The Über Rockin’ Inside Story: SOS Festival Print E-mail
Written by Linzi A   
Sunday, 18 June 2017 04:30

The tenth anniversary iteration of SOS Festival takes place in Prestwich (which is in north Manchester for those of you for whom geography isn’t a strongpoint) over the weekend of 14 – 16 July. Over the past decade, the festival has grown from a one-day celebration of the RockSector Records roster to a three-day celebration of some of the UK’s finest independent hard rock and metal acts.


SOS header


Ahead of this year’s special celebration, we invited SOS organizer Lynne Hampson to take time out of her busy schedule to join us for a coffee at Über Rock’s Manchester outpost and have a chat with us about the festival, its evolution and what they have in store for us this year. In the second half of this special preview feature, Lynne’s partner Mark Appleton, who is also owner of Rocksector Records, will talk us through the minutae of this year’s event…


But, first, we asked Lynne if she ever thought the festival would make it to its tenth year?


I just can’t believe it! We get regulars coming back each year and it’s a lot more popular with families too.


Last year we saw the festival move to its new home in Prestwich: how are you finding the new venue?


The Longfield Suite is a great place. It’s close to the Metrolink system, local buses and hotels are nearby, it’s got loads of free parking, and a lift for easy access for all. We got some great feedback last year.


Which band are you looking forward to having back this year?


I'm looking forward to having Blaze Bayley back again, he's on top form at the moment. Triaxis and Die No More are back again by popular demand. A Jokers Rage had me bouncing all night last year, so we instantly rebooked them, such amazing energy and charisma!



Which newbie band are you looking forward to having grace the stage at SOS this year?


Lots of new and exciting female fronted bands are performing for the first time. Ones to watch out for are Fire Red Empress, I Saw The World Burn, Dorja, and Bad Pollyanna - they will be sensational I'm sure of it. The Irish lads, Screaming Eagles are bringing their classic rock over the water too for the first time... SOS virgins!


Have you got the same crew as last year working behind the scenes, and how important is it to you to have the right crew working with you?


We have the same crew as last time, they are all good friends. They work tirelessly, and I really appreciate what they do.


Have you done anything differently this year that you haven't done in previous years?


You'll have to wait and see :)


What are you most proud of about the festival?


It’s value for money! Our ticket price is affordable at just £15 for the whole weekend. And it’s a great way to introduce the next generation to live music: we find a lot of dads bring their kids for the first time to SOS… and they keep coming back too!


What do you consider to be SOS's main strength that pulls people into the festival?


We really look forward to bringing everyone together. Most attendees know each other, so it’s like a big family get together.



In the second half of this special preview, Mark Appleton tells us, and you, everything we collectively need to know about this year’s special SOS X:


“2017 will be our 'Big Ten' and we look forward to putting together a fantastic event for you, having set the bar very high judging by the overwhelming feedback received to our 2016 edition.


“Tickets are available now at, and for yet another year the prices are held at £15 for weekend, Saturday or Sunday single days at £10 and Friday at £5. 'Big Ten' will be held at our new home adopted in 2016 - the Longfield Suite, Prestwich, Manchester.


“Headlining Friday we’re delighted to have Kill II This. It’s great for us that another Manchester band has the kudos to headline, just as Absolva did us proud on our Friday in 2016. Kill II This blend extreme metal with elements of industrial electronica and even a little hip-hop. Terrorizer magazine summarized it well: “Their sound crosses clever industrial style sampling with fearsome guitar. Kill II This have created a beast which is threatening yet danceable”.



“On Friday we also have a return for A Joker’s Rage, from York, who were comfortably one of the absolute highlights of SOS 2016, and I Saw The World Burn, from the Midlands, will bring their brutal, riff-laden thrash groove when they open up the weekend.


“We’re excited to say the band that will fill the main ‘support’ slot on Saturday is Screaming Eagles. This rock quartet from Northern Ireland have impressed during the past few years, not least with their song ‘Rock n Roll Soul’, which was featured in a hit US TV series ‘Justified’. Classic Rock magazine said “Think AC/DC fronted by a Paul Rodgers-style vocalist”, which is a great steer on the style and quality of this band.


“Also on Saturday we have symphonic metallers Pythia, based in the south of England, who were booked for 2016 but couldn’t make it due to horrendous traffic chaos. We’re delighted to say we’ve been able to re-book them for 2017. The other band that didn’t make it in 2016 due to serious illness to their drummer, is Crowsaw, from the South Wales border area, who are now confirmed for 2017, whilst for the first time from Sweden we welcome doom metalheads Core of Nation, long-standing friends of our management team.



“Sunday we have another very welcome return, in the form of Nottingham-based Fahran, exponents of a hard rock sound inspired by the likes of Queen, Thin Lizzy, Alter Bridge and Black Stone Cherry. Also on Sunday, we’re very happy to welcome Resin, from the Leicester area, and a band recommended by many of our friends and supporters.


“All the above bands are playing on the Dean Hocking Stage, that’s our main stage named after the bassist of Lincoln-based Nightvision, who was tragically killed in a car accident on 27 December 2012 at the tender age of 23. Dean graced the main stage at SOS Festival more than once and is forever fondly remembered and always missed, both as a talented musician and dear friend.


“As well as the Dean Hocking Stage, we have an acoustic stage which has been renamed from the Metal Nation Radio stage to the Wizz Stage after our dearly beloved friend Wizz Beauprez, who sadly passed just after New Year.


“So there it is: SOS is a three-day, two-stage, rock and metal festival in north Manchester, with an enviable reputation as the friendliest, most welcoming event in the UK.”


  • SOS ‘Big Ten’ takes place at the Longfield Suite, Prestwich, Manchester, from 14 – 16 July. Tickets are available HERE.


SOS Big Ten poster


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