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Up until the 19th century, everyone in the UK worked a 6 day week. Then in 1843, right here in Greater Manchester, workers’ rights activists launched a campaign to finish early on Saturdays. They won, and in doing so, invented the weekend – a gift to workers the world over. Free festival We Invented The Weekend are celebrating this enormous achievement with a new and imaginative free festival from Salford. One massive, colourful, exciting weekend of music, theatre, sport, workshops, dancing, laughs, and more to celebrate the joy of free time.

We Invented the Weekend, Salford’s bold and imaginative free festival for the North taking place across 10th and 11th September, has announced its jam-packed, stellar music line-up which includes top-class performances, panels, workshops, party boats and more. This piece breaks down the incredible set of music, panels and art you can check out:

MediaCity Weekend stage: Saturday 10th & Sunday 11th September

The festival’s main stage will host a multitude of music talent and entertainment on the Saturday; Manchester based Playhouse Project, a family-fave rave company that creates daytime clubbing experiences, will be bringing banger after banger with beats from across the globe.

Above: Mouse Outfit will be playing at the festival

Saturday night will see the incredible Mouse Outfit, bringing their funk-fuelled live performance to the main stage. Twisted Time Machine are set to take the audience on an interactive journey through time and space on the Saturday evening, landing in all the best musical decades from the 1920s all the way to modern day and beyond!

Fronted by the charismatic Pops Roberts, the ultra-talented Lovescene will take to the stage on Sunday afternoon. Regulars of Gilles Peterson’s We Out Here festival, Lovescene have smashed onto the UK’s burgeoning neo-soul and RnB scene over the past couple of years

Unity Radio Stage: Saturday 10th September

Manchester's #1 independent radio station Unity Radio will present its own stage celebrating the city's hip hop, soul, and R&B scene; with live performances from residents and emerging talent from the city, graffiti and street art showcases and accompanying workshops.

Manchester’s July 7, tipped as one of the UK’s most promising new talents, will be taking the stage on the Saturday, joining him on the bill includes BBC Radio 1 presenter Victoria Jane, who is set to bring her soulful and atmospheric music to the Unity Radio stage, exceptional R&B artist Francesca, Link Up TV and BBC Introducing favourite RMDY, and Zambian Manchester based Artist Prido, plus Unity Radio favourites and resident DJ’s Adele Tondu, DJ Yemi, Tone Rarri, DJ Chaise, Dubzy, DJ Bayat, DJ Basha and Eldris Tiller.

Above: DJ Asha and Eldris Tiller will peform at the festival.

Sounds From The Other City presents SFTOQuays: Sunday 11th September

Celebrated Salford festival, Sounds From The Other City, will bring its true DIY ethos out of Chapel Street and onto the Quays for the first time, treating audiences to a Sunday filled with brilliant acts across four stages.

Collaborating with partners such as legendary live music venue Band on the Wall, who will be joining forces with family-friendly gig organisers Baby Rock Sampler, Salford’s annual LGBTQ+ celebration Salford Pride, and local music festival Langworthy Live, SFTOQuays will host an array of artists across four venues, the Lowry Bar, Dockyard, Seven Brothers Stretch Tent and North Bay stage.

Included in the list of incredible artists announced so far are Manchester based collective Good Afternoon DJs, musician, producer and DJ Werkha, Yemi Bolatiwa, Ellen Beth Abdi, At Home With Lilac, David Gorman, and Emma Connor.

Get Your Docks Off: Saturday 10th & Sunday 11th September

Jump on board and celebrate the most iconic artists from the legendary Manchester music scene and beyond! We Invented The Weekend are set to present Get Your Docks Off, a series of fabulous, genre-themed canal cruises, sailing you through all the best musical decades.

Saturday 10th September:

Disco 2000 invites you to take a trip on the Britpop boat, the House Music All Night Long canal cruise will transport you back to the Hacienda for non-stop house classics, it’s time to get dressed up to get down, don your sparkliest attire and get ready to bust a move on the shimmering Disco, Disco, Disco boat, or perhaps you’d prefer to take to the waters on the Northern Soul canal cruise and hit the dance floor - it's time to shuffle and stomp.

Above: Victoria Jane wil be performing at this years festival.

Sunday 11th September:

Slide onto the love boat and get ready to celebrate lovers rock on the Lovers Rock & Reggae boat, party like it’s 1995 and sing-along to all the classics on the 90s R&B & Hip Hop cruise, don your cowboy hat and join the Country Cruising canal cruise courtesy of Chorlton Country Club, and what better way to end the weekend than bobbing around listening to your favourite guilty pleasures on The 1980s Love Boat.

Happier Monday: Music Driving Change: Sunday 11th September

From the Happy Mondays and New Order, to Oasis and more recently Aitch and Bugsy Malone, Greater Manchester is a place that fizzes with music and creativity. Held in the UOS auditorium, WITW will host an exclusive music panel led by BBC’s Karen Gabey, featuring panellists Rivca Burns, director of SFTOC and music residency programme Samarbeta, Simon Webb, Director of the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, JSD, producer and founder of Midication Recordings, hotly tipped Manchester R&B artist Prima, and Louis Brown, COO & General Manager At Manchester label NQ.

Decks on the Docks: Saturday 10th & Sunday 11th September

In collaboration with Partisan Collective, WITW will host a DJ workshop + Q&A with one of the festival’s own DJ’s EM SIENNA. This is your opportunity to get your hands on some decks and try mixing the tunes yourself whilst getting some top tips.

Sounding Out: Music Shed’s intro to Music workshop: Sunday 11th September

Ever thought about playing the guitar or keyboard? WITW invites festival-goers to book in for a taster session with the talented teachers from The Music Shed. The team at The Music Shed will host a number of fun and interactive music workshops open to all ages and abilities, introducing attendees to the basics of learning an instrument of their choice.

Lowry Plaza: Saturday 10th & Sunday 11th September

The Lowry Plaza is set to host a full line-up of DJs across the weekend to get the party started, including chunky, funky disco house DJ Emma Diamond playing back-to-back with unsung club hero Barney Doodlebug, Blood & Fire’s Dom, founder and curator of arts collective RebeccaNeverBecky and local favourite Mix-Stress, multi-genre DJ Joey Name, DJ duo The Chuggernauts, and Living Room Dance Club.

The Weekend Orchestra with the BBC Philharmonic: Saturday 10th & Sunday 11th September

Hundreds of local musicians and singers of all levels and backgrounds will join the BBC Philharmonic for a huge and joyful musical celebration which will open the main stage on both days of the festival. Michael Betteridge (Artistic Director of The Sunday Boys – Manchester’s LBTQ+ low voice choir) will conduct the piece and has also written ‘Docks Unlocked’, a special song based on an original poem by Salfordian Poet, Lynn Walton which celebrates the history of Salford Docks. Hankies at the ready for what is set to be a heartening performance which will end in a rousing rendition of ‘Docks Unlocked’ led by BBC Folk Singer of the Year and Honeyfeet vocalist, Rioghnach Connolly.

You can grab a festival ticket HERE

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