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Rat Boy, Alessia Cara, Yak and more: DIY’s Class of 2016 revealed!

Rat Boy, Alessia Cara, Yak and more: DIY’s Class of 2016 revealed!

It’s that time of the year again. The point where everyone goes gaga for some of the best new acts around, all ready to put their stamp on the next twelve months.

Last year, DIY were tipping Years & Years, Hinds (FKA Deers), Tobias Jesso Jr and Jack Garratt for greatness as part of our Class of 2015. You can’t predict everything (like #piggate, for instance), but we’re giving it a go. This time round, we’ve put together a bright, mostly bonkers bunch of acts – all bands we’re not going to shut up about.

The Class of 2016 is led by Rat Boy, a peerless Essex troubadour who does everything on his terms. From graffiti’ed artwork to game-changing singles, he’s thrown himself into the spotlight. We get to know Jordan Cardy as he readies himself for 2016 domination.

Fourteen acts make up this year’s Class Of. There’s the party-starting fever of Formation, superstar-in-waiting Alessia Cara, future pop experimentalist The Japanese House. Yak are one of the best live bands in the country, and they’re backed by Neu Tour buddies Inheaven, The Big Moon and VANT.

Partybaby have just two tracks to their name, but the Californians have an incredible story, its starting point being unsuccessful writing sessions for Christina Aguilera. Creeper are also bringing the noise, while Brighton’s Black Honey and The Magic Gang are bringing a devilish game to the table. We get colourful with Oscar, and Nao steps out of the fog as one of 2016’s surefire stars.

Get to know 2016’s most exciting new acts in our new jam-packed issue – its out this Friday (4th December), with an increased print run to widen distribution.

Appnexus integrates with Sonic Private Marketplace

Appnexus integrates with Sonic Private Marketplace

Sonic Private Marketplace expands its preferential programmatic access to a 5 million lifestyle audience with the integration of Appnexus and nine new Trading Desks taking the total to 23.

Sonic is a music and lifestyle marketing and media group which reaches over 5m 16-34 year olds through its range of owned and network partner sites. Alongside bespoke display campaigns Sonic have opened up premium access to its audience via this Private Marketplace, using the Adtech marketplace SSP on the following deal

Deal Type

• Open – bid response from the buyer is still eligible to participate in the general auction if no deal ID is returned.
• Private – bid response from the buyer is not eligible to participate in the general auction if no deal is returned.

Trading Desks we are integrated with include: Adform,, Appnexus, Audience Science, Bid Theatre, Brandscreen, Casale Media, Chango, Conversant, Convert Media, Delta Projects, Doubleclick Bid Manager, Ignition One, IPONWeb, Liquid M, MdotM, Mediamath, Quantcast, Radium One, Rocketfuel, Sitescout, The Trade Desk,Turn.

Campaigns are being accepted on a fixed price Deal ID basis as well as opening up discussions for longer term volume contracts.

Sonic Promoter Partnerships

Sonic Promoter Partnerships

Promoting live music is increasingly complex as the traditional music media landscape fragments and promoter turn towards rich content partnerships. DIY presents is a key touchpoint through the live stage, whether it be a local pub up to a major festival stage. DIY’s live presence is supported by the Magazine distribution at all the key touring music cities across the UK
Some of 2015 Promoter campaigns across the country include:
Regional co promotion local promoter – Now Wave, One Inch Badge
Regional Tour national promoter – SJM/ 13 artists, Oscar Breaking Tour
Curated promoter/DIY events – Roundhouse Rising,
Curated Label/DIY events – Wichita Label Birthday, Marina and the Diamonds Album Launch,
Festival media partnerships – Festival No6, Forgotten Fields
Festival integrated Partnerships (including stage) – Latitude, TGE, Live at Leeds, Sound City, Citadel, Field Day, Kendall Calling, Underground, Communities, Mirrors, Beacons, Liverpool Music Week
Brand Tours – Dr. Martens Stand for Something Tour

The UK’s largest dedicated music network

The UK’s largest dedicated music network

In 2015 Sonic added 6 new sites to confirm its position as the leading music lifestyle network of independent music sites in the UK taking our online reach to 7m and social media to over 2 million music fans. Sonic now provides rich media creative services to maximise the use of existing assets with video billboard, double MPU fold outs, Full screen video digital often as part of the media buy.

