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.”
Kings of Leon announce HUGE Manchester Co-op Live gig on 2024 world tour
Kings of Leon have announced a new run of UK shows as part of their 2024 world tour, and they’ll be coming to visit us here in Manchester.
Following on from the announcement of their brand-new album, as well as a headline performance at BST Hyde Park this summer, the beloved American rock band have now revealed details of their long-awaited Can We Please Have Fun World Tour that’s kicking off later this year, and are set to take to the stage at several major UK cities.
The multi award-winning Tennessee rockers’ UK and Ireland tour will officially open in Leeds on 20 June, all before they head on over to Birmingham, Bristol, London, Glasgow, Dublin, and Nottingham along the way.
Not only that, but alongside these shows, they’re also set to play down at Silverstone for the British F1 Grand Prix on 4 July too.
But what better way to end a show-stopping summer than here in Manchester?
After taking in the sights of the rest of the country, the Followill clan will be stopping off in our city for a major gig at Co-op Live this July, and tickets are set to go on sale this week.
As Manchester‘s newest – and soon-to-be the UK’s largest – live entertainment arena nears closer to officially opening its doors and welcoming visitors, Co-op Live has been slowly revealing the music acts set to grace the stage as part of its huge launch season jam-packed full of events.
Bolton comedian Peter Kay will open the arena with a special show this April, and countless other major world-renowned artists have all been announced as performing throughout the rest of the year – including Eagles, Olivia Rodrigo, Jonas Brothers, Eric Clapton, Take That, Simply Red, Niall Horan, and so more.
And now, it’s Kings of Leon’s turn.
Kings of Leon will be taking to the stage at Co-op Live on Wednesday 10 July as part of the Can We Please Have Fun World Tour tour.
They’ll be joined by British indie rockers The Vaccines as the support act in Manchester.
Kings of Leon – UK and Ireland Tour 2024
20 June: Leeds – First Direct Arena
22 June: Birmingham – Utilita Arena
23 June: Bristol – Ashton Gate Stadium
30 June: London – Hyde Park BST
2 July: Glasgow – OVO Hydro Arena
4 July: Silverstone – British F1 Grand Prix
6 July: Dublin – Marley Park
8 July: Nottingham – Motorpoint Arena
10 July: Manchester – Co-op Live Arena
Tickets officially go on sale this week, with fans able to pre-order the album from the band’s store before 5pm tomorrow (Tuesday 27 February) to get early access to tickets, and Co-op members given additional presale access on Wednesday (28 February) at 9am, all before the rest go on general sale this Friday (1 March) at 9am.
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.