On Saturday 20 April, there’s only one place to be for music discovery, and that’s Manchester’s infamous Northern Quarter for When In Manchester Festival. It’s clear that others are starting to cotton on too, having already sold out their ‘Early Bee’ tier of tickets, When In Manchester is set to be a brilliant opportunity to discover your new favourite artist.
The jam packed day will see the likes of Husky Loops, Blanketman, Bloxx, and Valeras take to various venues all around the Northern Quarter, namely Night and Day Cafe, Gullivers and The Castle Hotel.
The curators of the all day festival, Ellen Offredy and Miriam Rahimov, have placed great importance on female representation. With over half of this year’s lineup featuring female musicians, they are at the forefront of the new wave of festivals making inclusion and equal opportunities their focus. Curator Miriam Rahimov says; “We are thrilled to be returning with another exciting and incredibly talented line-up for When in Manchester! We are proud to be one of the many grassroots festivals striving to make better gender representation the norm in the live music industry.”
The music biz is starting to take notice too - When In Manchester was nominated for two awards at the UK Festival Awards 2018, and received a place on the shortlist for the category ‘Best Small Festival’ positioning themselves as a force to be reckoned with in the small festival scene.
The line-up boasts brilliant names in the business, such as the gifted Julia Bardo (who you might recognise from playing guitar in the hotly tipped Working Men’s Club). Her solo work takes a sideways step from the aforementioned’s assured post-punky swagger, to a more wistful 60s folky pop sound. The Julia Bardo name will surely crop up numerous times in the run up to festival season - catch her early at WIM, before you’ll have to form an orderly queue.
WIM headliners Bloxx are known for pushing the boundaries of the classic ‘indie’ sound through fusing in grungier undertones, however they refrain from straying too far from their roots by continuing to play the recognisable indie inflections that make you feel comfortable and familiar with their music. The group will play BBC Radio 1 stage at Reading and Leeds this summer, as well as slots at Live at Leeds, Tramlines and Community Festival on the books.
Joining them as headliners are Italian trio Husky Loops, who have garnered quite a reputation within the underground music press. Their dark, ominous and unconventional rock sound, complete with angular guitar riffs and tightly wound vocals, will surely take the Northern Quarter by storm.
The third and final headliner to top this impressive bill is the Manchester-based quartet Blanketman. They play “restless legged post punk”, which has earned them mighty comparisons to The B-52’s, Joy Division and The Fall, and even resulted in them being joined onstage by Steve Hanley. Watch this space with these Manc upstarts…
Catch a preview of what’s in store on the day with this playlist: