Manchester legends to feature as “festival of music and food” comes to Altrincham

By David Prior at

A brand new “festival of music and food for family and friends” arrives in Altrincham next month – with a glittering array of participants including 6 Music’s Mary-Anne Hobbs, Manchester music legends Clint Boon, Mike Joyce and Dave Haslam, renowned designer Peter Saville and chef Aiden Byrne.

Alt.HarFest, described as a mini urban street festival, will be held during the harvest season over the weekend of September 23rd and 24th.

Among the highlights will be DJ sets and an ‘in conversation’ session with Altrincham resident and Market House regular Mary-Anne Hobbs, DJ sets from The Smiths’ star Mike Joyce and Haçienda legend Dave Haslam, and an ‘in conversation’ session with Factory Records co-founder and designer Peter Saville.

The HarFest will take place in locations around Market House

And there’ll be numerous other local acts – from bands to DJs to samba workshops – across two live sound stages to be built around Altrincham Market and Market House.

Also involved in staging events will be the Cinnamon Club – which will host DJ sets from Joyce, Hobbs and Haslam on the Saturday night – the Conservative Club on Market Street, and Altrincham Town Hall.

Legendary Factory Records designer Peter Saville will be ‘in conversation’ at Altrincham Town Hall

The weekend will culminate in a HarFest Parade – featuring Mr Wilson’s Second Liners, a marching brass band who play house classics – and then a special sit-down charity HarFest Supper, to be created by Manchester House supremo Aiden Byrne, with all money raised donated to Warrington’s Brainwave and Didsbury’s Reverse Rett, two charities supporting children with brain disorders.

Mr Wilson’s Second Liners, a marching brass band who play house classics, will take part in the HarFest parade

It’s all the idea of Nick Johnson, co-founder of Market House co-owner Market Operations, with help from local resident Jon Drape, Director of Ground Control, the production team behind Festival Number 6, Parklife and the Bluedot Festival.

“It’s really the opportunity for people who live locally and care passionately about Altrincham to pool their resources, mine their connections and put something back into their town,” said Drape.

6 Music’s Mary-Anne Hobbs is also involved

“The festival is by the people, for the people,” added Lucy McElhinney, who runs The Music Place, the highly regarded local music school that has seen the likes of Rob Turner, drummer with Mercury nominees GoGo Penguin, and Man Made’s Nile Marr pass through its doors.

Alt.HarFest will be mostly free (with the exception of charity fundraising events and music workshops), funded without sponsorship or public funding by the people staging the event.

“We want to show what a little bit of people power is capable of delivering,” said Drape.

The full line-up: