Athens Sound City launched as Liverpool festival takes over Georgia
Liverpool Sound City launches sister festival at REM's homeland of Athens Georgia.
Liverpool Sound City is launching a sister event in the US to help Liverpool build on its trade links with the state of Georgia.
The 'multi million-dollar' Athens Sound City will take place in November in the Georgia city that was the birthplace of REM and the B52s.
And Liverpool Vision has revealed that it is also planning to hold a technology conference in Athens in April as part of its efforts to attract investment from Georgia to Liverpool.
Sound City has already held several overseas events, but is now looking to hold more after securing a major investment last year from private equity firm Ingenious.
Next month, the one-day New York Sound City festival will be held in Brooklyn.
But Sound City's chief executive Dave Pichilingi says Athens will be the company's biggest overseas venture yet.
It will include a three-day music and arts festival and a two-day business, new technology and music business conference that will include representatives from Merseyside companies.
Sound City is working in partnership with Hotel Indigo Athens, which will host the conference, and with events company Rialto.
Pichilingi said: "Like Liverpool, Athens has a very strong musical heritage, most famously with REM and the B52s, but also in a more left-field way with bands like Drive-By Truckers. It's also got a massive student population.
"All the key players from the city, the promoters, labels, managers and so on, are absolutely delighted that we're bringing Sound City to Athens.
"There's a strong gaming and new technology community in Georgia, and they're very keen to promote that to the wider US as well as to the UK and Europe. They see Sound City as the ideal model to provide that conduit to the marketplace."
Frederick L Fine, chief executive of Hotel Indigo Athens owner Athens Hospitality Holdings Group, said: "Liverpool Sound City, as the largest and most successful music, art, and business festival in the UK, provides the perfect format and partnership for Athens to build on its reputation as a music and creative capital.
"Additionally we look forward to further establishing Athens' reputation as a centre for business investment and entrepreneurial activity in emerging technologies and markets."
Liverpool Vision has been working to promote Liverpool's links with Georgia. The state's Governor, Nathan Deal, visited Liverpool last year. Kristen Hirst, who represents Liverpool Vision in Georgia, said: "We are also in the process of putting together a technology conference, and that's going to take place in April.
"But there are also a lot of interesting opportunities for reciprocity, bringing people from not just Athens but the whole state of Georgia back to Liverpool and to the International Festival of Business in 2014."
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