Richard Ashcroft says Robin Park gigs could help make Wigan ‘a focal point in music’

He's putting his heart and soul behind this homegrown season of shows.

Danny Jones Danny Jones - 1st May 2024

Manc music veteran Richard Ashcroft has big hopes for the upcoming season of live music at Wigan’s Robin Park, insisting that gigs like his self-titled double bill could help his hometown become “a focal point music for the first time in years”.

The former Verve frontman turned successful solo artist was speaking to host Anna Jameson on BBC Radio Manchester earlier this week when he explained just how big a deal this series of Wigan concerts could be for the area.

Beyond the likes of himself, his former band, The Lathums and Railway Children, to name just a few, there aren’t too many notable music names to have come out from the WN postcode – but that isn’t to say there isn’t plenty of talent and potential to do so.

Bigging up the borough as an “amazing place” that’s perhaps sometimes overlooked, he’s keeping his fingers crossed that Mancs and people from all over the region, including the local council, can “get right behind” the upcoming calendar of Wigan concerts to shine the spotlight on it once again.

As he goes on to tell Jameson, he envisions this going on to become a platform for new, up-and-coming artists not only from Wigan but across Greater Manchester, insisting that “there’ll be this week where young bands play venues, bigger bands come” and so on, giving grassroots something “to build to”.


Noting that the foundations have already been lain with this first lot of gigs, with the likes of fellow natives The Stanleys and Maxwell Varey named as two of Richard Ashcroft‘s warm-up acts this summer, alongside more well-known outfits like Cast and The Zutons.

In the middle of the pack, you also have rising Scouse stars Red Rum Club and The Royston Club from Wrexham, who are also making plenty of waves, so it looks like the groundwork is very much there.


There are a variety of other gigs at Robin Park as the area looks to emulate the early success seen from similar bookings over in Wythenshawe like Noel Gallagher’s headliner in 2023 and in Wigan later this year, as well as Blossoms’ mini-festival.

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The 52-year-old believes his shows among the others at Robin Park this summer could leave a “legacy” and give something for people to look back on and remember it as a moment in which, “for the first time in years, Wigan became a focal point for music” in the North and across the country.

Speaking to ITV earlier this week also, the Britpop legend admitted that despite coming up in the same era as the likes of The Stone Roses and Oasis, not to mention in such close proximity, those figures always seemed “larger than life” but that it’s an honour to go back home on such a big scale.


It’s been over two and a half decades since he and The Verve played their iconic Haigh Hall gig to more than 33,000 locals and the two Robin Park gigs on 20-21 July are set to be on an equally massive scale.

You can still try and grab tickets and listen to the rest of his interview on BBC Sounds HERE.

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Featured Images — BBC Radio Manchester/Ed Webster (via Flickr)