Greater Manchester musicians play virtual festival to fight food poverty

Performances by bands including Blossoms and The Slow Readers Club will raise funds for FareShare, Stagehand and Help Musicians
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Stockport band Blossoms and Manchester-based The Slow Readers Club will join more than 40 international artists uniting to raise vital funds to fight food poverty, help struggling music acts and entertainment industry workers.

Tickets are now on sale for the two-day virtual festival called Music Feeds, which has been organised by the Co-op and Everybody Belongs Here, the music promoter working to do good in the entertainment industry.

The line-up also features Sam Smith, Fontaines D.C., Newton Faulkner and Flogging Molly.

Music industry veteran and James band member, Saul Davies, is the creative powerhouse behind Music Feeds.

“At Music Feeds you’ll get never-seen performances from leading artists, uncover new bands, and get up-close and personal with interviews,” he said.

“The festival will be broadcast to your Smart TV and devices over two nights, and festival goers can even join the sofa mosh-pit via the simultaneous Twitter listening party.

“Additional artists who have been unable to perform have donated unique items for the companions Music Feed charity auction.”

Pic Paul Husband Photography

As part of Music Feeds, Co-op will donate a total of £1M, which will go to FareShare to fight food poverty – helping to provide around 2.5 million meals – and will also help two music industry causes Help Musicians and Stagehand, who care for musicians and live production workers during times of crisis.

In addition, all net profits from ticket sales will be split among the three charities.

Co-op has campaigned hard to raise awareness of food poverty and was one of the first signatories to Marcus Rashford’s new Food Insecurity Taskforce.

The retailer and Marcus first joined forces to help tackle the issue back in summer 2020 when the footballer starred in the Co-op’s television advert helping to raise funds for the food charity FareShare.

Photo credit FareShare

Co-op’s support for Music Feeds comes hot off the heels of an announcement that the retailer will join forces with Oak View Group to develop the UK’s biggest new arena in Manchester, Co-op Live.

Set to be located on the Etihad Campus, the site of Manchester City’s Etihad Stadium in Eastlands, it is currently hoped that the venue will be ready to be opened in 2023.

“Hunger knows no borders, and neither should our response,” said Jo Whitfield, CEO, Co-op Food.

“All year round, Co-op works to tackle food hunger and we’re thrilled to be uniting with outstanding musicians from across the world to turn up the volume on the issue.

“The pandemic has brought a sharper focus on issues such as food poverty and many in the music industry have seen their livelihoods disappear overnight because of lockdown restrictions.

“It’s right that we should lend our support and co-operate with musicians to raise awareness and raise funds for such vital causes.”

With a single £15 ticket giving access to both nights, the festival is priced to allow as many people as possible to support the causes, says Saul.

There is also the option for festival goers to donate more.

“So, if you want to take positive action to end hunger, buy a ticket for yourself, buy one for a friend or donate one to charity, but please help by buying a ticket at MusicFeeds.org,” said Saul.

Music Feeds takes place during the evenings of 28th and 29th January 2021, with a single £15 ticket giving access to both nights. More information and tickets available at MusicFeeds.org.

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