The annual Boxing Day fancy dress party in Wigan will still go ahead this year – hosted virtually by United We Stream GM in partnership with Wigan Council.
The town’s fun-loving tradition appeared in jeopardy due to COVID-19, with fears it would have to be cancelled completely for the first time in 42 years.
But it has now been confirmed that the party will go ahead in a different format – moving online as part of United We Stream’s bumper festive programme.
Residents of Wigan Borough and beyond will be encouraged to dress up and tune in from their living rooms, as the event kicks off with a world premiere of new movie ‘42’: inspired by the costumes and memories of Boxing Day fancy dress in the Greater Manchester borough.
Performances from MC Finchy, DJ Kenty, DJ Caino, Kyle H, DJ Harvey, Danny Mac and Jake Slater will all follow.
Creative directors of The Fire Within AL and AL said: “Wigan Boxing Day Fancy Dress is created by the people for the people, it’s one of the most exciting nights and important cultural traditions in the annual calendar of our Borough. We are buzzing that this year we can keep that tradition going by inviting everyone to share their fancy dress bubble house-parties and stream the fun online together.”
The leader of Wigan Council, Coun David Molyneux added: “We have all had to make changes to our lives this year and Boxing Day will be no different.
“As this challenging year draws to a close, it’s important to think differently so this uplifting tradition continues to thrive.
“We’re delighted to be working with United We Stream, who will help us to harness the annual enthusiasm, creativity and excitement that people across the country bring to Wigan on Boxing Day.”
Four specially curated productions will take place on December 18, 19, Boxing Day and New Year’s Eve as part of the United We Stream Christmas programme.
December 18 kicks off with a Manchester music documentary: Manchester Music Then and Now: Music Worth Fighting For.
Produced and directed by Marketing Manchester’s Simon Donoghue, the short film “celebrates the people and places who make up Greater Manchester’s contemporary music scene” – featuring a stellar cast of famous Manc musicians.
On Saturday December 19, United We Stream GM will provide the soundtrack to an ideal Saturday night stay-at-home party, bringing together some of the finest moments from their archive of more than 300 talented DJs, performers and artists.
Boxing Day is the Wigan takeover, and a special 24-hour Hacienda House Party will launch on New Year’s Eve – featuring many of the biggest and best-known DJs in the world including; Moby, Todd Terry, David Morales, DJ Paulette and Norman Jay MBE.
The marathon broadcast will begin at 10am on New Year’s Eve, containing a live performance by Haçienda Classical with Manchester Camerata and the AMC Choir.
Greater Manchester Night-time Economy Adviser and United We Stream executive producer, Sacha Lord said:
“Greater Manchester is known to party. One of the highlights of the calendar, is Boxing Day, and there’s no bigger party, than the Wigan Boxing Day Party.
“Traditionally this is a time when 10,000’s people come out to the streets of Wigan, in fancy dress, tummies full of turkey and their dancing shoes on. The turkeys still happening, but sadly, we won’t be able to take to the streets. That won’t stop the party though and United We Stream GM are bringing the streets to you.
“We hope that these four very different shows will allow you a bit of escapism for a few hours. As always, United We Stream GM will be completely free to watch, and I know for many that money is very tight, but if you can spare a pound or two, that would be great, and your donation will go straight to our chosen, local good causes.”
Noughties throwback Lemar announces special 20th anniversary gigs in Manchester and London
The one and only Lemar is back now only with new album but two special shows to mark his 20th anniversary in music.
A chart-topping, BRIT and MOBO award-winning artists who rose to popularity in the early 2000s, Lemar has sold millions of albums worldwide and is now returning with his first new record in nearly eight years.
Having released his latest 80s funk inspired new single, ‘Future Love’, today (7 February) and officially announced his upcoming seventh album, Page In My Heart, the noughties pop and R&B artist is back on the scene and thought it only fit to pay tribute to 20 years in the biz.
Two decades on from his debut album, Dedicated, Lemar is hosting a pair of anniversary shows in London and right here in Manchester. Now this is going to be quite the throwback.
Best know for hit tracks like ‘It’s Not That Easy’, ’50/50′, ‘What About Love?’, ‘Another Day’ and many more, the 44-year-old returns to the stage with a new sound but one that also calls back to his roots and early work.
Speaking in a statement, Lemar says: “With this new album, I wanted to make something for anyone who ever bought Dedicated, as this year is 20 years since its release. I thought I’d like to make something for the people who got behind that album, something that they would appreciate and like.
Descirbing his new single, he went on to say, “it’s more uptempo, it’s got that soulful feel, it’s a bit looser, a bit Chaka Khan. A bit ‘Dance (With U)’… it’s got that kind of energy to it.”
The Tottenham-born singer hasn’t been ‘away’ per se, having continued to perform up and down the country in recent years, but both he and his fans have been waiting “patiently” to get the right collection of songs together to release new material.
His last album, The Letter, released back in 2015 and delighted die-hards but he says this latest project is about reconnecting with his fans, insisting that “it really is a page from my heart.”
Lemar will celebrate two decades of music and the 20th anniversary of Dedicated live with two special nights at O2 Ritz here in Manchester and London indigo at The O2 on the 27 and 28 of April, respectively. You best believe we’ll be getting one.
Tickets go on sale on 10 February at 10am. Tickets will be available HERE and at Ticketmaster.
Neighbourhood Weekender announces massive warm-up show with Ian Brown, Happy Mondays and more
Neighbourhood Weekender has announced a warm-up show on the Friday before the festival proper kicks off, with the likes of Ian Brown, Happy Mondays and more already confirmed.
With Neighbourhood 2023 set for the weekend of 27-28 May as festival season gets into full swing, the increasingly popular Victoria Park-based crowd-pleaser is effectively starting a day early with their ‘Live At The Big Top’ event.
Although the local favourite has previously put on a number of performances on the Friday before the Warrington Weekender as we know it, this is the first time this event has been held and will serve as a warm-up show for the impending gig-goers.
Effectively acting as a warm-up party for the main event, the North West crowd will be treated to the likes of 80s and 90s Manc music icons Ian Brown and Happy Mondays, as well Liverpool indie band Cast and up-and-coming Welsh psych-rock band, CVC, a.k.a. Church Village Collective.
The lineup also denotes a landmark occasion, with this being the first time that Brown and Happy Mondays — two of pioneering artists of the ‘Madchester‘ scene — are sharing the same bill in their long and illustrious careers. Well, aren’t you a lucky lot?
While we’d say this is an absolute must if you truly want to make a full go of Neighbourhood Weekender, this is technically a separate event and it’s well worth attending if you can’t make it on the Saturday or Sunday for whatever reason.
Tickets go on sale at 9.30am on Friday, 10 February. You can grab yours HERE.