The minds behind Greater Manchester’s trailblazing United We Stream (UWS) have launched a streaming platform to showcase region’s emerging and established talent to the world.
Hosted at Digital City Festival on April 12, StreamGM aims to build on the incredible achievements of UWS – which was launched in lockdown to raise funds for the creative sector.
The platform proved to be a wild success – reeling in millions of viewers and raising £583,000 throughout its run.
StreamGM will be picking up where UWS left off – offering a soapbox for singers, dancers, musicians, poets and artists across GM.
Andy Burnham – an early backer of the project – said that Stream GM would “play an essential role in our recovery throughout 2021.”
The Mayor of Greater Manchester stated: “Many venues will not be able to reopen fully until the second half of the year.
“So, by prioritising digital development such as this, we can continue to support our culture sector so they can later support us all through our personal recoveries from what we have experienced through the pandemic.”
Whilst showcasing local talent, StreamGM will also include specialised ‘hands on’ industry experience for young people in the production and promotion of digital broadcasting.
Greater Manchester Night Time Economy Adviser, Sacha Lord said: “In an incredibly hard year for many, United We Stream Greater Manchester provided moments of escape and joy and I’m incredibly proud of all we achieved.
“It’s now time to look to the future and, as we start to gradually unlock, how some of the partnerships and projects developed during 2020 adapt to complement live events.
“StreamGM is a perfect example of this, providing a platform for emerging Greater Manchester talent to perform to global audiences, taking talent beyond venue walls, helping our amazing city-region emerge from the pandemic in the strongest possible position.”
Driven by a shared love of music and culture, StreamGM will continue to “bang the drum” for Greater Manchester from its launch at Digital City Festival – an annual event series exploring what makes a leading digital city.
Production for the festival is based at state-of-the-art studios in Salford’s Media City with all events broadcast online.
StreamGM will kick off proceedings at Digital City Festival on April 12 with a thrilling audio-visual DJ set from DJ Woody – who wowed audiences with his performance during UWS’ NYE Hacienda House Party.
Manchester Jazz Festival, Showhawk Duo and Jodrell Bank’s Blue Dot festival favourites ’Science in the House’ will also be turning in performances on the StreamGM virtual stage.
A StreamGM panel will be hosted on April 13 – featuring UWS Global founder Lutz Leichsenring; Hacienda legend Graeme Park; Tom Besford from English Folk Expo, DJ Rebecca Swarray, Artistic Director of the Met David Agnew and United We Stream/StreamGM’s producer Marie-Claire Daly.
The festival finale on April 22 will host the first ever StreamGM talent showcase.
Digital City Festival Director, Martyn Collins said: “We’re delighted to have StreamGM curating the entertainment for our delegates at Digital City Festival. Despite lockdown, the amazing United We Stream project showed that innovation, creativity, music and performance could still be created, shared and enjoyed by all.
“Using digital as the core platform and reaching a global audience, StreamGM is perfectly in sync with Manchester’s digital city status and also recognising that people are at the heart of everything we do.”
To join Digital City Festival, register for access here.
For more information about StreamGM, visit the official website.
This Manchester restaurant serves an all-vegan roast with ‘meat’ and all the trimmings
A Manchester vegan restaurant is serving an all-vegan roast with mock ‘meat’ and all the trimmings, putting an ethical twist on the British Sunday classic.Keen to see if it’s worth the hype, I took a trip down to try it out for myself – and left feeling pretty impressed.
Not being a vegan personally, I enlisted the help of two friends of the plant-powered persuasion to accompany me to get a real feel for every option.
Suffice it to say, it was a success and, whilst I won’t be converting to veganism any time soon, it’s nice to know that there are options out there for when I feel like being ‘good’.
With three different roast choices on offer, Wholesome Junkies is the first restaurant in the city centre to venture past the usual vegan choices of mushroom Wellington and roasted squash and go all-out with a variety of mock meat options.
Meats have been created in partnership with Liverpool vegan brand CB Sushi, using their mock beef and turkey joints to give vegans the feeling of a ‘proper’ roast.
