From 5pm onwards, music lovers will be able to follow a musical map of the city and soak up the original sounds of local musicians at a variety of venues. Music will cover a variety of genres and will include a mixture of bands and solo acts.

“The day gives people the opportunity to hear the amazing musicians on our own doorstep that most of us have probably never heard before,” says Councillor Jess Brown-Fuller, Cabinet Member for Culture and Events at Chichester District Council. “Events like these are so important for supporting our creative industries and supporting musicians and giving people amazing experiences.  I’m very proud that as a council we’re supporting this festival and we hope it will go from strength to strength. We hope people will come and visit, and that it will give our city’s evening and night-time economy a real boost.”

City Sounds was created by Chichester resident, Chris Simmons, a professional musician for more than 20 years, and is being supported by Chichester District Council.

Chris has helped many new bands with their first shows, who have subsequently become festival headliners, including Royal Blood, The Kooks, Ellie Goulding and many others. He has also written songs with artists, including Travis and Squeeze.As an artist, he has toured the world, appearing with the likes of Jackson Browne, Sir Tom Jones, Simply Red, Passenger, James Bay, Paloma Faith and many others, as well as playing many major festivals across the globe.

“We’re really excited about the City Sounds line-up, there are some amazing acts that will be playing on the day and we can’t wait for people hear them,” says Chris Simmons, event organiser, and founder of the Smithereen Music Group. “I was blown away by the response to the call for applications to play at the event, with more than 100 acts applying. As a result, we’ve been able to put together a varied and high-quality line-up which I know people are going to love. We’re also very grateful to the council for their support in helping stage this event – the response and feedback to the first event in March showed that there’s a real need for this kind of event in the city.”

People can find out details of the full line-up and venues by visiting: and going to the City Sounds social channels on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.