Manchester remains under lock and key right now, with many of the city’s most popular venues unable to open due to government restrictions.
But thankfully, some innovative promoters have found a safe way to keep the local music scene alive.
Car park raves, seated clubbing and group tickets are becoming “the new normal”, shall we say *rolls eyes*.
But whatever you want to call this weird era we’re living in, there’s actually plenty to keep you occupied this weekend.
Here’s our round up below.
90s Dance Anthems/Ibiza Classics at Park N Party at Event City – September 11 and 12
Ibiza lives on in a Trafford car park this weekend.
We never thought we’d say that, but there you go.
If you can’t make it to the White Isle this year, let Park ‘N’ Party transport you to the beach for the reasonable price of £35 per car.
Drive up, get out and dance in your own socially distanced square.
Rozalla, Kelly Llorenna and DJ Kuta will soundtrack the weekend with Ibiza club hits past and present.
Get your designated driver ready and book your tickets here.
Animal Crossing at Big Red Cafe – September 12
Who’s up for a day sesh?
Animal Crossing is throwing a house and minimal party at a new open-air location, the Big Red Cafe.
We’re not sure exactly where the cafe is yet. But we do know it’s just outside the city centre and that – if Animal Crossing’s previous get-togethers are anything to go by – it’ll be an 11-out-of-10 kind of event.
Factory is launching its Night Pubbing concept on Monday.
It’s their take on COVID night clubbing. All three floors will be open, meaning there’ll be music for everyone’s taste. (You’ll find me on the top floor, just saying).
It sounds simple enough. Head here to pick your time, your floor and your table capacity. It works out around £10 per person. You’ll get entry, the table, plus a free drink and a shot with the ticket. Who doesn’t love free booze?
This is not Factory as we know it. But, it’s the next best thing right now.
Just in time for freshers, as well.
Stay up-to-date with the latest local music news via The Manc Audio. Follow Audio on Instagram here.
Hello Cosmos wow Stockport on a night where the venue shone just as bright as the music
We had the pleasure of going along to see Hello Cosmos play a special one-off show at none other than St Mary’s Church in Stockport town centre on Friday night, just the gig the building has ever seen and given how incredible an experience it was, we hope there’ll be many more.
Picture the scene: it’s a frosty Foodie Friday night in Stockport with people wearing beer jackets and sharing hot street food to keep warm as the tunes ring around the marketplace; then you spot some light off in the background and notice the windows of the old town centre church glowing.
Not only was that our signal to get a move on, finish our scran and head over to the intimate gig, but it was also a beacon of light for other punters to go and check out as they looked for any excuse to come in from the cold.
And that’s pretty much how it happened. Our three-man party was full of SK natives who wanted to see what it would be like to have a church we grew up with turned into a gig venue, so we were always on board, but plenty of other locals had the pleasure of simply stumbling upon tickets at the door.
We don’t think we’d be putting words in their mouths to say they will have been glad they did, as within a few seconds of walking into the oldest parish church in Stockport, we had never seen the already ornate and historical site look so stunning.
This wasn’t just a case of plonking some speakers and some drums near the altar like some half-arsed church fête, the roof, windows, pillars and various arches were all lit up by various multi-coloured projectors and strobes and it all felt pretty surreal.
If you’ve ever watched any kind of performance at Manchester Cathedral or a similar venue, you’ll know this kind of set-up is nothing new per se, but it did feel like something different for Stockport, especially when one of our party’s last memories was standing at the pulpit to read the Christmas story.
Then the music kicked off and we have to start by saying we were pretty impressed by the two support acts, Fondabath — fellow Stopfordians who were probably just as surprised to be in St Mary’s as we were — and Big Society, also local lads, both of which gave plenty of reason to go away and listen to more.
Then came the main event, Hello Cosmos, spearheaded by frontman and bass player Ben Robinson, who along with his jumpsuited bandmates wasted no time in transporting the crowd to what felt like a little pocket of space in some alternate reality.
Having had a few drinks and being given kaleidoscope glasses on arrival certainly helped, but it really was a truly audio-visual experience, from the various coloured jumpsuits and neon hula-hooping to the truly mesmerising light show that lit up the church throughout the set.
It all felt rather fittingly though when you take into account that Robinson is not just a musician but the founder of both Kendal Calling and bluedot Festival — I mean, even their sophomore album Golden Dirt has a glowing spaceman walking through a sea of sunflowers.
If you’ve never heard them before, think post-punk spoken word and almost Yard Act vibes, only if Christopher Ecclestone was on vocals instead. But their sound is truly sprawling, with ‘Fuse’ from their debut record giving the harder-hitting sounds and ‘Loud is Beautiful’ showing how they best intertwine electronics, keys and those oh-so-good horns from sax player Elara.
Be it jumping up and down in unison as the electric violinist played or Ben dropping to his knees to scream his head off, hopping off stage to walk around the crowd with a megaphone or releasing a sea of balloons from above for the big finish, this ‘Live at St Mary’s’ one-off special had a bit of everything.
It went from a little gig on a random winter evening in Stockport to an unforgettable one that SK-born gig-goers like us never thought we’d see in this particular borough of Greater Manchester whose culture and music scene are clearly thriving.
We really hope this is among the first of many — Hello Cosmos helped make it a success and we can seriously see the Live at St Mary’s series taking off if it continues to get the backing.