Hulme’s Community Garden Centre isn’t the first place that springs to mind when you hear the words ‘music festival’. Located on Old Birley Street, the venue is home to trees, shrubs, herbs, fruit and veg, with a focus on community engagement through gardening. But for the past three years, it’s also been the site of Green Island Festival – a celebration of local music and independent food.
Returning to the city once again for 2023, Green Island festival will host three separate day festivals at the garden centre in summer and autumn. The first festival is on Saturday 17 June with a curated line-up in collaboration with BBC Introducing, the second on Saturday 29 July and the final event will be hosted on Saturday 9 September that’ll bring together both local and global emerging artists.
The 500 capacity garden centre will host three stages; the main stage, forest stage and a third presenting a rotation of takeovers. Giving us an early glimpse of what’s to come on the bill, due to be released in full next month, Green Island has already confirmed sets from BCUC, a ferocious seven-piece from South Africa. In addition, the legendary North West DJ and producer Ruf Dug will hit the festival in July with ‘Ruffy’s Lab’, and Galivantes – a rowdy ska eight piece – are joining the June party.
Across July and September, alt-rapper Charlie Boy Manson is a noteworthy addition to the festival, as well as Sham Steele and Meduulla – a spoken word artist and rapper who featured in the 2021 season of BBC’s Rap Game – and queer nightlife icon, DJ and founder of RebeccaNeverBecky collective, Mix-Stress.
Green Island isn’t just about the music, as Manchester’s food scene gets as much love over the three days, too. With community and locality at its core, the festival will host pop-up stalls offering steamed dumplings and Japanese fusion food from Didsbury’s Midori, as well as a whole host of vegan delights from Boneless Brigade. The project of former Black Leaf chef, Grace Stubbs, Boneless Brigade focuses on plant powered street food with highlights including her oyster mushroom wings and banana blossom ‘fish’ tacos. No festival is complete without a pint or 12, and Seven Bro7hers will be on hand all weekend, with their line-up of speciality ales.
A mere two-minute walk away from Hulme’s Community Garden Centre, you’ll find NIAMOS where the festival’s afterparties will continue into the early hours. Originally opened in 1901, the venue, also known as Hulme Hippodrome has played host to a number of musical icons including The Beatles. Partygoers will head over to the venue in their droves post-festival to catch sets from vinyl enthusiasts My Analog Journal and The Dub Smugglers, who will also roll in their mega, custom built sound system.
Making sure it’s accessible to the community it’s celebrating, Green Island festival’s tickets start at £22.50 for a combined day festival and after party pass, while festival and afterparty only tickets start at £12.50 each. Pre-sale for all tickets will go live on Monday 3 April and general sale on Wednesday 5 April on Skiddle and Resident Advisor.
Co-founder of Green Island, George McGirr said: “We are committed to creating a festival that is inclusive, diverse and works as a space for Manchester’s underrepresented artists. There’s so much talent in the city so it’s more important than ever to have a platform to showcase it. Accessibility is a fundamental element of the festival as we want to encourage as many people from different walks of life to come and experience what our city has to offer.”
Green Island takes place on Saturday 17 June, Saturday 29 July and Saturday 9 September 2023. You can sign up for pre-sale tickets below.
Green Island Festival 2023
Venue: Hulme Community Garden Centre
Date: Saturday 17 June, Saturday 29 July Saturday 9 September
Price: Day tickets from £22.50, day or evening parties from £12.50