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The City is Full of Noises

Our new annual electronic music festival builds on Delia Derbyshire's legacy in Coventry

Two laughing women using a modular synthesizer

Following a successful pilot earlier this year, The City is Full of Noises returns to the Herbert in 2023 with a month-long celebration of electronic music, culminating in a weekend of workshops, networking and concert performances on 25 and 26 March.

First held on Saturday 21 May 2022, The City is Full of Noises was set up to celebrate the legacy of Delia Derbyshire, an early pioneer of electronic music born and brought up in Coventry. Today, Derbyshire is best remembered for her work on the original Doctor Who theme music during her time with the BBC Radiophonic Workshop in the 1960s, but her impact on popular music today is wide-ranging, with her innovations having influenced artists from Paul McCartney to the Chemical Brothers.

In 2023, the extended festival will see a range of activity taking place at the Herbert throughout the month of March, with full details to be confirmed soon. The final weekend will include workshops aimed at beginners and experienced sound-makers alike, and will spotlight both established and emerging synth artists in a series of concert performances.

Visitors will also be able to browse and purchase equipment from a “Makers' Marketplace”. Traders interested in booking a stall at the market can email to enquire.

The City is Full of Noises is a collaboration between the Herbert Art Gallery & Museum, Frequency Central and Coventry University, with contributions from Dr Benoit Granier, Rick Holt, Aaltonen, DivKid, Ben Weatherill, Leon Trimble, Ian Campbell and Rhiannon Bigham.

Festival Programme

Aaltonen performing with synthesisers in the Herbert Art Gallery & Museum's covered courtModular Mondays
12pm - 3pm | 27 Feb and 6, 13 and 20 March

Experience our galleries in a whole new way with weekly pop-up performances from local electronic musicians. Free, drop-in. Find out more. 


A set of abstract sketches laid out on a wooden floor around Gerald Curtis' feetLive Performance: Gerald Curtis
1pm - 2pm | Sun 5 March

Artist Gerald Curtis presents a sound and movement performance exploring his disability and neurodivergent art practices, combining mark-making with organic sound capture. Free, drop-in.


A projector in the foreground, with a scene from a film featuring bright neon lights projected in the background.International Women's Day: Delia Derbyshire Film Screenings
12pm - 3pm | Wed 8 March

Celebrate International Women's Day with a look back at the ground-breaking work of Delia Derbyshire, the Coventry-born electronic music pioneer who inspired our festival. To mark the occasion, we'll be screening Kara Blake's 2009 documentary The Delian Mode and The white noise: an audio feature in stereophonic hell, produced for Delia Derbyshire Day 2019. Drop-in, pay what you wish.

Rick Holt from Frequency Central leading a modular masterclass, with two women trying out modular synths on either side of himModular Masterclass
10am - 12pm and 2pm - 4pm | Sat 25 March

Rick Holt from Frequency Central leads beginner modular synth sessions, offering an opportunity to experiment and learn for would-be modular musicians and those "synth-trested" alike. Email to reserve a spot.



10AM - 3PM | SUN 26 MARCH

Is groove in your heart? Is your beat bulletproof? Are your ambient washes like sweet dreams? If so pack up your gear and come join us and Synthcurious for a full day synth meet. We will have table and spaces dotted around our galleries where you can create your own sound-spheres. Set up is from 10:30am. For more information contact us at


More and upcoming sessions:

COVENTRY UNI WEEK | Mon 20th - Fri 24th Mar | Herbert Art Gallery & Muesum

Echoes of Invention, interactive sound installation, DIY Synthesizer plus more.


CFON X COMMON GROUND SESSIONS | Fri 24 Mar | 9.30pm - 1am | Common Ground, FarGo Village
Live sessions from returning 2022 artists for beats, drinks and dancing.
Email for more information/book.



Bio Feedback | 12.00pm to 1.30pm

John Biddulph, Leon Trimble

Drone Bath | 3.00pm to 5.00pm

Leon Trimble, Dark Carpentry, Finlay Shakespeare, Stone Anthem, DivKid, Gaz Williams, John Biddulph, Synthcurious and many more...

Surround Sound | 7.00pm to 9.00pm

Loula Yorke and Emma Margetson

Afters BMO Quad Club | 10.00pm - 12.00pm


Plus, CFON Synth Meet, 10am - 3pm and Makers Demos throughout the day.


CFON - PAY AS YOU CAN. FREE, £2.50, £5, £10, £15.


Keep up to date and follow @the_city_is_full_of_noises on Instagram.