BBC Radio 6 Music Festival returns to Manchester with Arlo Parks, Christine and the Queens and Wu-Lu

The festival returns to its original home after travelling the UK for the past few years.

By Manchester's Finest | 14 February 2023

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BBC Radio 6 Music Festival is returning to Manchester this year. The festival will take place at O2 Victoria Warehouse on the weekend of Friday 24-Sunday 26 March. 

Manchester was the location of the station’s first ever festival in 2014 and Salford in Greater Manchester will now be 6 Music Festival’s permanent home. Since its launch in 2014, the festival has taken place in Tyneside (2015), Bristol (2016), Glasgow (2017), Belfast (2018), Liverpool (2019), Camden (2020) and Cardiff (2022) and it now returns to its original home, music capital of the UK, Manchester. 

The much-loved BBC music station’s flagship event will see global premieres of brand new live shows, new music debuts, unique collaborations and surprise guests.

6 Music Festival will take place at Victoria Warehouse. Image: Victoria Warehouse

Live performances will come from Loyle Carner – featuring a brand new collaboration with Manchester’s own AMC Gospel Choir (Friday 24 March), Christine and the Queens with the global premiere of his new live show (Saturday 25 March) and Arlo Parks with a global premiere of new music (Sunday 26 March). Also performing are Wu-Lu, Lava La Rue and The Big Moon.

There will also be DJ sets across the weekend from AFRODEUTSCHE, Erol Alkan, Daniel Avery, Don Letts, Good Future, Hot Chip, Jamz Supernova, Steve Lamacq, Tarzsa, The Charlatans’ Tim Burgess, Yard Act and BBC Introducing DJs, Emily Pilbeam and Phoebe I-H.

The 2023 festival will be held at O2 Victoria Warehouse Manchester with additional club nights at Band on the Wall and Victoria Warehouse themed around 6 Music’s Indie Forever and Rave Forever shows. A Morning After Mix will be live broadcast on the Sunday from Ramona.

On Thursday 23 March (from 7.30pm), a warm up show from BBC Music Introducing Live will take place at Band on the Wall. Manchester acts performing include Afflecks Palace, Antony Szmierek and Phoebe Green. 

Steve Lamacq will host and evening of Manchester bands at Band on the Wall. Image: Wikicommons

Loyle Carner says: “Mad. Six years since we last played 6 Music Festival. feels good to be back. the shows evolved a lot since back then, lucky to share the stage with some of my musical heroes. got a few extra voices coming through to lift us up too. see you soon.”

Arlo Parks says: “This is the first time I’ll be introducing my new album in a live setting and I’m so excited. To be surrounded by such innovative, singular artists is a real joy and I genuinely can’t wait for this.”

Wu-Lu says: “I am super excited about playing Manchester again – haven’t been back there in a while! Definitely going to show out, just going to try some new songs and try and do some exclusive stuff! Big shout to 6 Music for showing so much love over the course of our career.”

Lava La Rue says: “The first artist to bring me on a run of shows with them was Christine and the Queens – one of those first shows being in Manchester. It’s going to be exciting joining him on the line up for the 6 Music Festival back in Manny for a full circle moment. I was playing my debut single back on that tour with Chris and now I’ll be playing songs off my debut album at 6 Music Festival.”

The Big Moon says: “We’re so excited to be coming back to Manchester for the 6 Music Festival! Playing Manchester has always been a highlight of our tours, so we’re really excited to be back and this time with a super special surprise.”

Mark Radcliffe says: “It’s great to welcome the 6 Music festival back to Greater Manchester and particularly exciting that the focus this time will be on new work. It’s all at the Victoria Warehouse. It’s quite dark in there so I have booked an eye test in order to make sure I have the right glasses to see everything.”

Samantha Moy, Head of BBC Radio 6 Music says: “6 Music will be rooted in Salford over time, so we’re bringing the festival back home to Greater Manchester, where it all began, with some incredible performances. You may have seen Arlo Parks, Christine and the Queens and Loyle Carner before, but you won’t have seen them like this before. It promises to be a very special weekend indeed.”

Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham said: “We are delighted to welcome the BBC Radio 6 Music Festival to Manchester. There is a rich musical heritage in Greater Manchester, and a real pride in the independent music scene, and as BBC Radio 6 Music has always supported new and alternative artists, it’s a perfect fit for the festival to have its permanent home in the city for the years to come. There’s so much new Greater Manchester music out there right now that deserves to be heard, which is why we started Artist of the Month with BBC Radio Manchester, and like BBC Radio 6 Music, we want to give emerging talent a platform.”

Tickets for each separate event will be available from 10am on Thursday 16 February from the 6 Music Festival website.

The full line up for the 6 Music Festival 2023 is as follows:

6 Music Festival Presents… at Victoria Warehouse Manchester

Friday 24 March from 6.30pm

  • Tarzsa (DJ Set)
  • Wu-Lu
  • Loyle Carner – featuring a brand new collaboration with the AMC Gospel Choir from Manchester

Saturday 25 March from 6.30pm

  • Jamz Supernova (DJ set)
  • Lava La Rue
  • Christine and the Queens – the global premiere of a brand new Christine and the Queens live show

Sunday 26 March from 6.30pm

  • Don Letts (DJ set)
  • The Big Moon
  • Arlo Parks – the global premiere of new music and special guests

Club nights

Friday 24 March from 9pm

6 Music’s Steve Lamacq and guest DJs:

  • BBC Music Introducing’s Emily Pilbeam (DJ set)
  • Good Future (DJ set)
  • Yard Act (DJ set)
  • Tim Burgess (DJ set)

Saturday 25 March from 11pm

6 Music’s AFRODEUTSCHE and guest DJs:

  • BBC Music Introducing’s Phoebe I-H (DJ set)
  • Hot Chip (DJ set)
  • Erol Alkan (DJ set)

Festival Music