In the chaos that was Manchester Punk Festival, I somewhat overlooked a milestone for our little webzine. Earlier in April, Shout Louder had it’s first birthday!
A year ago, I could never have imagined that we’d be where we are now. I thought that maybe 20 of my close friends might consider checking out my blog, so it’s staggering to watch the hit-rate continuing to grow. I welled up when our Punk Rock Holiday review got over 7,500 hits (and counting!). It seems like every day we hit a new milestone.
In the last year, I feel I’ve seen our beautiful music scene grow and thrive even further and I’m proud to be a part of it. Increasingly more people are getting involved in and contributing: starting bands, putting on gigs and simply showing up. I can’t tell you how proud I am of everyone involved and how my life has changed through meeting so many dedicated, intelligent and compassionate people. Personally, I’ve been offered so many opportunities, made so many friends and discovered so much incredible music.
I want to briefly thank everyone who has supported us, particularly to everyone who was so encouraging when I first got started. We also wouldn’t be anywhere without the support we’ve had from TNS Records, Umlaut Records, Lockjaw Records, Charlie’s Big Ray Gun Records and Horn & Hoof Records, plus bands like Nosebleed, Matilda’s Scoundrels and The Burnt Tapes. The biggest thanks goes to the eternally humble Colin Clark of Colin’s Punk Rock World who not only inspired me and encouraged me, but he’s become a good friend. Thank you to everyone who has given us good (and bad!) feedback, everyone who’s read an article, listened to a podcast or introduced themselves at a gig.
The biggest thank you of all goes to our awesome little team of writers: Mark, Ollie and Joelle (and Jake last year). Major thanks also to the wonderful Mark Bell, my podcast partner and designer of all your best t-shirts, who has been endlessly encouraging. You’re all wonderful and I couldn’t do it without you. If anyone else wants to get involved, you just have to ask.
I have some huge things planned this year that I cannot wait to share with you all. Now that I’ve seen what you can do with a little effort and a lot of help from your friends, I’m thinking big.
All the bloody best,
Sarah W x