Brands adopt Native approach

Brands adopt Native approach

Many of the brands that use Sonic sites to reach our 7m tastemaker 18-34 audience are building on digital campaigns, turning to “Native” approaches of co-curated content pushed to our every growing social media audience.
As DIY’s social media reach breaks through 250,000, so brands like Cubanisto use native and social to support their House of Mask event. DIY editorial staff attended the event and published live to social media and curated pre, during and post supporting content.

Dr.Martens Stand for Something Tour 2015

Dr.Martens Stand for Something Tour 2015

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In three years the tour has grown to 12 Cities, 27 artists, and 6000 miles covered in the delivery of 2015’s Dr. Martens Stand for Something Tour in UK and Europe. As the retail business expands, so new audiences come to enjoy the brand’s music activations – a core part of the international #standforsomething marketing strategy. A global strategy with a local execution.

Whether is a fully equipped tour bus or a crammed splitter van, Sonic provides a full project management service covering Artists, Venues, Ticketing, Performance, logistics, content curation, media amplification and reporting.

Antwerp to Stockholm to Paris, and Glasgow to Norwich to Belfast, Sonic’s team deliver a seamless package of interrelated skills and expertise to bring it all together, liaising with local management, and store staff, working alongside Head Office marketing teams, and their external advisers as necessary, to deliver the highest level of music activation, regardless of geography.

Follow the Tour here

DIY Festival Guide to publish for a second year in 2016

DIY Festival Guide to publish for a second year in 2016

Due to unprecedented demand, DIY will launch a second edition of their Festival Guide at The Great Escape in April 2016.

Published in the UK, DIY is the largest free magazine dedicated to music; our commitment to publishing a standalone 84 page DIY festivals magazine shows our recognition that music festivals are an ever increasing and important way for the live music industry to help artists engage with their existing (and new) fans around the world.

Launched to coincide with The Great Escape, where a copy is placed in every delegate bag, this is an ideal way for festival organisers to help fans plan their festival season by revealing key acts from their line-ups. DIY will also set the agenda for the artists that fans should be looking out for on the 2016 festival circuit and where they will be playing.

This is also a chance for both artists and fans to become familiar with where DIY is hosting stages (as part of an ongoing festival partnership programme) and where to catch the artists who will be the headliners of the future. As with everything we do, the DIY editorial team will approach this from the artist’s perspective and we’ll be asking bands to reveal their experiences from past festival seasons, reflect on this season and comment on the festivals themselves. This will be supported by a directory of recommended 2016 festivals.

A few of our many DIY Festival Guide 2015 advertisers include Bilbao BBK, Field Day, Flow, Latitude, Open’er, Roskilde and Sziget.

40,000 physical copies will be printed and it will also be published via the DIY app and online, with heavy promotion across DIY’s social channels and website to its 1.3m monthly audience; the publication is open to advertising and sponsorship – either of specific sections or the entire Festival Guide.

DIY Festival Guide 2016: Copy – 18/04/16 // Street – 29/04/16

Please email to reserve your space, or call us on 020 3256 3456.

Do you know who the hottest acts are for 2016? All tastemaker brands should be in the know

Do you know who the hottest acts are for 2016? All tastemaker brands should be in the know

On December 4th, DIY will unveil their ‘Class Of 2016’ in a special Dec/Jan print edition and online. Every year, the DIY ‘Class Of’ is a renowned agenda-setter; pointing the way towards the stars of the next twelve months, it is a guide to the artists you’ll be seeing consistently in DIY (and beyond) as their careers progress.

Previous DIY ‘Class Of’ Artists include:

Years & Years (2015) / Jack Garratt (2015) / Hinds (2015) / Gengahr (2015) / George Ezra (2014) / Royal Blood (2014) / Wolf Alice (2014) / Sam Smith (2014) / Chvrches (2013) / Bastille (2013)

DIY is an integral part of the music discovery process for a new generation of artists and fans; for over thirteen years we have discovered and kickstarted the careers of countless new acts, and helped artists at every level connect with their socially engaged fanbases through vibrant platforms and an infectious energy.

DIY’s social media following has broken through 250,000 (105k on Twitter / 135k on Facebook / 19k on Instagram) and grows daily. Our followers latch on to a clear voice both genuine and independent, focused on putting the artist/fan relationship at the forefront of everything. In turn, artists have invited DIY into their lives as friends, with exclusive backstage chats and behind-the-scenes access readers can’t get anywhere else.

DIY is the ideal environment to be associated with new artists and be part of the music discovery process, and is now the UK’s largest cross-platform dedicated free music magazine.

