Black History Month: Sound System Culture and History in Huddersfield

Learn about how Huddersfield became the reggae and sound system capital of northern England!

Join The University of Huddersfield as we celebrate Black History Month and learn about how Huddersfield became the reggae and sound system capital of northern England!


Reggae sound systems are mobile discos on which DJs play popular records on huge speakers, with vocal accompaniment known as “toasting” provided by MCs. These sound systems originated in Jamaica in the 1950s and were brought to towns like Huddersfield in the 1960s, when the first wave of Caribbean immigrants arrived to work in the town’s textile mills. The influence of sound systems on British music, from trip-hop to dubstep, is well documented. However, Huddersfield’s role in this culture has been largely overlooked. That is why sound system operators such as Marshall Harriott are flying the flag for reggae sound system in Huddersfield.

At this event Christopher Dewey, senior lecturer of Music Technology, will lead a conversation with Marshall exploring the characteristics of the reggae sound system and the culture that surrounds this diverse and vibrant art form. You will also have the opportunity to hear the sound system in action and are invited to bring one of your own records along to play on the equipment.

This event is accessible by multiple lifts within The Barbara Hepworth Building. You can locate the lifts as well as clear routes and toilets via our accessible campus map.

Meet Marshall:

Marshall has over 30 years’ experience of sound system culture and is owner and operator of Huddersfield’s Zion Inna Vision Muzik Sound System. Performing nationally and hosting events locally that showcase both established and emerging sound systems, Marshall seeks to celebrate and preserve the town’s rich musical history.

Location: OA4, Oastler Building, University of Huddersfield Queensgate Campus Queensgate Huddersfield HD1 3DH

Date and time

Fri, 21 October 2022, 15:00 – 16:30 BST