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.
Masked Manchester rapper Meekz announces UK tour with intimate hometown show
Masked-up Manchester rapper Meekz has announced the details of his ‘Can’t Stop The Come Up’ tour, which will see the artist play an intimate hometown show at Manchester Academy 3.
Taking over the 470 capacity venue for one night in 2023 as part of the mini-tour, which also sees him play shows in London and Birmingham, fans will have a rare chance to see Meekz up close in a personal setting.
Earlier this year, the local heavyweight performed at the BRIT awards alongside UK rap champions Dave, Fredo, Ghetts and Giggs – giving a live rendition of his unforgettable verse on Dave’s ‘In the Fire’ to a mainstream audience of millions.
Meekz also impressed at Parklife festival last year, playing on the main stage to a crowd of thousands.
Now, he’s announced he’ll be pulling out all of the stops on tour – ending with a special homecoming show in the new year.
The tour announcement follows the first play of Meekz’s new track ‘Fresh Out The Bank’ featuring Dave which premiered as Clara Amfo’s BBC Radio 1 Hottest Record In The World last night.
Taken from his highly anticipated debut mixtape Respect The Come Up, which has just been released, Meekz has announced himself as the scene’s next superstar.
The 10-track project includes pre-release singles ‘Respect The Come Up’ & ‘More Money’ and seven brand new songs, plus a remastered version of ‘Take Losses’ – the 2018 cut which helped launch his career after the buzz it created on SoundCloud became too loud to ignore.
Meekz has established himself as one of UK rap’s brightest, most intriguing talents, who slices through the frost of street boasts and menace with moments of profound introspection.
His music evidently resonates with people on a grand scale: Meekz’s work has racked up 250 million streams to date and he’s approaching 100 million streams on Youtube, with 200,000 subscribers locked into his channel.
Tickets for the new live dates go on sale at 10am on Thursday 24th November and will be available here.
MEEKZ UK TOUR DATES 2023
Wed 22 February Birmingham O2 Institute 2 Fri 24 February London O2 Islington Academy Mon 27 February Manchester Academy 3
Feature image – Meekz
An exhibition and all-day rave showcasing underground club culture and more is coming to Manchester
An art exhibition and all-day rave showcasing underground, queer clubbing culture and more is going on show at Manchester’s newest music venue, The Loft.
Set inside a warehouse-style nightclub on an industrial estate in Miles Platting, PALOMA will be part exhibition, part rave: shining a light on the young local talent busy capturing the world of underground clubbing – as well as day-to-day life in and around Manchester.
Sound-tracked by a special line-up of DJs including Unity Radio’s Adele Tondu, multi-disciplinary artist Jordan K Joseph (whose artwork will also be on show), Zuri, and Manami B2B UK techno bass fusionist selector INGI, here music fans can explore images captured on blurry nights and dark rooms whilst vibing to meandering beats.
As for the artwork on show, those heading down can expect to see works from DJ curator Jordan K Joseph, Stockport-based photographer, Annie Woodall, Documcr AKA Harry Flaherty, Abbie Fowler, Rhianna Austin, and Egle Bidvaite.
From work by Lithuanian native Egle Bidvaite, known for capturing the extraordinary fashion of underground queer raves and hidden moments of blurry nights, to photographs from Jordan K Joseph, whose style and artistic direction are informed by his love for music and the underground clubbing world, music and art lovers will find plenty to explore across the day.
Elsewhere, there will be work on display by Annie Woodall, who captures scenes from her day-to-day life in South Manchester, and signature postcards from Abbie Fowler exploring the realms of photojournalism and landscape photography, all captured exclusively in film.
Documcr, AKA Harry Flaherty (the first collaborator of PALOMA.) creates art that brings to life familiarities of places and faces we know, and experiences we share, whilst Rhianna Austin will be bringing her varied style of photography, focusing on people in places whether that be incorporated within landscapes or nightclubs. Her main goal, to highlight a sense of beauty in any setting.
Tickets are available to purchase for £7 on Resident Advisor or Skiddle, which admits entry to the exhibition and day party. Tickets can be purchased on Resident Advisor or Skiddle. The Loft is located in Unit 1, New Street, M40 8AW.