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.