Harnessing Northern Soul
Last week was a pivotal moment for the events industry and a triumph for the North in general as the BBC announced they would be bringing their first ever BBC 6 Music festival to Manchester. The tickets for this much sought after event sold out after an incredible 7mins, breaking even The Prodigy's record when they performed at Victoria Warehouse last year and crashed the booking site 30mins after general release.
It’s a bold move by BBC6 to move away from the South and proves Manchester is rapidly becoming a hot spot for creative entrepreneurs wishing to keep audiences on their toes and enthused by spontaneous moves. The anticipation already circulating around the festival confirms it was a calculated risk that will pay off dividends.
Manchester is a city full of untapped potential with many restoration possibilities waiting to be turned into unforgettable event spaces. Old warehouses, churches, storage houses and other unusual locations offer distinctive opportunities for highly desirable music, arts and cultural venues. Magnetised by a can-do grassroots attitude and the North’s eclectic approach to music and culture it’s no wonder promoters, artists and organisers are flocking here and interesting, imaginatively designed spaces are springing up left, right and centre.
VW attracted the attention of BBC bosses last year when they were hunting for a location to rival London’s top sites minus the predictable trappings, costs and congestion. They wanted an event space with character, contemporised but still speaking volumes about its cultural legacy and regional heritage. We were a match made in heaven.
The BBC 6 event will include a two day festival and fringe event divided between the main event space and the neighbouring hotel. The programme includes live music from the likes of Damon Albarn, KELIS, Franz Ferdinand, James Blake, Metronomy and The Horrors. This ticketed part of the festival will be held in the warehouse arena in a traditional gig format and broadcast live across the world.
In addition a fringe festival occurs across the neighbouring hotel where comedy, theatre, a record fair with tops DJ’s spinning vinyl in pop up booths, live band karaoke and acoustic sets will take place. This section is unticketed and guests will be selected via an application process and random lottery selection. We anticipate it’ll be the first of such trend setting events to enrich the already abundant reserves of Manchester’s cultural capital.