Festival celebrates 50th anniversary of Bob Dylan’s Manchester ‘judas’ gig

Almost 50 years ago Bob Dylan played one of the most infamous concerts in Manchester music history.

At the time Dylan was the leading figure of the American folk music revival.

But when the 25-year-old turned up to play the Free Trade Hall he had no intentions of playing a full set of acoustics.

Instead he played his music loud and electric to the dismay and repugnance of the audience.

One roared out ‘JUDAS!’ but this only spurred Dylan on for more.

‘I don’t believe you… You’re a liar!’ he replied, before turning to his band and shouting, ‘Play it f****ng loud’ as they launched into Like A Rolling Stone.

With such an anniversary coming up, a music venue in South Manchester is planning an early celebration by a staging an all-day Dylan Festival for charity on Saturday October 25. 

The day kicks off at 12pm on Saturday October 25 and runs until midnight at the newly opened Fred’s Ale House, Art Gallery and Coffee Shop in Levenshulme village.

Fred’s Ale House has teamed up with the 2015 Levenshulme Festival, the Oxjam music festival and one of the UK’s premier Dylan historians, CP Lee, to raise the much-needed funds for the work that Oxfam carried out with refugees throughout the world.

Lee is also a writer, broadcaster and musician who became a lynchpin of Manchester’s punk rock explosion with his band, Alberto y Lost Trios Paranoias.

Tony Hennigan from the Levenshulme Festival said: “We started the Festival in 2008 and with the 50th anniversary of his Free Trade Hall Concert coming up in May we thought we would give people a pre-taster.

“This year’s event looks set to be one of the best yet. It is part of the national Oxjam Music Festival which is raising money to support the refugee crisis.”

Dylanfest, which is one of only seven Bob Dylan Festivals in the world, will feature rare films, a quiz and acts from all over the UK, paying tribute to the music of Bob Dylan.

A wide array of bands and acoustic acts will take to the stage including: Lee (who was actually at the infamous 1966 concert), Maestro of Mirth, James Holt, Chris Flynn, Mulholland, Lonesome and Penniless Cowboys and Charlotte Kinsella.

Any acts of bands who want to perform at the festival should email: [email protected]

Tickets for the event are £5 in advance, £3 early bird, or £7 pound on the door and all money raised will be going directly to the refugee crisis through Oxfam.

To book tickets go to www.skiddle.com or you can buy directly from the venue.

For more information go to www.levenshulmefestival.co.uk

Related Articles