THE STREETS of Salford were awash with colour this bank holiday weekend, as the much-anticipated Sounds from the Other City festival returned for yet another successful year.

With dozens of artists (local and otherwise) on the bill, the festival site stretched from the Egerton Arms at image1Salford Central station to the infamous Islington Mill. As always, the latter venue was very much at the heart of the event – in light of recent efforts to ensure its closure, each guest was encouraged to donate in order to save the iconic institution from the impending doom of demolition.

Throughout the day, hundreds of revellers could be seen flitting to and from the brightly-decorated stages, which proceeded to host artists from every background and genre imaginable. As the event began to steadily escalate, many could be seen hunched over pink festival guides, meticulously planning their route through the zig-zag of venues.


Kicking off the afternoon from 2pm were a whirlwind of trainee DJs, each hailing from Manchester Midi School in Bexley Square. A number of highlights followed: Bad Uncle at the Egerton Arms presented a raucous variety of jagged alternative, such as Leeds-based pop-punksters Milk Crimes; Tru Luv at Bexley Square brought forth an incredible variety of trap and hip-hop, headed by the explosive Tobi Sunmola and IAMDDB; the Old Pint Pot played host to plenty of psychy goodness from Heavenly Recordings with the Orielles; last but not least, Salford Cathedral became the temporary (and rather picturesque) home of the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra.

Of course, festivities weren’t just limited to music – the city was also transformed into a hub of art, craft beers and hearty food, with local institutions like Deli Diva, the Crescent Pub and The New Oxford providing a dizzying variety of food and refreshment. Everything down to the streets themselves spent a day drenched in brash artistry, as music radiated from every corner and brightly-decorated totem poles adorned the entrance of every stage.

Though most of the stages wound down after 11pm, the party continued way into the early hours of Monday morning with an array of DJ sets. For the people of Salford, this wondrous festival places their city at odds with Manchester’s often formidable cultural force – and, for this reason, Sounds from the Other City stands unbeaten as the best day of the year.


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