‘Post-gutter skunk-funk’ - Northern Quarter festival FAIR PLAY announces more acts for 2023

The festival will take place at some of the neighbourhood's most iconic venues.

By Emma Davidson | 31 January 2023

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FAIR PLAY festival 2022. Image: Piran Aston

Aiming to be a unique, inclusive and accessible event featuring a diverse line-up of talent, FAIR PLAY festival returns to some of Manchester’s most important cultural institutions this year with artists dubbed alternative in all of its many forms. 

Following the success of 2022’s event, FAIR PLAY 2023 has added Northern Quarter stalwart venue Night & Day Cafe to its list of spaces this year, joining The Peer Hat, SOUP, Gullivers and The Castle Hotel for the 2023 shindig.

Announcing its second wave of artists today, the festival has gathered a broad range of talent from across the country including; Brighton-based alternative seven-piece KEG, folk singer-songwriter / multi-instrumentalist Naima Bock and post-punk five-piece Silverbacks.

YAANG at last year’s FAIR PLAY festival. Image: Manc Wanderer
FAIR PLAY takes over venue’s across Northern Quarter including SOUP. Image: Piran Aston

More artists joining the line-up for 2023 include the Finnish-British electronic pop musician Otta, multi-dimensional art-pop / psych nine-piece Mandrake Handshake and Irish alternative-electronic singer-songwriter and producer piglet. 

Also joining the bill are Manchester-based experimentalists Carmel Smickersgill, Hyperdawn, Infant, Lintd, NIIX, Otis Jordan and Yossari-Baby, as well as Bermuda-born-and-raised Obeka who explores his native sound, Dianne Velvet’s alter-ego / industrial, techno, garage, noise project Lyn Vegas and “post gutter skunk funk for the people” Bikini Body.

Each year FAIR PLAY also hosts an independent record label from somewhere across the UK, and this time Spinny Nights will curate one of the festival’s stages. Bristol-based Spinny Nights was established back in 2018 and has an impressive list of artists and musicians on its roster, including Park Motive, Silkarmour and Grove.  

Beer will be on hand from Manchester brewery First Chop. Image: FIRST CHOP

Over at their curated stage at SOUP, Spinny Nights will bring fellow artists from their label including a headline performance from the incredible Bristol-based, rave-ready four-piece Scalping.

Night & Day Cafe and The Peer Hat will serve as FAIR PLAY’s late night venues this year, playing host to a late-night live set from Grove, followed by Mandrake Handshake taking to the decks until the early hours. Over at The Peer Hat the wildly successful FAIR PLAY karaoke will be hosted by local drag performers in the basement.

The Night & Day stage is also supported by local independent brewery, First Chop, whose beer selection will be available to purchase, including the festival’s uniquely designed FAIR PLAY beer cans. 

The Rodeo Magazine are taking over The Peer Hat as part of FAIR PLAY 2023, DJing throughout the day and operating a one-off pop-up shop of their recent issues and merch.



Date: Saturday 1st April
Venues: SOUP, Gullivers, The Castle Hotel, The Peer Hat & Night & Day Cafe.
Price: low wage £13.20, general admission £22