Manchester Life

From Piccadilly to Parklife: How Manchester’s Best-known Buskers Became Festival Headliners

By Laura O'Neill

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.

taken by llavines
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.

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.


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.