Capsule shortlisted for a Birmingham Awards

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We’re delighted to have been shortlisted for the Birmingham Awards for Arts & Culture Award of the Year. It’s been quite the year for us at Capsule.

Achieving a 5 star review and being named the UK’s best small festival by The Guardian for Supersonic Festival for our 15th edition.


Finally cements the Midlands’ reputation as the home of a global musical phenomenon”  The Observer

As well as successfully conceiving and delivering our mammoth Home of Metal season this summer, which included our blockbuster exhibition ‘Black Sabbath 50 Years‘ which has attracted visitors from all over the world as well as create a strong sense of civic pride for the people of Birmingham. We achieved some pretty impressive press coverage which included: Channel 4 news, ITV news, BBC news, The Guardian, The Observer, The Times, I newspaper, Time Out, NME, Liverpool Echo as well as numerous European publications.

Dedicated fans and curious cultural audiences have travelled from countries as diverse and far as flung as Finland, Uruguay, France, Netherlands, Mexico, Czech Republic, New Zealand, Sweden, Norway, Australia, Russia, Japan, Spain, Myanmar, USA, Malta, Greece and more, truly illustrating just how global the heavy metal phenomenon and influence is.

Visitor map for Home of Metal ‘Black Sabbath 50 Years’

In addition as part of the season we partnered with Eastside Projects to present a new exhibition by Monster Chetwynd, at New Art Gallery Walsall we invited Alan Kane to present 4 Bed Detached Home of Metal, which included works by Jeremy Deller, Una Hamilton Helle, Des Hughes, Jim Lambie, Sarah Lucas, Jessica Mallock, Mike Nelson, Simon Periton, Mark Titchner, Cathy Ward, Charlie Woolley and, of course, Alan Kane. And invited fans to display their metal collections within the gallery.

Ben Venom

At mac we presented the first UK solo show by US artist Ben Venom, All This Mayhem, as well as showing a selection of metal fan portraits in their Battle Jackets, with an exhibition titled Hand of Doom. We partnered with Centrala to create an exhibition which explored the Polish music scene under state control through archival material including letters, cassette tapes and zines, collected by Polish fans.

Our Home of Metal Volunteers

All made possible by an incredible group of volunteers that have worked with us and very generous funders and sponsors Arts Council England, Heritage Lottery Fund, Laney Amplification, Colmore Business District, BIMM. 

In Kind support came from Crystal Head Vodka, Hobgoblin, Music For Nations – Sony, Gibson Guitars, Eagle Rock Entertainment, BMG, Action Graphics, Dunlop

We’re up against all the big guys, so it would be quite something to be recognised for the work we’ve done to put Birmingham on the map culturally.


Supersonic Festival 2019 – named the UK’s best small festival by The Guardian

Supersonic Festival 2019 celebrated our 15th edition, with a sell out event and incredible press reviews which included a 5 star review by The Guardian, naming us the UK’s best small festival.

“By embracing the heaviness in Birmingham’s heritage, and adding a strong dose of eccentricity, Supersonic is world-class.” Read the full article HERE

Neurosis at Birmingham Town Hall photo by Joseph Singh

Here is a taster of some of the other amazing press coverage we received

The Quietus wrote “Supersonic Festival celebrates weirdness. It encourages unbridled creativity. It expands the imagination. It promotes the free and limitless pursuit of expression in order to expand the body, the mind, and the human spirit. It forges unlikely connections between ostensibly different areas, ideas, people and disciplines.”
Read the full article HERE

“Supersonic Festival has grown into one of the world’s most important events for new music. Cherry-picking the finest experimental music from all over the globe, its line-up grows increasingly diverse with each passing year. Now in its 15th year, Supersonic has become known as an event that consistently represents some of the globe’s best and most innovative music.”Louder
Read the full article HERE

“Supersonic has built its deserved reputation for excellence via the steady guiding hand and considerable curatorial nous of Capsule, the team behind it. This year they are in overdrive in celebration of Birmingham as the Home of Metal.” Echoes and Dust
Read the full article HERE

“The chance to see Godflesh and Neurosis play Birmingham’s Town Hall was a rare – possibly a once-in-a-lifetime – treat….This year we get a black sistah punk, a trigger synth party noise machine, Portuguese purveyors of ‘skull cave echo’, supernatural soundscapes and meditative poetry.” Express & Star
Read the full article HERE



Job Opportunity – Home of Metal Exhibition Pop-up Shop Coordinator


Home of Metal – Exhibition Pop-up Shop Coordinator  (Freelance Role)
2 x Freelance Roles / 3 – 4 days per week (June – September)
Fee: £90 per day
Employer: Capsule
Location of post: Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery
Closing date: 5pm, Friday 31 May, 2019
Interview date: Friday 7 June, 2019
Start date: week commencing 24 June, 2019

The role:

We are currently recruiting staff to maintain and manage the Home of Metal Exhibition Pop-up Shop – enhancing visitor experience and providing a high level of customer service.

