Festival-goers were equal parts delighted and surprised when local legends The Piccadilly Rats took to the stage on day two of the festival in Manchester’s Heaton Park earlier this month.
The group, who can usually be found performing rowdy cover versions in the city centre sporting rat face masks and police hats, opened the main stage with a rendition of Buddy Holly’s Heartbeat, in their signature style.
The performance won them legions of new fans, however, it was their old ones who made the appearance possible when they backed a Twitter campaign unintentionally-launched by frontman Gaz Stanley.
The 60-year-old lead singer and guitarist had tweeted organiser Sacha Lord back in February asking for a spot at the festival.
@Sacha_whp Hi Sacha can you get us a 5 minute slot on the main PARKLIFE 2018 stage we don’t want paying Just need a few butties and a bottle of dandelion and burdock for Tommy 😎👍🎸🐀💋❤👌RAT FANS PLEASE RT 👍
— ThePiccadillyRats (@GPiccadillyRats) 2 February 2018
The band received a wave of support by Twitter users and much to everyone’s surprise, especially the band members, Mr Lord agreed to let the group perform.
Yeah mate you never know where it goes we were playing in PICCADILLY last week a week later we were on #PARKLIFE MAIN STAGE mad 😅😂😉😎👍 https://t.co/LYRMjtP7FL
— ThePiccadillyRats (@GPiccadillyRats) 12 June 2018
Following their Parklife success the group has been asked to perform at a number of local gigs, including Turn It Up Festival in September, but if you’d rather see the Rats in their natural habitat, head to Market Street on a Saturday afternoon.
Also published on Medium.