Grassroots music venues across Manchester will unite for a two-week festival.
If there’s one thing we can do in Manchester, it’s music. From The Hollies and The Bee Gees to The Smiths, New Order, Joy Division and of course Oasis, our fair city has birthed some of the best music the world has ever seen. But they all had to start somewhere.
Once considered the beating heart of new music in the UK, the grassroots music venues that nurtured the now world-famous musicians are under threat, with an estimated 35 per cent being forced to close their doors in the last 10 years, according to Music Venue Trust.
But the trust has a plan to bring some much-needed attention to our vital venues. From November 16-30 the Music Venue Trust will host a two-week festival, Fightback Manchester, celebrating Manchester’s vital grassroots music venues. Organisers of the new campaign hope that it will encourage audiences to visit their local independent venue and help promote Manchester’s emerging and existing musical talent.
Gary Prosser of the Music Venue Trust said:
“These venues are the backbone of the live music scene in Manchester, providing spaces where
artists can take their first steps, develop and grow. Fightback Manchester provides an opportunity to
showcase the fantastic range of artists and venues that Manchester enjoys, celebrating the history
of our music scene and supporting its future.”
Sixteen venues across Manchester have already agreed to participate and will be hosting more than 150 shows, with live music every day throughout the festival. Venues taking part include Night People, Night & Day Café, Band On The Wall, Blitz, The Castle Hotel, Eagle Inn, Gullivers, Soup Kitchen, Gorilla, Deaf Institute, Albert Hall, Jimmy’s, Manchester Academy 3, Academy Club , Old Abbey Taphouse and (The) Factory.
Radio partners Manchester XS are also firmly behind the initiative, Drive Time presenter Clint Boon said:
“Myself and the team at XS Manchester are excited to be part of Fightback Manchester. As a broadcaster and a musician, it’s always sad to see independent venues having to close down in the current climate.
“The work the Music Venues Trust is doing to raise awareness and get people supporting independent venues (and live music in general) is invaluable to the UK’s music culture. Manchester is currently enjoying something of a boom in terms of its new music. Fightback Manchester can only make this the most exciting music city in the world once again.”
A number of venues will also be stocking Fightback Lager, Music Venues Trust’s new project to raise
money to help grassroots venues throughout the country by providing venues with an affordable beer
that benefits the whole sector.
Sacha Lord-Marchionne Manchester’s new Night Advisor has pledged his full support to the project, he said:
“This is an excellent initiative from the Music Venue Trust and really celebrates the spirit of
live, DIY, underground music that Greater Manchester is so famed for. We have phenomenal
music heritage in our City-Region, and we’re rightly proud of it, but these smaller, independent
venues that are taking part in Fightback Manchester Festival are at the very forefront of the future
of Greater Manchester’s music scene, and I’m thrilled that the Music Venue Trust are recognising
that, and putting on such an exciting festival to celebrate independent, live music”
Music Venue Trust is a registered charity, created in January 2014 to protect the UK live music
network by securing the long-term future of iconic grassroots music venues. The trust works to gain recognition of the essential role these venues fulfil, not only for artist development but also for the cultural and music industries, the economy and local communities. It aims to preserve and improve venues, making them more efficient and improving the experience for performers and audiences.
To see the full lineup for Fightback Manchester and to book tickets click here.
Also published on Medium.