Brands, artists, labels, managers, promoters and a whole generation of excited music fans are dedicated to DIY. It is the go-to destination for a generation of fans, musicians and industry professionals who are excited about the future of music.

DIY hosts world exclusive Paul McCartney interview

DIY hosts world exclusive Paul McCartney interview


DIY follows bands from their very first gig to their most recent sold-out tour – with unique access to some of the world’s biggest and best acts, we have fast become an integral part of the music discovery process for a new generation of artists and fans.

Paul McCartney asked DIY to sit in on a world exclusive interview, in which he discussed his ‘80s LP ‘Pipes of Peace’ in conversation with Manic Street Preachers’ frontman James Dean Bradfield. After teasing his followers on social media yesterday, the Paul McCartney interview with DIY has gone live online this morning.

Paul McCartney is re-issuing ‘Pipes of Peace’ as part of his archive series, along with its unofficial companion album; the comparatively fraught and violent ‘Tug of War’. Having disbanded his first post-Beatles band Wings to focus on his solo work, John Lennon was murdered half way through the album sessions for both ‘Pipes for Peace’ and ‘Tug of War’. These two records came at a pivotal time in McCartney’s life.

For James Dean Bradfield, who bought ‘Pipes of Peace’ aged 14, asking the former Beatles member about it was the dream pairing. Seated in the same London room where McCartney and Michael Jackson wrote their number one single ‘Say Say Say,’ together for the album, the two musicians discussed the lyrical vulnerability of ‘Pipes of Peace,’ and McCartney’s experience trying to forge ahead with a solo career in the aftermath of The Beatles. You can read our full Paul McCartney feature exclusively on

Sonic update: July 2015

Sonic update: July 2015


Skullcandy and DIY host #STAYLOUD gig on site of Hammersmith Palais

DIY teamed up with headphone manufacturer Skullcandy to promote a #STAYLOUD gig with Peace at the site of the iconic Hammersmith Palais. The #STAYLOUD series takes once iconic and legendary European music venues which now serve another purpose – and brings them back to life for one more night. DIY was media partner for the event and Sonic Media Group were used to amplify the content across our digital network of partner sites.


Last month, Peace hitched up to previously abandoned musical space ­London’s Hammersmith Palais ­and revive the place for a special, one-­off gig; this was the first in a series of re­igniting occasions put out on Skullcandy for their #STAYLOUD initiative and you can now watch footage of Peace’s unique show. Shot by film directors Mathy and Fran, the film sees DIY’s Birmingham favourites doing what they always do – ­causing a sweat­-lined frenzy ­in a completely different kind of space.



There were four stages to the campaign; first, a competition run on and on social media to win tickets to the intimate and unusual gig, secondly a report from the live event with a professional photogallery and, third, a retrospective account of the campaign, sharing the Skullcandy film. The final stage was the Sonic Cascade format (above) that starts as a masthead and rolls down the page to reveal the full event poster and Skullcandy film, which is running across DIY and selected Sonic partner sites.

DIY Vital Statistics

1.3m monthly audience reach across:

Social media – 250,000

(Twitter followers break through 100,000 in June 2015)

Online – 800,000

Print – 110,000 readership

Apple Music launches in style with DIY takeover

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After all the build-up, controversy and #Swiftgate, Apple Music is finally out – and DIY are promoting the new streaming service with a high-impact Homepage Takeover. Apple’s new service, pitted as the first serious rival to Spotify, is available on iOS devices; the three-month free trial option can be activated from this point onwards, with Android users will be able to gain access from this Autumn.
Apple’s ’24/7 radio station’ Beats 1 launched yesterday, with former BBC Radio 1 DJ Zane Lowe kicking things off with his first show, live from Los Angeles. Both Apple Music and Beats 1 are available via the iOS 8.4 update.


Converse partner with Sonic to promote new Rubber Tracks programme

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Converse launched their new Rubber Tracks programme with Sonic, running high-impact formats on desktop, mobile and tablet across flagship Sonic partner sites including The 405, DIY, FACT, GRM Daily and Rock Sound.

Converse Rubber Tracks was born out of the brand’s desire to give back to the music community and provide opportunities for artists who might not be able to afford studio time. Offering the chance to record for free at studios across the globe over a two week period, Converse are giving musicians the opportunity to record original music at 12 landmark studios, including London’s Abbey Road Studios.


