After thirteen years of throwing dances in the city, Manchester party, label, and club night Swing Ting is preparing to hold its last.
Known for playing a huge mix of genres from afro bashment and UK funky, to old school garage, soca, bassline, funk, and soul – the iconic Swing Ting parties will officially come to an end in December, with the date of the final dance set for Saturday, December 18.
First founded in 2008 by Ruben Platt and Balraj Samrai, like many a good Manchester club night Swing Ting began life as a radio show and series of student house parties before becoming a ‘proper’ club night.
Moving through many different incarnations over the years, after outgrowing student housing the dances graduated to a tiny place on Oxford Road called Scubar (now a church), before moving to a night at The Attic, then a karaoke bar called Charlie’s, before finally settling down in the Soup Kitchen basement – hosting regular monthly nights from 2011-2019.
Its founders also launched a record label in 2014, building up an international profile with a slew of global releases and shows that saw them gain recognition from Resident Advisor and be awarded FACT Magazine’s label of the year gong in 2016.
But now, it’s been confirmed the party, club night, and label id ending for good in 2022 – with the team breaking the news on social media on Thursday.
The post said: “Saturday 18th December 2021 at SOUP will be the last Swing Ting party. Following this event, Swing Ting productions, promotions and label releases will come to a close in 2022.
“It’s been an amazing 13 years and we never knew how much we’d be able to achieve! We feel now is the right time to bid farewell. Massive thank you to everyone who’s supported us in any way whatsoever.”
Loyal fans of the label, club night, and collective were quick to share their sadness as the news, with many pouring into the comments.
Fellow Manchester musician Jenna G said: “Amazing stretch, huge respect to ya’ll can’t wait to see what comes next for everyone.”
BPM founder Tunde Adekoya also commented, saying: “One of the Manchester goat’s… will forever live in our hearts and minds ♾. Looking forward to all your futures.”
Over the past thirteen years, Swing Ting became an integral part of Manchester’s underground music scene – with its founders passionately channeling soundsystem navigation, throwing some mega parties, and producing some anthemic tracks under the Swing Ting moniker.
Launched at a time when the clubbing scene in the city looked very different from how it does today, Swing brought together huge swathes of the city’s underground scene – championing a huge mix of genres and encouraging the careers of up and coming local artists.
Saturday, 18 December will see the collective throw its last party in the Soup Kitchen basement before they bring their musical partnership to a close in 2022.
An entirely resident-led affair, doors will open at 9.30pm and close at 4am. Tickets will be £5 on the door or £3 for members.
Feature image – Swing Ting
Viral sportswear brand Gymshark is holding a huge free fitness event in Manchester this weekend
Some of the biggest names in the fitness community are coming together for a huge Gymshark event at Manchester Central this weekend.
The fitness brand’s previous Lift events have had queues stretching down the street as thousands flock to see figures from the worlds of lifting, fitness and bodybuilding.
Gymshark’s first post-pandemic Lift event is taking place right here in Manchester, featuring a programme of athlete seminars, meet and greets, competitions, challenges, and prizes – and it’s free.
It promises to be their biggest event yet, with the huge events space split into four zones.
There’ll also be a pop-up shop selling the brand’s activewear range, loved by fitness influencers across the globe.
Famous faces appearing at Lift this weekend will include Whitney Simmons, whose hilariously honest and educational fitness content has pulled in 3.5m Instagram followers (plus another 2.1m on YouTube and 1.4m on TikTok).
Also taking part are Gymshark’s creative director of lifting David Laid, Instagram star Libby Christensen, and power lifter Jamal Browner.
More than 10,000 tickets have already been sold for Lift at Manchester Central.
Gymshark itself was founded by Ben Francis in his garage in 2012. He used YouTube tutorials – and a little help from his grandmother – to learn to sew.
Now, there are more than 18 million Gymshark customers across 180 countries, and it’s achieved ‘unicorn’ status after being valued at more than £1bn.
The brand turned over around £500m in its last financial year and employs around 800 people worldwide.
You can book your spot at Gymshark’s Lift event at Manchester Central, taking place on 1 and 2 April, here.
Rio Ferdinand is helping change young lives with community programmes in Oldham and Salford
Ex-Manchester United and England defender Rio Ferdinand and his foundation’s wonderful work is helping better the lives of young people in Oldham, Salford and across Manchester as a whole.
Over the past year, the Rio Ferdinand Foundation and The Guinness Partnership have been putting together a vital social initiative aimed at providing opportunities and resources to young people across Greater Manchester, helping them develop their skills and aspirations for future working life.
Now, after a hugely successful 12-month campaign, their skills and progression community programme, participants are well and truly starting to feel the impact, with 90% of those taking part now stating that they are enjoying a clear idea and focus on what they want to do for a career.
It may have be thriving in Salford and Oldham at the moment, but given the benefit the scheme has already had — not to mention the ambition the Rio Ferdinand Foundation has shown around various areas of the UK since being set up in 2012 — we can only see this spreading further across the region.
The skills-based initiative engages young people aged under 25 years old and living in Guinness homes in a six-month skills-based programme which has been up and running in the two Manc boroughs, as well as the London boroughs of Southwark and Lambeth, since March 2022.
Young people from both Oldham and Salford take part in a weekly schedule of activities designed to tackle youth unemployment, including digital media training (photography, product design, filmmaking, podcasting), building and construction, CV workshops, mock interviews and more.
Not only do these shadowing opportunities garner confidence and raise aspirations among other young people in the local community, but they also help directly develop their employability skills via mentoring.
For instance, Matthew, 19 from Royton in Oldham, completed the programme and then was supported to apply to the Guinness Aspire Awards to request funding to purchase camera and lighting equipment to help him start a small local photography business. Quality stuff.
Matt says that the scheme “has been an amazing opportunity and has given [him] a chance to get back on the right path… I know what I want to do now and can’t wait to start… I would recommend that other people in my position get involved with it in the future.”
As well as markedly increasing participants health and well-being, all 100% of those involved across Salford and Oldham reported feeling more confident, with many now enjoying opportunities with the Rio Ferdinand Foundation’s partners such as Warner Music, Kiss FM, The Jockey Club and the Gym Group.
Speaking on the programme’s success, Rio himself said in a statement: “The Foundation is committed to working with young people at the heart of their communities to offer support, training, and opportunities to those that need it… engaging with the Guinness Partnership has provided a great boost to our reach and our work”.
Well in, Rio. Thankfully, he isn’t the only ex-Manchester-based footballer still trying to make a difference in the local community either: