Arts & Culture Events

Next stop stardom: Hoylake train station gets on board for annual music competition

By Emma Gunby at

Local musicians from Hoylake are being invited to take part in the annual Merseyrail Sound Station music competition.

The competition, which is celebrating its 4th anniversary this year, is a unique collaboration between Merseyrail and renowned music magazine Bido Lito!

The competition encourages local, undiscovered musicians to film themselves on a smartphone, performing an original track at one of seven designated performance locations on the Merseyrail network – Hoylake, Wallasey Grove Road, Hooton, Liverpool Central, Liverpool South Parkway, Southport and Kirkby,

The videos are then uploaded to the Merseyrail Sound Station Facebook page and the ten best entries are invited to perform at a one-day festival at Moorfield’

A panel of music industry experts select the final winner, who will record with former Joy Division and New Order Engineer Michael Johnson. They also receive a full year of professional music industry mentoring, recording time and free train travel on Merseyrail.

The eventual winner also gains the opportunity to appear on the project’s free monthly podcast which features exclusive live sessions with some of the region’s most exciting new bands, the latest new sounds from across the Merseyrail network, and breaking new music news from Liverpool.

Musician Katie Mac at Sound Station

Musician Katie Mac at Sound Station

The Sound Station project also curate a pop-up stage which gives emerging artists an opportunity to play at the regions top festivals including Sound City, Africa Oyé and LIMF.

David O’Leary, Merseyrail’s Commercial Director, said: “It seems an unlikely allegiance between a train operating company and a music magazine but each year the competition is going from strength to strength.

“In the past four years, we’ve had more than 300 local musicians enter the competition and it is gaining critical acclaim in the city’s music scene.

“It’s been a great way to connect with, and entertain, our passengers, as well as celebrate Liverpool’s well-known association with music.”

Lumen recording Merseyrail Soundstation Podcast

Lumen recording Merseyrail Soundstation Podcast

Craig Pennington, editor of Bido Lito! and director of the creative consultancy, Syndikat, which organises the event, said: “It’s a hugely satisfying project for Syndikat to be involved with.

“It’s great to connect Merseyrail with the local music community and give the region’s wealth of talent various opportunities to make itself heard.”

Former winners include Katy Alex and rapper Blue Saint who both have gone on to perform at some of the area’s biggest festivals and gigs and develop their sound as a result of the mentoring process.

Entries for the competition close on Saturday October 22 and the Merseyrail Sound Station final takes place on November 19 between 1pm-5pm at Moorfields with a presentation evening taking place at new music venue Hus.

For more information on how to get involved with the competition, visit http://merseyrailsoundstation.com