Kopparberg get a taste of the new Sonic Network site, The 405

Swedish fruit cider brand Kopparberg have selected Sonic’s new tastemaker site The 405 to promote their Strawberry & Lime cider, along with DIY. The 405 are an award winning digital publication that also covers the worlds of film, games, art and fashion; they have an army of writers who deliver breaking news, previews, reviews, regular features and columns as well as original video content every day. They have an experienced and talented editorial team who ensure that their lovingly crafted content is not only informed but intelligent and highly influential.

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Their fresh and innovative approach is not only a voice to be reckoned with but the perfect stage for brands to get their message heard by the highly sought-after demographic with which they interact on a daily basis.


TGE2015: Spindle x Firetrap party

The Great Escape is Britain’s biggest city-wide festival and features a long list of the most exciting new talent in music. Spindle have been hosting their own party within TGE for years, but for 2015 they teamed up with Firetrap and really went all out!

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Spindle’s Alternative Escape stage saw over a dozen emerging and established talents play their hearts out deep in the belly of Brighton’s most famous pier. With the partnership of Firetrap and sponsorship by Pistonhead Lagar the party showcased an eclectic blend of genres and sounds from the UK and beyond.

One of those who traveled furthest included NY based group Sunflower Bean, who fused thundering psychedelics with sun-beaten garage-rock and nearly shattered the supports of the pier. Essex-based Longy appeared in Brighton just a week prior to taking to the stage at London’s mammoth venue The Forum. By the time Is Tropical had danced the crowd into a wild frenzied state it was down to Dry the Riverto close the show. Feet were tired and necks craned as the amazingly versatile East-London group closed the curtains on a 12 hour marathon of dancing and split pints.

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You can watch the video evidence here.


Live music and science event sponsorship opportunity with Louder Than War

In 2013 John Robb, former Membranes frontman and Louder Than War editor announced a new live show featuring new songs from The Membranes set to a film about the origins and workings of the universe. The idea came about when Robb met and became friends with the head of the Higgs Boson project and, fascinated by the new goings on in that field of scientific research, decided it would be the perfect material for a gig.

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Along with Manchester artist Michael Trainor and with Steve Hanley, former bassist for The Fall, joining The Membranes for the night, Robb conducted science and art experiments, aiming to “both explain the complex ideas about the origins of the universe, turn the audience into sub-atomic particles and accelerate them through brilliant music, film and conversation”. The gig was a sold out success.

The idea for next year would be to expand this gig with more bands and more scientists, and in a bigger venue like Blackpool Winter Gardens or the Roundhouse in London with a music technology brand as a sponsor.

Huge surge in traffic for Rock Sound on Download Festival weekend

Rock Sound’s traffic more than quadrupled during Download Festival weekend following their live coverage.

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Sonic sites have been partnering with brands and festivals across the summer which are now an integral part of today’s lifestyle; Sonic can open this audience up to you through content sponsorship to live activations on-site.

Sonic Private Marketplace goes live with preferential programmatic access for Sonos

Sonic reaches over 5m 16-34 year olds through a range of owned and partner sites. Alongside our bespoke display campaigns, we have opened up premium access to our audience via our Private Marketplace – and are delighted to add Amnet as a trading partner.

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We have made available an initial allocation of 15 million impressions across our main music and lifestyle sites, including the UK’s largest free music magazine DIY and sites like Any Decent Music, Click Music, Cultbox, DIY, Hit the Floor, Louder Than War, Music OMH, Rock Sound, Spindle, Supajam and This Day In Music, giving access to our international audience.

Sonicʼs international breakdown: 45% UK // 20% US // 20% Mainland Europe // 5% Far East // 10% ROW

Alongside direct display bookings we are working with our adserver ADTECH to offer this inventory through a Private Marketplace; the Sonic PMP can be accessed by the MARKETPLACE team at AOL platforms and we can offer a range of deal parameters (please contact us for more information). Campaigns have been accepted on a fixed price Deal ID basis, in addition to opening up discussions for longer term/volume contracts.


Campaign services offered by Sonic include:

Bespoke curated events

Social media monitoring

Multi-platform curated content

Social media integration and tracking

Sponsorship and integration within DIY tours

Programmatic buying through the Sonic Private Marketplace

Amplification of creative assets across the 7m Sonic digital network

For information about advertising opportunities on the Sonic Private Marketplace and our partner websites, please contact: // 

+44 (0)20 3632 3456 // //