Headlined by The Charlatans and Lightning Seeds, the fundraising fest will be streamed worldwide
Last month, a lady called Anne Lawley tweeted: ‘As an outsider in the north I think Liverpool and Manchester are like the Royal Navy and Marines. They have a go at each other but if anyone else does it they present a united front, have each other’s backs & are generally unbeatable. Matt Hancock might be wise to remember that.’
This tongue-in-cheek take on the two cities’ famous rivalry was retweeted by Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham and attracted thousands of likes, with many echoing the sentiment. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted more than ever how unified we really are, with Burnham and Liverpool City Mayor Steve Rotheram frequently pulling together to represent the North West in pandemic-related policy.
Now the two northern metropolises be uniting once more, this time for aptly named music festival The North Will Rise Again. Streaming worldwide on 30th and 31st January, the music fundraiser will feature The Charlatans, Lightning Seeds, Red Rum Club, Ist Ist, Zuzu and LIINES.
The festival was conceived in response to the catastrophic damage caused by COVID-19 to the North’s live music scene and eco-system, with all proceeds going to charities Liverpool Music House and The Music Venue’s Trust #saveourvenues campaign. It will also provide work for independent venues, production staff and film crews that have been hit hard during the pandemic.
The event is the brainchild of John Robb and Karl Connolly, founding director of Liverpool Music House; a community interest company that recycles profits back into music infrastructure - including independent venues, rehearsal rooms, recording studios and other creative facilities - while supporting musicians, writers, performers and lighting and sound engineers.
Connolly said: "The North Will Rise Again is the start of a series of digitally streamed concerts that will distribute music to fans all over the world and will allow audiences during difficult times to enjoy live music and discussion in the comfort of their own surroundings. It is not a replacement of the live gig but allows us, until it's safe to do so, to enjoy quality bands in a safe environment."
Taking place at the iconic Invisible Wind Factory in Liverpool and recently saved Gorilla in Manchester, The North Will Rise Again is hosted by author, journalist, Louder Than War founder and Membranes frontman John Robb - who will also conduct backstage interviews and Q&As with the bands that will be interspersed between live performances.
Robb said: “As the wonderful Hunter S Thompson once said, 'when the going gets weird, the weird turn pro...' With the North Will Rise Again we fulfil his prophetic words with a series of live cast gigs that embrace the cultural, social and political aspects of the North of England and inspire, empower and entertain people across the world.
“Battered by COVID-19 and lockdowns, the North needs hope, ideas and music - it’s what we do up here. The gigs will be a series that will stream live acts and end up physical. We will bring life back to the local music communities and will draw the powerhouse cities of Liverpool and Manchester together and celebrate what we have in common to the world, then pave the way for the post pandemic culture renaissance as the North will truly rise again!”
Looking after booking and promotion is Liverpool music legend Revo (EVOL): "It's been a bleak year with so many of us not working since March, lack of support and many redundancies. The music scene in Liverpool and Manchester has been decimated and we wanted to create an event that would both highlight the many issues and show a unified defiance towards COVID-19.
“We're still here, we still want to work, we all want to do what we love. It's been a hugely positive experience bringing independent venues, film crews, production and technical staff and musicians from both cities together to show what we can still do and what we will be doing throughout 2021. We won't be brushed underneath the carpet."
Stream announcement! 📣
Pre-sales for this huge @TheNWRA_ stream go on sale this Wednesday at 9am, so set those alarms! ⏰
Featuring @Lightning_Seeds, @thecharlatans, @RedRumClub, @ististmusic, @thisiszuzu & @WEARELIINES raising money for #saveourvenues. pic.twitter.com/O4weyVZhrX
— Music Venue Trust (@musicvenuetrust) December 7, 2020
Mark Davyd of the Music Venues Trust said it was “delighted to be supported by The North Will Rise Again. It's been an incredibly challenging year but throughout the whole sector has shown our passion, dedication and commitment to getting high quality live music experiences in front of people however and whenever we can. It's brilliant to see these events continuing to happen as we fight our way out of this crisis.”
Tickets for The North Will Rise Again cost £7.50-10 for each stream and are available at ticketmasterpartners.com. Presale starts at 9am on Wednesday 9th December, with merch bundles available from Friday 11th December.