Think glazed ‘turkey’ filled with stuffing, medallions of ‘beef’ and crispy deep-fried oyster mushrooms, all served with lashings of onion gravy, ‘buttered’ seasonal greens, glazed carrots and parsnips, deep-fried stuffing balls, crispy roasties and fluffy Yorkshire puddings created by Mabel’s.
Having tried all three, I have to say that my favourite was the turkey. It’s actually my least favourite meat to eat, so it was something of a surprise to find I enjoyed the vegan version much more than the real thing.
The texture was spot on, and there was none of the dryness you typically associate with the bird. Washed down with a pint of locally-brewed Cloudwater Fuzzy Hazy Pale Ale, it absolutely hit the spot.
Coming in a close second was the deep-fried oyster mushroom roast, which was so packed with flavour that it almost felt like I was eating fried chicken with my Sunday dinner.
As for the beef, it didn’t really do it for me – tasting more of herbs than red meat, but then, I don’t suppose there are many vegans queueing up the block for a bloody meat substitute.
Wholesome Junkies has long been a favourite with Manchester vegans. First shooting to fame in 2018 with an appearance on BBC2’s Million Pound Menu, owner Chelsea appeared on the show to ask for 95,000 to open her own vegan junk food restaurant.
Prior to that, she’d been running her Wholesome Junkies concept as a street food pop-up at sites like Grub and Ancoats General Store.
Whilst her bid to impress the BBC judges was not successful at the time, the TV appearance put her on the map and within a year she had her own Arndale market stall.
Fast forward a few more, and in 2022 she opened her first bricks and mortar restaurant – taking over the former Umezushi site at 4 Mirabel Street.
Since moving in, she’s completely transformed it: decking it out in bright colours and filling every corner with quirky little ornaments and decorations.
Strings of fairy lights, hanging mushrooms and frames filled with pictures from local artists all make the small space feel incredibly warm and welcoming – and our visit the restaurant was absolutely packed.
At a time when so many vegan restaurants seem to be closing, it was an absolute joy to see so many bums on seats during our visit.
Veganuary might almost be over, but if you’re a vegan – or simply just trying to cut down on your meat consumption – it’s definitely worth giving this one a go.
Feature image – The Manc Eats
Meet the couple who quit their jobs to sell sandwiches from their Northern Quarter flat
If you’re a fan of things in bread (and honestly, who isn’t) then there’s a new Italian sandwich dealer in town that you absolutely need to get down your neck.
Serving up some of the best butties we’ve had in a long time, it’s called Ad Maiora and is being run by a couple who are making absolutely everything out of a kitchen in their little Manchester flat.
Collected from a nondescript door on a Norther Quarter back street, we’re talking giant focaccia-style loaves generously stuffed with premium ingredients like ‘nduja, spicy Tuscan sausage, smoked scamorza, mortadella, burrata and red pesto.
The brainchild of Sardinian couple Daniela Steri and Enrico Pinna, all of their sandwiches are made using only top quality Italian ingredients with a total of nine different options to choose from.
From the vegan-friendly La Nonna (Italian hummus, roasted aubergine, olives, sundried tomatoes and rocket) to a huge array of different cheesy and meaty delights, fillings include parma ham, gorgonzola DOP, truffled brie, Milano salami and crumbled pistachios.
Their bread is baked freshly by hand each morning using a tiny domestic oven, and they’re already baking up to 60 loaves of schiacciata (a traditional Tuscan flatbread) a day to keep up with the demand – putting just four in the oven at a time, over and over again.
On our visit, the pair tell us that they moved over from Sardinia to the UK six years ago and first tried living in London for a year (they say they hated it) before making the move up to Manchester.
In that time, they say they’ve fallen in love with the city of Manchester and with the Northern Quarter in particular.
Inspired by the brilliant food scene in their area, two months ago they both decided to pack in their jobs and pursue their own business instead – and haven’t looked back since.
Previously, Daniela tells us she’d worked at hotel Dakota in housekeeping for three years whilst her partner, Enrico, had been employed at Ezra and Gil. Despite their hospitality experience, though, neither of them had made bread before.
That doesn’t seem to be holding them back, though, and demand for their sandwiches is rocketing as word spreads about the new homemade Italian butties for sale on a Manchester backstreet.