Background and context:

Black Sabbath – 50 Years is a major exhibition exploring the legacy of Black Sabbath and their global fan base. A blockbuster exhibition devoted to the music that was born in and around Birmingham. Music that turned up the volume, down-tuned the guitars, and introduced a whole new meaning to the word ‘heavy’. The exhibition celebrates Black Sabbath from the perspective of their fans, to show the impact and cultural legacy of the band as pioneers of Heavy Metal, and to celebrate this unique, significant part of British music heritage. For further information about Home of Metal please visit:

Application process: 

Detailed information about this role can be found Home of Metal Exhibition Pop-up Shop Coordinator

To apply please send an up to date CV and accompanying letter (of no more than 2 sides of A4) outlining your relevant experience and why you are interested in this role to Beth at by 5pm, Friday 31 May 2019.

Interviews will be taking place on Friday 7 June and we will notify candidates that we wish to interview by 5pm Wednesday 5 June. If you haven’t heard from us by then please assume your application has been unsuccessful on this occasion.

Due to the high volume of applications we cannot provide feedback on unsuccessful applications.


Come and join our team!

Come and join the Capsule Team, we are recruiting for a new Capsule Assistant…

Role: Capsule Assistant (Freelance Position)
Deadline for application: 5pm, Friday 1 March
Interview date:
Monday 11 March
Start date:
Tuesday 2 April
up to £5610 / 66 days @ £85 per day
Duration: April – August 2019 (with possible extension)
3 days per week
Frequency of days per month: April (12), May (12), June (12), July (16), August (8), plus 6 x flexible extra days used as and when in agreement with the Executive Producer. It is essential that the successful candidate is available to work Supersonic Festival weekend 19-21 July, including days either side of this.

The role:
The Capsule Assistant role is designed to support the organisation, working across Supersonic Festival and our live events programme.

For Supersonic Festival you will support marketing and assist with festival logistics. During the weekend itself this role will lead the festival’s ‘Market Place’ with market traders, a small stage and workshop areas supported by a team of volunteers and any offsite projects. This role will also be responsible for capturing live audience feedback and contributing to the various social media platforms.

You will work on all aspects of the year-round, live programme – supporting the promotion, research, marketing, venue and artist liaison.

This role is based at the Capsule office at the Custard Factory in Birmingham and not suitable for remote working.

We are a small but ambitious organisation. This role would be ideal for an emerging / early-career, freelance arts professional, keen to harness their knowledge and enthusiasm and develop their skills in both the promotion and production of live events within a highly creative and dynamic organisation.

Essential experience & skills overview (more in-depth information about this role can be found in the person specification):  

  • Knowledge and interest in experimental music / arts, digital and live events.
  • Worked within the arts, music, cultural or heritage sectors.
  • Excellent communication skills, both written and oral.
  • Good organisational skills, able to prioritise and problem solve.
  • General IT skills.
  • A good knowledge of Photoshop.
  • A good knowledge and experience of using social media platforms.
  • Be resourceful, level headed and be able to work well under pressure.

Personal Profile:

We are looking to appoint a warm and welcoming team player who likes working with people in an engaging way, who is assertive when dealing with challenging situations and is flexible, pragmatic and resourceful in coordinating and delivering projects. She/he needs to be able to hit the ground running, be self-motivated and prepared to work flexibly and sometimes unsociable hours during project delivery. We are looking for someone with a positive and confident attitude who is passionate about creating art events that reach out to a range of audiences.

Application pack:

Job role
Person Specification
Equal Opportunities Form

Application process:

To apply for this opportunity please email your equal opportunities form, CV, a letter of application outlining how you feel you would fulfil this role to (maximum of 2 sides of A4)  to with ‘Capsule Assistant’ In the title

The deadline for applications is 5pm Friday 1 March, interviews will be taking place on Monday 11 March and we will notify candidates that we wish to interview by 5pm Wednesday 6 March. If you haven’t heard from us by then please assume your application has been unsuccessful on this occasion.  Due to the high volume of applications we cannot provide feedback on unsuccessful applications.



Job Opportunity – Home of Metal Project Co-ordinator

Never Say Die exhibition – Los Angeles 2018


Home of Metal – Project Coordinator (Freelance Role)
90 days between February – October 2019 based on 2-3 days per week with possible extension
Fee: £110 per day
Location of post: Custard Factory Birmingham
Closing date: 
5pm Friday 25 January 2019
Interview date: 
Friday 1 February 2019


Capsule are looking for a highly organised, motivated, freelance coordinator to deliver our highly ambitious Home of Metal programme of work in Birmingham during 2019. Essential experience will include arts and cultural events, heritage, marketing and project management, audience development and community engagement.

The successful candidate must be able to multitask, coordinate and manage a variety of projects throughout the programme. They should have strong knowledge and experience of administrative systems, delivering complex programmes and an excellent working knowledge of online marketing tools and digital media in order to cover the breadth of activity which will include the co-ordinating of recruitment and training of volunteers alongside delivering new contemporary art commissions with major institutions.

Background and context:
“Heavy Metal was born in the West Midlands and has developed a global following matched only by hip-hop. It’s time to stop sneering and celebrate this proud cultural heritage.” New Statesman


Home of Metal is a Capsule project and a celebration of the music that was born in Birmingham. Music that turned up the volume, down-tuned the guitars, and introduced a whole new meaning to the word ‘heavy’. Home of Metal’s exhibitions and events join the dots between music, social history, visual art and fan cultures to produce a new perspective on Heavy Metal; one that is celebratory, eschews notions of high/low art and joins audiences and performers together.

Home of Metal will deliver a programme of activity during summer 2019 including a major exhibition at Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery and exhibitions at The New Art Gallery Walsall, MAC, Centrala and Eastside Projects. Home of Metal is supported by Arts Council England, Heritage Lottery Fund, Birmingham City University and a range of project partners and supporters.

For further information about the role please download Home of Metal Co-ordinator Job Description + Equal Opportunities Monitoring Form
For more information about the project see


If you are interested in applying for this opportunity please email your cv, a letter of application outlining your interest and how you feel you would fulfil this role (no more than 2 sides of A4)  + the Equal opportunities form to
Closing date: 5pm Friday 25 January 2019
Interview date: Friday 1 February 2019


Supersonic Festival 5 star reviews

Dennis Mcnett procession – photo by Snack Rock and Pop Photography

Supersonic Festival 2018 took place on the 22-24 June across Digbeth, Birmingham. With rave reviews in both the press and from audiences alike.

The Arts Desk – 5 star review-

“Supersonic Festival 2018 – Birmingham waves the flag for New Weird Britain Another vintage year for Digbeth’s annual showcase of the sonically strange…as audience members from around the UK, America, Japan and other far-flung parts of the globe got together to celebrate the weird and the wonderful.”


The Guardian – 4 star review-

“Supersonic is a festival of cross-genre pollination, but also one that questions what genre is.”


The Skinny Magazine – 5 star review-

“Supersonic, you knocked it out the park once again. It’s so important to have this annual citybreak of adventurous sounds from yesterday and tomorrow. And we already can’t wait to return in 2019.’


Clash Magazine-

“there’s an undeniable sense that Supersonic is incomparable to any other UK music festival.”


The Quietus-

“Supersonic are not so much who I’m writing this piece for as a reason I’m writing it. That is to say: the festival’s approach to choosing lineups is a prototype of how I prefer to envisage music’s underground. A space of interactivity rather than cramped, glowering sects, where sufficient imagination can cook up a conceptual link between any two given acts. In 2018, music fans are way less rigid in their tastes than they used to be. The reasons for this are complex, although not so complex that I can’t say ‘mainly because of the internet’, but on a micro level, many identifiable entities have helped to get listeners to swerve across multiple lanes. Supersonic is, I feel, one of them.”


Flush The Fashion-

“Since its inaugural event in 2003, Supersonic has grown to be one of Europe’s standout alternative festivals. Centred around The Custard Factory and the industrial warehouses of Digbeth in Birmingham, Supersonic has constantly evolved to fulfil its mission statement of providing experimental music for curious audiences….That’s why there is no festival like Supersonic and that’s why it has built a loyal following over the last 15 years – long may it continue.”


Fighting Boredom-

“Fighting Boredom’s favourite festival is here again. Set in the Custard Factory in Birmingham, Supersonic festival is where we come to hear old favourites, discover new inspiration and immerse ourselves in the best place ‘for curious audiences’.”


Pop Matters-

“In 2018, Supersonic returned with an impressive line-up, one of the strongest in its history. From extravagant producer Yves Tumor, score master Mark Korven, instrument aficionados Mario Batkovic and Andrea Belfi, to legendary folk singer Shirley Collins, psychedelic gurus Dwarfs of East Agouza, punk legends the Ex, and black metal masters Wolves in the Throne Room, Supersonic extended its grasp.”


