Threshold Festival talent showcase

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We The Undersigned performing at Threshold Festival © Matt Thomas/Camp and Furnace

We The Undersigned performing at Threshold Festival © Matt Thomas/Camp and Furnace

The Threshold Festival is set to return to Liverpool for the third year running to give grassroots artists and musicians a platform to display their talent.

Threshold is the city’s largest grassroots, multi-arts, volunteer-led festival, with a programme of over 180 artists and performers. The three-day event will take place from 8th-10th March across various venues throughout the city including The Picket, Unit 51 Cafe and Elevator Bar.

The main stage and the heart of the festival is situated at Camp and Furnace, a converted industrial warehouse on the outskirts of Liverpool’s Baltic Triangle.

The line-up is an eclectic mixture of established and lesser-known performers and artists. MOBO Award winner Esco Williams headlines the bill, along with A Ray of Charles, Coffee & Cakes for Funerals and LA soul acoustic artist JC Villafan.

Following the success of Theshold’s inaugural event at the Contemporary Urban Centre (CUC) in February 2011, the local promoters behind the event decided to expand their vision and make the transition to a wider range of bigger spaces.

Since then, the past two years has seen a growth spurt in the local music and art scene, enabling artists, musicians, performers and promoters to showcase their talent on a larger scale.

Kaya Herstad Carney, Festival Director, told JMU Journalism that Threshold Festival is about promoting the community and showcasing the underground scenes that makes the city tick.

She said: “Threshold is art to art, art to punter and musician to industry. It’s not industry to industry or pushing ‘the next big thing’ – not that there is anything against that. It is just not what we aim to do.

“We showcase what is already going on in Liverpool to a wider audience. We are local at our core and even though half of us are not from here, we belong here.”

Kaya doesn’t believe in competing with other inner-city festivals, but working together to form strong bonds between like-minded counterparts.

She was part of the Liverpool Music Week team for the first five years and has offered her support to other arts and music events in the city, including the Liverpool Biennial, Liverpool Fringe Festival and Above the Beaten Track.

Organ Freeman performing at Threshold Festival © Matt Thomas/Camp and Furnace

Organ Freeman performing at Threshold Festival © Matt Thomas/Camp and Furnace

Visual arts volunteer and tour guide, Albany Owens volunteered for the festival because she wanted to get more involved with the music and art scene in Liverpool.

She said: “Threshold seemed like a really friendly, vibrant event and looked like it had a lot to offer.

“Threshold stands out because it is a festival that celebrates and focuses on grassroots bands, new and emerging artists and community projects.”

This year’s festival will incorporate three programming themes: Friday – escapism, Saturday – transformation and Sunday – collaboration.

To complement a weekend packed full of music and visual arts, the festival also boasts a wide range of industry sessions, art workshops, panel discussions and book readings.


About Joshua Nevett, JMU Journalism