Invented as a reaction to mainstream conventions and festivals, the Un-Convention will hopefully be putting the bollocks back into the music biz this week, while the X-Factor is blanding out homes across the country.
Friday's panel discussion highlights (1st Oct) include We Fought The Law: Learning From The Punks (11:15am-12:30 Sacred Trinity Church) – how to build your own music industry panel, starring Don Letts (Big Audio Dynamite et al), Mark Atkins (Public Image Ltd, Killing Joke), Aki Nawaz (Fun-Da-Mental) and Jayne Casey (Big In Japan) - and at 10am on a barge boarding from the Mark Addy pub, Music, Heritage and Cities: Digital Archives with a panel that includes Alison Surtees from Creative Industry in Salford and the Manchester Distric Music Archive.
Also on Friday, between 2pm and 3pm Bill Drummond, co-founder of the KLF, will be doing a `performance lecture' at Salford Central Train Station. Expect the unexpected x2.
Live music for Friday includes a set by the super named Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly. at Salford Central Station (11am), and at Sacred Trinity Church, the well touted Gabby Young (9:15-9:45pm) and The Juno Reactor Collaboration (10:15-11pm), a "cinematic fusion of electronic, orchestral and global music". Local rap hero Briggzy turns up the volume for Salford at the strangely named `BBC Introducing in Manchester' gig at the Rovers Return (10pm), along with A Me B, Ajah, the Heavy Feet DJs and more.
Panel highlight for Saturday 2nd October should be 9 to 5 – What A Way To Make A Living: Building A Sustainable Career In Music , or how to keep yourself in wages (probably by talking about it at conventions) with Luke Unabomber (Electriks) et al (Sacred Trinity Church 2:30-3:45pm). Meanwhile, upstairs at The Coal Store (wherever that is) at 1pm is a screening of The Beat Is Law- Part 1, a docu-film featuring all those Sheffield bands growing up in Thatcher's 80s Britain, with contributions from Jarvis Cocker, Richard Hawley and more.
Salford's new stars, Suzuki Method, are onstage at Islington Mill at 7pm Saturday for a night that also includes sets by Young Fathers, Coupe de Ville with DJing by Luke Unabomber.
On Saturday night from 7:30-11pm Salford also gets its own showcase, promoted by Helmets for Men, at the newly spruced up People's History Museum just over the border in Spinningfields. The line up includes John Herring, AAAK, The Black Knights and Mr Heart, and is an event within the Un-Convention event with tickets priced at £5 (or free if wearing an Un-Convention wristband).
Before this, at high noon, Mr Bill Drummond will be up to his tricks again with Score 328: SURROUND. Meeting at Sacred Trinity Church the former KLF art guru and 100 participants will take voyeurs "through bridges, through car parks, down alley ways, in and out the church". Expected the unexpected x4
Sunday 2nd October sees an all day spectacular at Salford Lads Club. Music As A Tool for Social Change Day - In Memory of MC Chelo, a 13 year old rapper shot in Columbia - features panel discussions, workshops with local kids, a screening of the Breaking Rocks documentary, following musicians who go into jails, followed by a live discussion with Billy Bragg and Alan Miles. And, at high noon, Mr Bill Drummond will be performing Two Tribes in the Lads Club Boxing ring, with 17 lads from local boxing clubs. Expect the unexpected x7.
The grand finale at Salford Lads Club will be a massive music jam with Jarvis Cocker, a crew of MCs and beat-boxers, musicians from the BBC Philharmonic, and community musicians from the barrios of Colombia and Brazil.
These are just some of the highlights but there's loads more going off over the three days. Full line up on the Un-Convention website plus ticket details (£14-£40) www.unconventionhub.org or click here
Main photo: Gabby Young