Manchester’s Neighbourhood Festival: The best model for a festival?

Neighbourhood Festival took place on Saturday, October 1st across 13 venues all over Oxford Road, bringing new and established artists to the city of Manchester.

And what an excellent festival it was with the bands playing at an incredibly high level to an adoring Manchester crowd.

However, this unique style of event combines all the best aspects and eliminates all the worst aspects of your traditional field festival.

Rain dampening the mood? No problem all venues are inside.

Are portaloos not taking your fancy? No need to worry, no portaloos in sight.

Can’t afford festival pints? Bars and pubs are plentiful down Oxford Road which remained open during the event.

The same goes for food, with brilliant independent eateries to discover.

The structure of venues is specifically designed to amplify the music, not a few trees.

Yet the benefits still remain.

Unrivalled atmosphere, quality performances, with easy-going people who all share the same fundamental interest… the music.

However, rail strikes and some overwhelming support from festival goers, left many people disappointed.

Rail strikes took place on the Saturday, which resulted in late-minute cancellations from some of the acts.

Venues also hit capacity very quickly, which left NBHD having to operate a one in one out system when this occurred. 

Yet the organizers constantly updated their socials and the app to keep the crowd in the loop.

But with the huge selection of talent available, another impressive performance wasn’t far away. 

NBHD prizes itself on promoting grassroots artists from all across the UK bringing them the opportunity to perform across Manchester’s biggest venues.

And of course, festival goers will be receiving performances from some of the greatest indie-rock stars.

Some headliners this year included indie rock sensations, The Snuts, Mancunian legends, Everything Everything and Wigans own The Lathums who were a late addition to the line-up.

The Lathums played at the Manchester Academy at 16:15 to an admiring home crowd.

The Wigan-based group started off incredibly strong with Fight On and I See Your Ghost, with the band also teasing their new song Facets and Their Idioms.

In their set, they played fan favourites like The Great Escape and Just How Beautiful Life Can Be which received boisterous cheers from the crowd.

Lead singer Alex Moore performed the latter with The Killers lead singer Brandon Flowers after supporting them on their European tour.

That wasn’t all the band had a whirlwind summer including headlining Reading and Leeds, headlining TRNSMT and a UK tour with a performance at the Arena on October 28th supporting Kasabian.

And as well brilliantly headlining NBHD.

The trickiest decision for those attending the event came when they had to decide between headliners and Manchester giants Everything Everything and The Snuts who are conquering the indie-rock scene currently. 

Everything Everything strongly announced why they were Manchester favourites with an unbelievable start to their show.

Lead singer Jonathon Higgs’ powerful vocals instantly created an electric atmosphere in the O2 Ritz.

The notoriously bouncy floor to the Ritz was absolutely rocking when Higgs belted out Can’t Do.

However, my answer to the tricky decision was in the hope to catch the whole of The Snuts’ set.

A band which have taken 2022 by the scruff of the neck by supporting The Kooks, Kings of Leon, and is about to embark on their UK-wide tour.

The Glasgow group had their fans quickly under their spell after playing their most popular song Glasgow instantly.

The rest of the set maintained the same high quality and high energy.

The group were showing off their brand new second studio album Burn The Empire, which they released a day before the event.  

Already released songs from the album Zuckerpunch and The Rodeo lead the fans desiring more with their already extended set not feeling enough.

It was the perfect way to round off a fantastic Neighbourhood Festival.

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