Manchester, we choose you! DJ Lauren Laverne praises ‘music capital’ after city announced as BBC 6 festival host

By Stephen Hutson

Manchester music lovers were wowed by the shock announcement today that BBC Radio 6 Music has picked the city as the host of its inaugural two-day music festival.

The digital station descended on one of Manchester’s favourite music haunts for an in-store broadcast at Piccadilly Records in Oldham Street.

DJ Lauren Laverne thrilled a small gathering of fans by confirming the festival which will take place on February 28 and March 1 at Victoria Warehouse.

Laverne went on to announce a number of acts who would be performing including Mercury Prize winner James Blake, The National, Haim, as well as Doves’ front-man Jimi Goodwin who dropped by to play an intimate 30-minute set.

The DJ said it was fitting that Radio 6 was bringing the festival to Manchester, a city she described as one of the ‘capitals of music’.

She added: “It was a natural fit, there is a strength, wealth and diversity to the Manchester scene and the festival will be celebrating its musical history.”

The news came as a surprise to most apart from Victoria Warehouse staff, who were aware of the plans for months.

TAKEOVER: BBC 6 Music broadcast from Piccadilly Records

Victoria Warehouse team member a self-professed huge Haim fan Jo Waddington visited the Northern Quarter record store and revealed she was delighted that the cat was finally out of the bag.

She said: “It’s the most exciting thing to happen in Manchester for a while, we had to keep it under wraps but now it’s confirmed everyone can look forward to the event.”

Piccadilly Records owner Laura Kennedy was thrilled to welcome some familiar music faces and believed it will be a big boost to the city’s thriving record store.

She said: “It’s great to have our name mentioned in association with BBC Radio 6 and hopefully we’ll get more music lovers coming to the store because of it.”

MUSICAL DELIGHTS: Independent music store Piccadilly Records

Manchester crooner Jimi Goodwin had some kind words for the record store which supported his band Doves in their early days.

Goodwin said: “It’s great to do the set in the shop, we’ve done sessions here in the past and they’re always supportive of Manchester bands.”

While the announcements were made live on 6 Music, a team of artists were also spray painting the names of the performing acts on a huge billboard near Deansgate Locks.

REVEALED: BBC Radio 6 Music Festival line-up

BBC 6 music marketing director Tony Dalton said: “This is BBC 6 music’s first ever festival and we have come to Manchester because of its musical heritage.

“Music bleeds through Manchester and 6 Music want to put a stamp on it.

“Manchester is a place where extraordinary music was born and 6 Music is a radio station where extraordinary music is played.”

MUSIC LOVERS: Unearthing musical treasures

“We have chosen Victoria Warehouse because it is a great venue but also had an earthy vibe, not too polished. It is a place that has a reputation for guaranteeing quality music.”

After Laverne’s morning shift the broadcast was handed over to the DJ duo Mark Radcliffe and Stuart Maconie who went to announce more acts for the festival, including Swedish singing sensation Lykke Li.

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