Submerge Festival announce debut in Manchester with audiovisual commission

All Things Equal event in March calls for gender equality in music with Brighter Sound, launching debut Submerge Festival in the North.

Submerge have confirmed the launch of their first festival in Manchester this March, commencing with All Things Equal, a major new event co-produced with creative music charity, Brighter Sound. The event will mark the launch of Brighter Sound’s bold new manifesto for gender equality in music, and takes place on International Women’s Day (8th March 22) at Depot Mayfield in Manchester.

Register through All Things Equal, Skiddle, Resident Advisor, Eventbrite or DICE.

Submerge will subsequently launch the full festival programme and a refreshed website in mid-February.

All Things Equal is a major new commission created specifically for the Brighter Sound and Submerge event; a large-scale and immersive audiovisual installation by Rebecca Smith (Urban Projections), with a custom soundtrack by “genre-splicing genius of British electronic music” Loraine James and spoken word from Princess Arinola Adegbite.

Rebecca spoke about the work: “This piece represents a shift in equilibrium. There is an acute sense of tension and harmony which is felt throughout, from beautifully transcendent moments of calm and reflection, to chaotic and sometimes disorientating mechanical swells. The piece tries to jostle with the journey of re-balancing and making things equal.”

Loraine James added “This was such a unique opportunity to explore music in a different context and develop ideas alongside a visual artist, I’m so excited to see how they work together.”

A private viewing for artists and music industry will be followed by a free public event, open to all 7pm-midnight, with an incredible line-up of DJs including Girls Don’t Sync and Shannen SP.

Brighter Sound’s manifesto for change is the culmination of 5 years work on the ‘Both Sides Now Programme’ and aims to create long-lasting change around the roles, representation and recognition of women and people of marginalised genders in music. An open letter will follow on 17th February, with full findings and recommendations from the manifesto, to be announced at the event on the 8th March 2022.

Debra King, Director of Brighter Sound, commented: “As an organisation at the forefront of gender equality through ‘Both Sides Now’, we’ve seen significant positive action in the music industry over the last five years, when it comes to representation and equality. However, countless barriers persist for many marginalised people, making it harder to get the support and access they need. With the launch of our crowd-sourced manifesto, we want to pave the way for measurable and impactful change that enables future and current talent from all backgrounds to feel safe, visible and included.”

The event partners include Submerge, Depot Mayfield and Adlib, and is supported by Arts Council England, Youth Music, Esmee Fairbairn Foundation, Mayfield Valley Arts Trust, PRS Foundation, Manchester City Council and Greater Manchester Combined Authority.