Echoes and Dust-

“Supersonic is an absolute champion among festivals, a unique and precious thing, a banquet for the musically curious.”


What’s on Brum- 5 star review –

“Supersonic promotes the most challenging and experimental music. Whether it’s brutalising electronica, hard EDM, noise, doom psyche or bombastic black metal, it’s here. If there’s anything more extreme, no doubt it would eventually end up at Supersonic. This is a festival not afraid to take chances.”


Supersonic produced tour for Outlands

Supersonic Festival produced a UK tour for the Outlands consortium for new music. Bringing together three improvisational luminaries; multi-instrumentalist YoshimiO (Boredoms, OOIOO, SAICOBAB), avant-garde percussionist Susie Ibarra, and artist Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe (Lichens) to perform together as Yunohana Variations for the first time in the UK.

YoshimiO is a drummer and member of the revolutionary group Boredoms. She is the leader of the experimental band OOIOO, a member of Free Kitten with Kim Gordon (ex. Sonic Youth), and most recently the vocalist in SAICOBAB.

Susie Ibarra, is one of the most significant percussionists and composers of our time, known for her work as a performer within contemporary, avant-garde, jazz, classical, and world music, and performs in the band Dreamtime Ensemble. Ibarra studied with jazz luminaries Earl Buster Smith (of Sun Ra Arkestra), Vernel Fournier and Milford Graves, and Philippine Kulintang gong-chime music with Danongan Kalanduyan. She has performed with the likes of: John Zorn, Dave Douglas, Yo La Tengo, Ikue Mori and recent works include a sound installation for Ai Weiwei.

Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe is a multidisciplinary artist whose practice is strongly rooted in exploration of moments and the hypnagogic state. Movement and gesture play key factors within this process, and in the performance realm are focused on by voice and modular synthesizer. A fixture of Chicago’s experimental community throughout the 90s and early 2000s, Robert has also performed under the name Lichens, is a member of the legendary band Om, and has an impressive portfolio of collaborations, which extends to the film world with his score for pseudo-documentary A Spell To Ward Off The Darkness, directed by Ben Russell and Ben Rivers (which Robert also appears in).

Fri – Sun 22- 24 June Supersonic Festival Birmingham
Tues 26 June London, Oslo Hackney,
Wed 27 June Bexhill, De la Warr Pavilion
Thu 28 June  Cambridge, Cambridge Junction
Fri 29 June Milton Keynes, MK Gallery
Sat 30 June Bristol, Arnolfini, promoted by Qu Junktions  
Sun 1 July Manchester, Soup Kitchen, promoted by Fat Out
Mon 2 July Bradford, Fuse Art Space
Weds 4 July Plymouth, KARST



OUTLANDS first tour announced – Matana Roberts & Kelly Jayne Jones

An exciting new live collaboration between internationally renowned US composer, Matana Roberts and British sound artist/improviser Kelly Jayne Jones. The first in a series of special commissions produced by OUTLANDS ; a new national experimental music touring network. Supersonic Festival will present the Birmingham performance on Friday 18 May at Centrala – tickets are available HERE

“Projects like these act as the first line of resistance against a potentially myopic, monoculture and should be supported.” Drowned in Sound

A very special series of sonic episodes bringing together US mixed-media composer/ saxophonist Matana Roberts & UK improviser and flautist Kelly Jayne Jones : two artists from disparate backgrounds, finding affinity in practices charged by fiercely personal philosophies on sound and its potential within a patchwork of genre, texture and meaning. Roberts and Jones will weave their own approaches into live collaborative works informed by deeply expressive playing, tactile electro-acoustic interplay and a broader shared politics of resistance/defiance.

Photo by Paula Court

Matana Roberts is an internationally renowned composer, band leader, saxophonist, sound experimentalist and mixed-media practitioner. Roberts works in many contexts and mediums, including improvisation, dance, poetry, and theatre, and has released a diverse body of solo and ensemble work under her own name on Constellation Records and Central Control over the past decade.

Kelly Jayne Jones

Kelly Jayne Jones makes use of varying combinations of prepared recordings, text, rocks, found sounds and flute. Her work beckons a tussle with uncertainty, inviting exposure and vulnerability in performance, chasing experiences that open our chasms within, without restraint. Searching for humble principles of growth; physis; sound, connecting with others in the same space/moment, customary experimental play, with threads and beads of improvisation and interactivity. KJJ has had residencies at Arnolfini in Bristol UK and Kunstalle Bergen, Norway, and has produced commissioned works for Haris Epaminonda at dOCUMENTA13, Tate Modern, ICA London, Schirn Frankfurt, Point Centre Nicosia.