From the fields of Warrington to the streets of Manchester – Neighbourhood Festival returns for another massive year following their sister event in the summer. I’ll be taking a look at what to expect from the next chapter in this amazing festivals reign.
NBHD first appeared on the fine streets of Manchester in September 2017 showcasing some of the finest new names in music along with more familiar acts in the more well known venues across the city. Since then they have grown into one of the most highly rated indoor festivals in the north bringing in large crowds every year. Since its founding, they have branched out to a massive shindig in Warrington’s Victoria Park.
The selected venues spread across the full of Manchester’s city centre from the infamous O2 Ritz, hosting the main headliners and the stunning Albert Hall, to the smaller more compact venues where new names make their own history – venues such as Gorilla & The Zombie Shack on Oxford Road, to the Deaf Institute and The Bread Shed. Each venue plays a huge part in making this incredible festival what it is, each filled with history and memories made by thousands of fans and bands we see in more larger capacities.
With this taking place so central in the city, you are certainly spoiled for choice for food and drink between bands – now I could sit and list where’s the best but where’s the fun in that. Areas like The Northen Quarter, Deansgate & Portland are all stacked with hidden gems and are certain to hit the spot whatever you’re after to get ready for a good dance or mosh. However, what I will say is one of the venues, Bunny Jacksons is not a place to miss, trust me.
Now to the music – as you can see above there really is no shortage of incredible names to be checking out throughout the day and I’ll be starting off by giving the biggest shoutouts to the homegrown names flying the flag for Scotland. Topping the bill, Whitburn’s very own rising stars The Snuts – these boys are going from strength to strength and being the top of festival bills will quickly become a more common view. With their second studio album Burn the Empire set to land this weekend, it gives this headline slot a more special feel – catch them shake The Albert Hall from 9:15.
Sticking with Scottish rising stars, earlier in the day get along to The Zombie Shack to catch Dead Pony – I’ve seen this band rise up through the ranks of the Glasgow music scene and they are so deserving of major festival slots, showing the world what they can do with big hitting sets at this year’s Glastonbury and TRNSMT. Further down Oxford Road now to The Bread Shed where another incredible rising star will be putting on a show – Lanarkshire’s Rianne Downey has made herself known over the last year or so and you can be sure she won’t be in the small rooms for long so now really is your time to witness something special.
Straight off her UK tour and a very successful debut album Garageband Superstar, Isle of Wight singer Lauran Hibberd takes to the stage of Gorilla late afternoon and based on the scenes from the tour, you can be sure her set will be one to remember. For me she is certainly a name that stands out on the bill and live shows in the past I’ve seen she’s never let me down. The sucess of the record is only the beginning and I for one can’t wait to see what follows in the months and years to come.
Sundara Karma have always been such a fun band to see and to see them as one of the main headliners is such a great feeling knowing how far the band have come along throughout the years. Dropping their EP Oblivion! earlier in the year, the band have ventured into a more different and pop based sound from the earlier days of Youth is Only Ever Fun in Retrospect. It’s been a journey that’s seen the band gain a large following across the UK and overseas, becoming one of the most enjoyable live bands around.
Another one to watch is 22 year old Dylan – born in the small town of Bures in Suffolk the singer songwriter is making waves and is certainly one to watch. Following tours with Ed Sheeran & Bastille this year alone, she has quickly built a big fanbase – she is an artist who has a full package sound, a vibrant merging of both visual and sonic bliss. Catch her blow your mind on stage 2 of the Manchester Academy.
With such a talented line-up filled with some of the best, kit’s difficult to go over each and every band, the fun is there to seek out each venue and discover the goods they’ll have on show. However, there is one more must see and that is female fronted four-piece rock band from Macclesfield, Queen Cult. With hints of Paramore, Royal Blood & Nothing but Thieves, Queen Cult released their debut single Shindigger in 2019 that made its way onto Spotify’s best new artists playlist. A very exciting and must see band that will be kicking off the festival in the Zombie Shack at 1pm.
Neighbourhood is set to be an incredible day out stacked full of new music and acts that will hopefully be making their name known. Get your tickets here. Ticket holders can collect their wristbands for the event from 10am from the Manchester Student Union. A day to remember awaits.