The promoters of one of our favorite festivals have already revealed all the cards. There are more than enough reasons to go to Cologne next spring. Check out who will perform at the 8th edition of Freedom Sounds.
When we talked to Peter Clemm, the man behind Freedom Sounds, a few years ago, he told us that expanding this event wasn’t that important to him. The concerts were then held at the Gebäude 9 club, which can seat about 500 people. An intimate atmosphere, familiar faces among the audience and artists at your fingertips – it all had its charm. But the festival’s potential could not have been limited much longer.
This year, due to the reconstruction of the Gebäude 9 area, Freedom Sounds moved to a larger location, Essigfabrik. I thought it was only temporary, but it turned out that the next edition of the event will also take place there. And although the line-up of this festival has always been solid, it seems to me that the change of venue has some impact on it.
Freedom Sounds 2020 line-up
Who will play at Freedom Sounds next year? The Skatalites need no introduction. But we can try to guess who will they invite on stage. The potential is considerable. On the same day, we will also see Keith & Tex (who two years ago told me about their last album) and Rudy Mills. I hope they will also sing something all-together. The vocalists will be backed by The Steadytones.
I am happy that The Void Union is returning to Cologne, because at last year’s edition they went wild on the smaller stage. I wonder if they will perform on a larger one this year (and whether they will perform just as well in this situation). Once again, though after a bit longer break, Victor Rice Septet will play at Freedom Sounds. Two years ago their gig was a blast. The Uppertones is also a band I always like to listen to. At Gdańsk Ska Jamboree they were in great shape, and next year they will promote their new album.
The promoters of the Freedom Sounds Festival do not focus only on old-school sounds. Every year they add soul bands (this year – Alexis Evans from Bordeaux) and dub bands to the line-up. One of the main stars of the festival is Dreadzone. The special project Dub With A Difference also sounds interesting. The Magic Touch came up with the idea to mix ska, rocksteady, reggae and a string quartet in some dub sauce, and invite Earl 16 to sing. That’s a lot! The icing on the cake will be a concert by one of the most famous Jamaican vocalists, Horace Andy, who will perform with The Dub Asante Band. If we add the eclectic The Skints to this, probably no one will leave the festival dissatisfied.
Freedom Sounds info
Freedom Sounds will run from April 24 to 25, 2020. The festival takes place in Cologne, in the buildings of the former vinegar factory – Essigfabrik. A weekend ticket costs €52 and a day ticket €32. Students and teenagers have discounts, and children up to 12 years old enter the party for free. Detailed information can be found on the festival’s website.
Freedom Sounds Christmas Ball #3
If you can’t wait till April, check out what’s going on in Cologne this weekend. For the third time the promoters of Freedom Sounds invite you to a reggae Christmas party. This year, British bands dominate the Freedom Sounds Christmas Ball: Resonators, The Hempolics and Smiley & The Underclass. The hosts will be represented by the local power-pop group Oleka Monday.