Preview: Inner City Electronic – More than just a rave

Inner City Electronic is a new multi-venue event taking place in Leeds on the 2nd of June. The event will feature 20 hours of music from a stellar line up boasting Floating Points and KiNK. The festival will also host a series of talks, interviews, and workshops with esteemed names including Craig Richards, Pioneer DJ, Cosmic Slop and Equaliser. 

The festival starts at 12pm and runs through to 8am the next morning, with music and DJ sets from KiNK, Peggy Gou, Helena Hauff, Andrew Weatherhall and many others. The sheer scale of the offering is not to be sniffed at – alongside a vast array of great electronic music, the multi-venue festival will also an extensive programme of talks and workshops, and live masterclasses with KiNK and Prince Fatty. There are technology presentations and workshops from industry-leading companies including Pioneer, Roland, Rane as well as cutting edge independents like London Modular, NorthSouth, TPI Sound and MasterSounds. Inner City Electronic’s talks and workshops aim to enable people to find creative avenues in music, with a host of professional recording artists, agents, managers and label owners set to tell their stories and share their experiences, as well as discussing electronic music history and culture.

The concept of the festival came from local promoter Ben Thompson, whilst being curated by Ralph Lawson and produced in collaboration with Ben Robinson. When asked about how the idea came about, Thompson responded:

“Leeds has a multitude of outstanding venues and a thriving electronic music scene with rich history, having lived in the city for 6 years now I’m still finding things I hadn’t yet come across. We wanted to create something that could showcase both the amazing arts and event spaces on offer in the city, as well as the people who in habit them, the idea was to create something based on collaboration that could project the cities scene and help it develop further.”

What makes the festival stand out is the variety and scope of the offering; it is certainly more than just a rave. Inner City Electronic will host ‘In Conversation’ series with internationally recognised artists Craig Richards, Midland and Paul Woolford. The series is scheduled to feature one-to-one catch ups with the artists, discussing a range of subjects surrounding their music and more.

The festival will also work in collaboration with local charities such as MAP(Music and Arts Production),having Hope House as one of the venues. There will also be a chance to Find out how electronic music started in the city in the 1980s at the influential Warehouse club, in a talk hosted by Bill Brewster and original resident Ian Dewhirst.

One man who has undoubtedly helped the electronic scene expand in Leeds is Ralph Lawson, curator of the festival. Ralph made his name by playing at the city’s legendary Back to Basics. When asked to reflect on his memories of club culture in Leeds, he stated;

“I’ve watched our city and scene develop over 30 years and I’m really proud of where we are now. There are world-class clubs, art spaces, restaurants and bars and anyone who comes to visit has a great time. Leeds is the UK’s best-kept secret. The scene here has helped kick start the careers of several international artists such as LFO, Nightmares on Wax, Iration Steppas, Ben UFO & Hessle Audio, Midland, Paul Woolford and many others.”

Rather than deciding to sit on the rich history of electronic music in Leeds already has, this festival sets out to build upon a future of new promoters, artists and venues.

Josh Crowe

Tickets and info available here.

Image credits: Inner City Electronic