Ibiza is coming to The Refuge this May Bank Holiday

The Electric Weekender at The Refuge with Francois K, Pikes Hotel, Love International, Levanter Foods & More

By Steven Pankhurst | Last updated 18 April 2017

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26th- 28th MAY 2017


In collaboration with


‘Come as you are’ is the well-known motto used by Manchester’s famous DJ duo – The Unabombers – to promote their legendary parties which include Electric Chair, Homoelectric, Electric Elephant, Electric Souls, as well as their journey into food and drink, with Electrik Bar and award winning Volta. It will be used again this coming May (second bank holiday weekend) when they’ll be taking over The Refuge by Volta on Manchester’s Oxford Road and Whitworth Street, from 28th May for a three day music, food and drinks extravaganza, in collaboration with the iconic New York City DJ – Francois K, legendary Ibizan Hotel, Pikes and Croatian festival, Love International.

‘The Electric Weekender’ is a specially curated event free event (FK is ticketed) and a celebration of all the things the illustrious pair hold dear (namely food, drink, music and parties) from their 25 year journey, and it will see the 10,000sq foot Refuge space and outside street evolve over the weekend, including a New York loft style party in a basement, a proper old pub knees-up with local craft beers heavyweights, an all-day Sunday Balearic soiree reminiscent of the original spirit of the White Isle, the dining room and public bar and The Winter Garden.


Day 1 – Friday 26th May | Electric Chair Hero presents return to NYC with Francois K. ’77 to ’87 | The Refuge Basement | Tickets £20

Kicking off the weekender will be Electric Chair hero and New York demi-god Francois K, who will be returning to Manchester on Friday 28th April, exactly 20 years after playing at the now defunct Music Box just 300 ft away. FK will be spinning tunes all night long in the Refuge basement, a recently unveiled space in the underbelly of The Principal Hotel, in an iconic homage to New York City between 1975-1985. From the Loft, through to Paradise Garage, FK’s set will provide a rich musical journey through soul, funk, house and disco, playing the tunes that made the era so revered and inspired what happened in clubs and music for the next 40 years.



Day 2 – Saturday 27th May | A Love International Takeover | The Refuge Basement & Courtyard | FREE Entry

On the Saturday, the subterranean basement space will transform into an old school Manchester pub set-up, fittingly named The Refuge Arms. With sawdust adorning the floors and piano players tinkling away playing the punter’s favourite songs, this old school, boozy beer takeover will provide a day of good old fashioned pub debauchery complete with pickled eggs and a tap take over by ShinDigger Brewery Co.

Saturday night will see the hotel’s outside space taken over for a ‘summer of love’ street party hosted by Love International, whose Croatian festival has won the hearts of thousands of people from all over the globe. Alexander Barck, part of the Jazzanova crew of DJs and producers from Germany, will be playing a set fusing many styles, including, acid jazz, soul and broken beat in the stunning Refuge Street.


Day 3 – Sunday 28th May | A Pikes Hotel Ibiza Takeover | The Refuge Basement & Courtyard | FREE Entry

The Sunday will be a collaboration with Ibiza’s famous Pikes Hotel and this is the first time this illustrious hotel has partnered with anyonein Manchester. Programming the street with legendary Ibizan DJs, Alfredo and Leo Mass who single-handedly started the whole Balearic revolution at Amnesia

Justin Unabomber said: “It’s an honour to have Alfredo and Leo playing at our weekender in our beautiful outside street here at The Refuge.”

This is the beginning of a beautiful partnership that will see The Unabombers travel to Ibiza to return the favour later in the summer.

Creating the flavour of the Spanish Island will be award winning Laventer, whose Ramsbottom restaurant saw them voted in the top 100 UK restaurants with huge love also coming from food critic, Jay Rayner.

Another addition to the weekend session, will be pop up food heros’ including Robert Owen Brown, one of Manchester’s most respected and loved chefs, who will be cooking up a storm with a pop-up grill situated in the outside street space, Waterhouse Way.

Luke Unabomber said: “This weekender is the culmination of a 25 year journey that has taken us from being DJ’s to bar and restaurant owners and festival organisers. This is so much more than a music festival, it’s about food, drink and good times.”

“It will be exciting to see the Refuge space transform over the three days, providing an ever-changing space for the rosta of talent that we have hand selected to help us really bring the party to Manchester.”

“Watch this space for our evolving line up and programme of events”.

The weekender kicks off at 4pm on Friday 26th and will finish late Sunday night with a closing party down in the basement.