Salford Music Festival, takes place between 20 - 23rd September 2012. The festival is now in it's 3rd year and showcases music from the City and beyond. Salford has a rich musical history, Hooky & Barney from New Order are both from Salford as are The Happy Mondays, both bands were signed to Factory Records, run by Salfordian Tony Wilson. Ewan MacColl, Russell Watson, Mark E. Smith and John Cooper Clarke are all also from the City. The festival takes place accross 19 venues from Lower Kersal Social Club to The Lowry Theatre, covering every area of Salford.
Festival founder Ed Blaney told us more about the festival.
How did the festival start and how much has it grown since the first one?
The idea came after i realised other so called "festivals" in Salford were not putting any Salford bands on the bill , so i thought, start one that does and as i am a proud Salfordian the oportunity was right and supported locally. I tested the water as it were by starting the group " we want a music festival in Salford" on facebook and it stil has over 1600 members.
The festival has doubled in size every year, In 2010 we had around 64 bands play,In 2011 that number went to 135, this year we have well over 200 acts from all over the UK.
How many venues are involved with the festival?
So far we have 19 venues all across Salford, we have every postcode covered which is great for everyone, we may add another more than likely.
How much are tickets for the Festival?
Only the gigs at The Lowry + (Fall @ Lower Kersal social club) are ticketed at a very low price just to cover the costs, around 95% of the gigs are free, we are a registered not for profit group, we know money is tight, a few people think we are daft not charging but we make it happen and thats the main thing.
What have the highlights of past festival's been?
In 2010 that was special with The Fall headlining and getting the festival up and running was a big moment for us and having people travel from Germany and Denmark was amazing. Last year we added a DJ club night with Jon Da Silva -Graeme Park - Dave Haslam all tearing the place up untill 5am, that was some party.
Do you think Salford and it's musical heritage get forgotten about because it's proximity to Manchester?
Definatley, I suppose its just how it is but over the years Manchester has benefitted more with the Mondays tags and many other bands from Salford also, untill now we didn't have a look in, that looks like its about to change which is great for both Salford & Manchester.
Is the festival a way of putting Salford back in the musical map?
Yes, Salford has always had a great live music scene way back to the 2nd world war days, my gran & grandad Jim & Maggie Riley sang in all the pubs and did well, the stories i have heard of all the wartime greats playing in and around Salford, we had so many pubs & clubs that have over the last few decades have vanished, cross lane for instance had so many live venues , the last main Salford one was The Willows which closed last year. So we are opening the whole city up for live music which can only be a good thing for all involved.
There's some great bands playing this year, who are you looking forward to seeing?
I will have to see The Fall and i hope to get about to see as many as i possibly can, we have so many its gonna be difficult,. Karima Francis, Bethia Beadman, Girl Peculiar ,the Lowry all dayer, chances are i wont get to see much as i will be busy running around or maybe this year i will get lucky and have the choice.
What's your favorite track to come out of Salford?
Has to be one i co-wrote with The Fall " I wake up in the city", It was written and recorded in Salford, in my house, It has several Salford inspirations and sums up the feeling of waking up in Salford. It also is the most collectable Fall record, It was given out free by John Peel on radio 1 to the 1st 500 and is very hard to get hold of.
What plans do you have for the future of Salford Music Festival?
Next year we have our sights set on the new Salford stadium & Lowry as mainstages,. Noel Gallagher has said he is up for it , we have been holding meetings with the new Mayor and council who have been very open to the idea and very supportive, we will no doubt be adding more venues again all across Salford and going for the magic 300+ number.
As a result of putting live music in venues all over Salford, a lot of the venues have been asking us for bands each week, so we may open a booking agency within the festival and the idea of bands playing across Salford each week and getting decent wages is a big bonus for the bands and us aswell.The possibilty of a label is on the cards also.
If anyone wants to get involved with the festival are there opportunities to volunteer?
Anyone can get involved, if they go to the website they can register as a volunteer, without volunteers including ourselves it would not happen. Whether it be helping out, meet & greet, sound engineers infact any help is fantastic, thats what the festival is all about, creating openings for everyone on both sides.
Find out more and get updated information from Salford Music Festival here
Here is our 5 must see bands at Salford Music Festival
The Fall - Lower Kersal Social Club - 11pm Saturday 22 September
Karima Francis - The Lowry Theatre - 8pm Friday 21 September
Lucy Rhiannon - New Oxford - 6.30pm Saturday 22 September
Kraul - The Ship - 5pm Sunday 23 September
John Ainsworth - The White Swan - TBC Friday 21 September