BBC music station launches new Manchester festival

New music champions BBC Radio 6 Music have taken the UK festival scene by storm with this month’s BBC Radio 6 Music Festival, featuring a truly impressive line-up including Jake Bugg, The National and Damon Albarn. All tickets for the brand new two-evening event sold out within hours of issue on Friday 24 January.

Manchester’s 4,250-capacity Victoria Warehouse will host more than 30 artists and DJs across three stages on Friday 28 February and Saturday 1 March 2014, with a free daytime Fringe Festival next door. The venue is close to Salford’s Media City, now home to many 6music radio shows.

Jake Bugg pic by Riot Photo

The line-up of established acts and current and emerging artists championed by the increasingly popular digital station also includes Franz Ferdinand, Midlake, Kelis, Haim, Metronomy, Bombay Bicycle Club, The Staves, James Blake, Wild Beasts and Drenge. The now-obligatory silent disco will present sets from Groove Armada, Tim Burgess, X-Press 2, Peter Hook and 6music expert presenters like Mary Ann Hobbs and Gilles Peterson.
6music will be broadcasting live from across the event, with audio-visual content available online or via the BBC Red Button.
Peter Salmon, Director of BBC North, said: “The North West music scene is vibrant and eclectic, with Manchester and BBC Radio 6 Music at its heart. We are thrilled the network’s inaugural festival with its imaginative programme is based here and shared with the nation.”
From midday to 7pm the Festival Fringe will take place at the Victoria Warehouse Hotel. A spoken-word stage will feature festival artists ‘in conversation’, poets and 6music DJs, and there will be a film screening area curated by Don Letts plus photographic exhibition and independents’ record fair.
BBC Introducing will be presenting new and undiscovered artists from the North, put forward by local BBC Introducing shows.
Jason Carter, BBC Head of Live Music and Events says: “The BBC Radio 6 Music Festival in Manchester – itself a proven hub of musical talent – is going to be a brilliant opportunity for some of these artists to have exposure to potential new fans.”

Mary Ann Hobbs pic by Mike Reger

The radio station had had a long standing association with Summer Sundae – an August outdoor event at Leicester’s De Montfort Hall. Starting in 2001 as a one day event, it had been a three day festival with more than 100 artists, five stages and camping since 2003 and was valued by 6music listeners and locals as a civilised and relaxed family-friendly event with a discerning musical policy.
The festival took 2013 off, and later announced it would not return for 2014. Promoters Concert Clinic issued a statement saying they had sustained cumulative financial losses, and after careful consideration of various options, had concluded a city-centre event of Summer Sundae’s recent scale and quality was unviable in the prevailing economic climate.
The Manchester BBC Radio 6 Music Festival and fringe are ticketed separately, with individual evening tickets now available only through 6music competitions. Fringe passes are available free via ballot and registration opened on Wednesday 29 January. See for details.