The people behind Manchester label and esteemed party makers, Animal Crossing, have been teasing us with their latest venture for the past week. But today they’ve revealed the lineup for their new festival Summer of Love – and what a weekend it’s set to be.
Known for putting on parties in the most obscure places, the Animal Crossing team are quite the creative bunch when choosing their location. They’ve hosted in lofts, rooftops, railways arches and even a disused car showroom. So, don’t expect Summer of Love to be any different.
This time around, they’ll make use of an abandoned warehouse in a secret location within the centre of Manchester. They’re remaining tight-lipped on its whereabouts. But what we do know is that Manchester’s newest festival is set to deliver the best talent in underground music in real Animal Crossing style.
On 21-22 August, a full 12 hours programme of music, arts and mindfulness will run from 11am until 11pm with stages hosted by a wide variety of people, with plenty of minimal house and techno on the agenda, and a particular focus on that Romanian style of deep groove.
The likes of Romanian pair Raresh and Praslea – a.k.a. Praslesh – are confirmed to play, alongside Apollonia’s Dyed Soundorom across the weekend. Plus, there’ll be a world exclusive b2b from Traumer and fellow Apollonia member Shonky to complete the headliners bill.
Saturday will see a takeover from Wales’ Gottwood Festival who will look after proceedings at the ‘Love Factory’ stage by welcoming fellow Romanian DJs SIT, Priku, Sepp and Nu Zau to the occasion, whilst Turkish selector Onur Ozer will headline ‘The Second Stage’.
On the Sunday, the ARPIAR trio of Raresh, Petre Insperecsi and Rhadoo will welcome a fourth member, Dreamrec, who will provide some unreal visuals to accompany the set, to create the ultimate 360-degree experience.
Manchester’s own Josh Baker and French selector Charlotte will set the pace at ‘The Second Stage’ on Sunday.
If you have the stamina, after parties will be running at The Loft until 5am too.
But it’s not just music.
As passionate mental health advocates, Animal Crossing spent much of their time in lockdown raising money for Mind Manchester with a fundraising livestream. Now, a dedicated wellness area will be constructed at the festival, hosted by Mind Manchester themselves and complete with yoga classes from Blok.
Some of Manchester’s best independent food vendors will also be on hand to line your stomachs. A selection of hand-picked pop-ups curated by Eat MCR will give you the chance to grab a giant pizza slice from Nell’s Pizza, some fully-loaded fries from FryBy or some lighter options courtesy of The Green Lab, plus more.
The festival’s record fair, featuring local outlets Basement Wax, Vinyl Pimp, Wax Material, will be there if you fancy some crate digging. But more importantly, Summer Of Love will be one of the first festivals in the world to accept bitcoin as payment.
And finally, a dedicated art corner hosted by Smolensky Gallery will invite a load of the city’s painters, designers, photographers and graffiti artists to come together and create some live art. Meanwhile, the man behind Animal Crossing’s iconic illustrations, Matthew Alker, will host a deep dive into what goes into creating this visual feast for the eyes.
The two days are set to be absolutely packed with music, art and culture making this one hell of a weekend not to be missed.
The announcement comes at a good time following Boris Johnson’s bombshell lockdown announcement. Let’s hope this restores some hope of a festival summer actually going ahead this year!
Summer of Love organisers said: “This is our moment to reunite, rejoice and celebrate the reopening of the world we love and have missed so dearly.
“The Summer of Love Festival represents our freedom, our connection, our artistic expression in an environment that has been created bespoke for the two-day music, arts and mindful experience. There is always a positive, always a light to shine brighter. It’s all about the love.
“We can’t wait to see you in August, let’s dance like we mean it.”
Those who register online will gain access to pre-sale tickets at 10am on Thursday 24 June, before general sale begins at 10am on Friday 25 June.
All that’s left to do is book the Monday off work, of course.
Craig David announces huge outdoor gig at Barton Aerodrome in Manchester
Craig David is bringing his legendary TS5 party to Manchester for a massive outdoor summer show.
The legendary singer, songwriter and DJ will be taking over City Airport in Manchester, also known as Barton Aerodrome.
The special show will combine old school anthems with R&B, garage, and bashment, alongside plenty of contemporary hits.
Craig David, who rocketed to fame in the late 1990s, first launched his TS5 parties, where he sings, MCs and DJs, as an exclusive pre-party at his own penthouse in Miami.
Initially, Craig used them as a way to play his favourite music to the people he loved the most – but it proved such a hit that he started to take it on the road.
Guaranteed to be a great night out, Craig David Presents TS5 is now heading to Manchester for a summer show.
The star has sold more than 15 million albums, secured more than 10 top 10 hits, and achieved multi-platinum status in more than 20 countries around the world.
His TS5 shows now sell out at prestigious venues across the globe, and he’s even taken it to the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury.
The unique live concert will take place at City Airport in Manchester on Friday 14 July, just outside the city – the huge space surrounded by lush green fields will be transformed with epic light and sound productions.
You can expect a night of sing-along hits, good time grooves and Craig David classics.
Tickets will go on sale from 9am on Friday 31 March with Skiddle.
Featured image: Wikimedia Commons
Rockstock, one of the UK’s biggest and best tribute festivals, returns to Stockport this May
One of the few pains of being a music fan is that no you can’t always manage to get tickets for the biggest bands in the world, certainly not if you’re looking to see them all in one place.
Moreover, not only is there only so many people you can fit on a big field, but tickets for the likes of Download, Slam Dunk, Reading and Leeds and so on seem to be getting pricier every year, meaning it can be harder and harder for some gig-goers to make it to all the shows on their list.
So, what’s the next best thing? Well, we don’t know about you but a super affordable tribute festival where dozens of acts play nothing but the biggest bangers from some of your favourite artists all weekend sounds pretty good to us.
In fact, we know it is: we’ve been to Rockstock before and we can well and truly vouch for this local cult favourite.
Rockstock is the two-day Stockport-based tribute festival created by the same minds behind Festwich, the biggest tribute festival held just down the road in Prestwich‘s St Mary’s Park every summer for the past 11 years.
Copying the winning formula set out by its popular predecessor, Rockstock 2023 returns for its third year on May 27-28, with more than 30 different bands turning up to not just imitate the greatest rock bands in the world, but sometimes put them to the shame. No, not exaggerating.
The tribute act scene is one we’ve always had a real affection for — there’s nothing quite like going down to your local and watching a bunch of often middle-aged musicians giving it their all as ‘Metalicker’ or ‘Iffy Byro’ — and it doesn’t get much better than this.
Organised by UK Tribute Festivals, their ethos is all about sparing no expense in creating the best possible festival experience possible and delivering the same high production value you’d get if you were going along to any to see the real thing, as well as making sure there’s all the usual festival attractions.
AC/DC, The Killers, Linkin Park, The Madness, Mötley Crüe and countless others are among this year’s Rockstock lineup. It drew a massive crowd in 2022 and is sure to do the same again this summer.
Although there will obviously be plenty of sunny beers enjoyed, just like at any festival, one of the reasons we like this festival is that it has always proven to be an extremely fun-filled and safe family environment, not to mention serving as a great way for the little ones to go along to their first rock show.
Last but not least, perhaps the best part about this lovely and not-so-little festival is that despite promising to be bigger and better than ever this year, admission will only set you back a tenner, with kids’ tickets costing just £3. Absolutely ace.
You can grab your tickets for Rockstock 2023 HERE.