Sounds Like THIS Festival returns to Leeds

By Kath Hartley

Updated Posted

Plaid and Ligeti Quartet amongst the pioneering artists announced for the award-winning new music festival

9-20 March 2020 | Leeds |


The award-winning Sounds Like THIS is set to return to Leeds with a unique programme of ground-breaking music and sound art. Created by Leeds College of Music (LCoM), the festival will take place from 9-20 March 2020 in venues across Leeds and will feature gigs, concerts, workshops and installations from leading artists and emerging talent, who are each in their own way changing the face of music as we know it.


The festival’s headliners represent the breadth of sound and music on show at Sounds Like THIS, from artists who look to the future of music. Inventive electronic duo Plaid will bring their energetic live AV show to Brudenell Social Club on Friday 13 March. They stand alongside the likes of Aphex Twin, Autechre and Nightmares on Wax as mainstays of the Warp label, with a career that spans ten studio albums and collaborations with unique voices such as Björk.

Ligeti Quartet

Pioneers of modern and contemporary music Ligeti Quartet perform at Belgrave Music Hall on Thursday 12 March. They have established a reputation as one of the UK’s leading ensembles and will present an exciting programme of compositions from the past 20 years, from a diverse range of composers. The programme will also feature other performers including early career artists who have answered the festival’s call for artists.

In The Venue at LCoM on 11 March, innovative pianist Xenia Pestova Bennett will perform an interactive, real-time composition based on JS Bach’s Goldberg Variations, Gold.Berg.Werk, by Austrian composer Karlheinz Essl. The performance will be followed by the world premiere of Griet Beyaert’s brand new work, created using Powder Glass Sculptures, voice and creative programming. This piece is the result of a year-long R&D project developing the sounding of her diaphanous glass work and her body.

The festival will also showcase work from the next generation of talent from Leeds College of Music. This will include a brand new opera and the conservatoire’s annual Gala Concert, with a fringe of events alongside the festival. There will be new strand of workshops, seminars and educational events which includes Ligeti Quartet in residence at LCoM for three days around their headline performance.

Dr Paul Abbott, Festival Director said; “We are really proud to announce the fourth annual Sounds Like THIS Festival for 2020 and we look forward to sharing the full line-up of amazing artists very soon. Alongside the incredible headline artists who continue to grow and evolve through their music making we will be presenting fascinating work of quality and ingenuity which has been submitted to our open call.”

In 2018, Sounds Like THIS won a prestigious Drum Experience Award for Best Small Festival, whose panel commended the festival team’s commitment to new and exciting music which is underrepresented in the mainstream. 

First tickets on sale Friday 10am Full line up announced in January 2020. 

For more information, images and press passes please contact us at

By Kath Hartley

If you are looking to learn a new skill while at home, Fender is currently offering a free trial for their online l…
UoH-Logo.png (2) tef small.png QAA logo Conservatoires UK logo Partner_1.png AEC logo Roland logo prs-keychange-logo_red-blue_pantone-c (fine to use).png Luminate_Education_Group_Logo (small).png