The second Salford Music Festival is kicking off right in the middle of the campaign to Save Salford, following the ConDem Government's attempts to wipe the city off the political map (see here). And organisers, Ed Blaney, Grayso and Paul Ashton are well happy to tie the two together, making the event an all round celebration of the city.
"We're doing the Festival again because we love Salford" says Ed "And despite all the sad changes going on we're here flying the flag, true Salfordians."
Despite having little money the Salford Music Festival is massive and mostly free entry. Around 120 bands, seventy per cent of them from Salford, are taking part in pubs and clubs all over the city – from the Ordsall Legion to the Ashley Brook, from the Town Hall Eccles to The New Oxford.
"Any band that is from Salford and not playing has obviously got a problem because we haven't excluded anyone" adds Ed "Anyone who got in touch was given a slot and I can safely say that we've got every up and coming band from Salford and we just want people to come out and support them. In a few years some of these bands are going to be massive."
There's Hanky Park playing, plus Class Actions, Girl Peculiar, Misfits, Death To The Strange and loads more, way too many to mention****
As well as the Salford artists, there's bands coming from all over the country including Molotov Jukebox, a brilliant off the wall gypsy, jazzy kind of broken down cabaret outfit, which stars on accordion and vocals Natalia Tena, who played Nymphadora Tonks in the Harry Potter films. The Molotovs play Islington Mill on Saturday.*
Also playing the Mill on Friday night** are a posse of ex Hacienda DJs, Jon Dasilva, Graeme Park and Dave Haslam, while on Sunday The Willows hosts four stages featuring forty bands and 15 DJs in an all day spectacular for the Festival Finale***.
"At The Willows on the Sunday we're letting in free anyone who's on low income or anything like that" Ed explains "The only condition is that they have to come and have a good time. Otherwise it's £6 entry and any money we do raise is going to Francis House children's hospice which is this year's Festival charity."
The Festival kicks off on Thursday night with Grand Final of Salford's Got Talent, also at The Willows (see here) and there's a full line up of bands, all playing for free at The New Oxford, The Ashley Brook, The Hope, Ordsall Legion, The Old Pint Pot and The Crescent.
"We have got a bit of funding from community organisations around Salford which is great but it's like turning water into wine" Ed laughs "But this isn't about making money. It's about promoting Salford music and its people."
The Salford Music Festival
Thursday 22nd – Sunday 25th September
Various venues around Salford – see the Salford Music Festival site for full details on the venues, times, dates and bands… www.salfordmusicfestival.co.uk
* Molotov Jukebox play Islington Mill, James St, Salford M3 on Saturday 24th September 9pm-4am, with Girl Peculiar and Dirty North. Tickets £7 in advance from Ticket Line (click here)
** Jon Dasilva, Graeme Park and Dave Haslam play Islington Mill, James St, Salford M3 on Friday 23rd September 9pm-4am. Tickets £8 in advance from Ticket Line (click here)
***The Mainstage Finale featuring 40 bands takes place at The Willows, off Weaste Lane on Sunday 25th September 2-11pm. Tickets are £6 but Salford Star has a number of free tickets to give out to anyone not working – just e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org
**** The Salford Star will be doing daily previews and highlighting some of the bands throughout the week.
At venues throughout the Festival there will be Save Salford petitions against the ConDem's plans to politically wipe Salford from the map - we urge people to sign them!
Main photo shows Molotov Jukebox