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Sound Out - Making a Mark on the Music Festival Calendar

24 February 2014

Sound Out was formed in 2009 by an eclectic group of local musicians to support and develop musical talent in the Stow area.

Throughout the year they stage various events showcasing musical talent, and in particular allowing young or first time performers an opportunity to get on stage. Two grants from the EDF Longpark Community Fund, in 2010 and 2011, totalling £5,000 helped the group purchase musical and technical equipment in these early years.

In 2012 the group organised the Stowed Out Festival - a free community music event featuring local bands. Despite a tight budget the event was a huge success attracting an estimated 500 people.

Looking to capitalise on the success of the event, in 2013 Sound Out decided to develop the Festival and establish it as a regular event in the music festival diary. Plans for 2013 would include a concert on the Friday night with an established headline act, and performances throughout the Saturday afternoon leading up to a main evening performance. 800-900 people attended over the two days, with space for local crafts and businesses to be involved including catering provided by local cafes. A month long art exhibition also featured.

Expansion of the Festival meant that costs grew significantly from the previous year. However a grant of £10,000 from the EDF Longpark Community Fund, contributed to the majority of the running costs (staging, entertainment, advertising and promotion, licenses, accommodation and refreshments).

The funding from EDF Longpark Community Fund meant the 2013 event was a great success building on the previous year’s event. It has enabled Sound Out to establish the Stowed Out Festival on the musical event calendar, something that would have taken a lot longer without the funding. Planning is well under way for the 2014 event, and Sound Out are now focussed on ensuring the festival can become financially sustainable in future years.

Sound out are keen to continue to develop local musical talent and ambition, showcasing it at their annual music festival. “Stowed Out” has brought people together form across the community and further afield, allowing those involved to enjoy their common love of music.

One performer at the 2013 festival commented, “Great to see so many people coming along, really enjoyed it!”


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