Cavern News

The Road To Nashville

Friday, 6 May 2022

The Road To Nashville starts now for the Liverpool International Song Contest 2022.

Two music city powerhouses, Liverpool and Nashville, are coming together to raise awareness for mental health.
The launch of the Liverpool International song Contest 2022 is Monday, May 9th, starting with a live stream launch between Liverpool, hosted at the British Music Experience, and Nashville, anchored at the Musicians Hall of Fame & Museum. and you can tune in live on

This is a global, historic project, bringing Nashville & Liverpool together to
support musicians & songwriters battling the stigma of mental health while promoting diversity and understanding.
The mayors from both of these iconic music cities will come together to combat mental health while also championing the search for the best songwriters from around the globe.

The Road to Nashville – Liverpool International Song Contest 2022 is a seven-month project which highlights original material of global songwriters & musicians with a unique infrastructure to support them with mental health services while submitting their songs throughout the process of the song contest.

With May marking Mental Health Awareness Month, the timing was perfect for igniting this initiative. As a display of the unity between the cities, the Mayor of Liverpool, Joanne Anderson and Cavern director Jon Keats, will be passing to Nashville Mayor John Cooper a priceless artefact from the British Invasion era of music history to truly reveal how the cities will “Come Together.”

Last year, the project took place in The Cavern Club, acquiring over 20,000 submissions from 28 countries. The top prize for the inaugural contest went to James Holt for his song “Make My Day.” You can relive the performance here.

What is Liverpool International Song Contest?

Last year, Liverpool City Council played a role in supporting the International Song for Kindness created by the charity TUFF (The Unity of Faiths Foundation) to support the goals of empowering young people and promoting acceptance, equality and respect for other cultures.

The Liverpool International Song Contest is a vehicle used to tackle discrimination and mental health stigma, providing support for those most in need and developing a bespoke mental health service infrastructure specifically tailored toward those in the creative sector.

Participants in the 2020/21 Liverpool International Song Contest were invited to attend one of 23 workshops across the Liverpool City region, delivered by TUFFs Music division and led by TUFFs co-founders Anna Prior & Dr Shamender Talwar FRSA (renowned social psychologist) and Liverpool based producer Daniel Xander BSc MA (TUFFs Head of Music).

These engaging workshops provided education in music, production and human values. While also providing education on mental health and counselling with mental health practitioners. As well as the thousands who attended the in-person workshops, TUFF also offered an online version of the syllabus for those unable to participate. This online digital format provided people with the same opportunities and one to one counselling, delivered in a way that best suited their needs.

The connection with Liverpool came about because TUFF developed the global #KIND20
campaign as a way to demonstrate and promote social integration, which reached a staggering 6.5 million people worldwide. After conversations with The Cavern Club and other organisations in Liverpool, they came up with the idea of an International Song Contest to celebrate what would have been John Lennon’s 80th birthday.

Kevin McManus, Head of UNESCO City of Music, was involved on behalf of the city and attended the final event at The Cavern in October 2021.