Salford festival offers once-in-a-lifetime chance to perform with BBC Philharmonic

Musicians and singers of all ages and abilities are invited to be part of a large-scale, joyful community performance

We Invented the Weekend, the brand new bold and imaginative free festival for the North, is inviting everyone to be part of a large-scale, joyful community performance, led by MediaCity’s very own house band, the BBC Philharmonic, that will celebrate the amazing history of MediaCity and Salford Quays.

Taking place on Saturday 10th and Sunday 11th September 2022, We Invented the Weekend will throw open MediaCity and Salford Quays’ spaces and places, to celebrate the joy of free time, taking in sports, music, comedy, theatre, dance, workshops, talks, food, charity, wellness, crafts and more.

The weekend was invented in Greater Manchester 1843, when Salford Lyceum director and workers’ rights activist Robert Lowes (also Sir Ian McKellen’s Great Grandfather) campaigned to win workers the right to leisure time on Saturday afternoons.

In this triumph, Greater Manchester gave an enormous gift to the world and We Invented the Weekend will honour this, in true style, celebrating leisure time, free time, quality time and me-time.

Music, performance and trying new things are what many people choose to do on a weekend. Whether you play the spoons or the sitar, a trumpet or a triangle, are part of a choir or simply love belting out a tune in the shower, this is for you.

Anyone who is enthusiastic and keen to take this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to perform with a world-renowned orchestra is invited to get in touch and become part of The Weekend Orchestra with the BBC Philharmonic: a mass community performance, with all instruments and abilities welcome. 

The piece will be composed by, Artistic Director of The Sunday Boys – Manchester’s LBTQ+ low voice choir, Michael Betteridge, and performed alongside the BBC Philharmonic in the MediaCity Piazza during the festival and will form one of key parts of the festival programme.

Photo © BBC, Mark McNulty

There is a maximum number of places and if more entries are received than can be accommodated, places will be allocated by a random draw on 1st August 2022, and successful participants will be notified by 8th August, 2022. 

To take part, you must be available to rehearse from 10am – 12pm on the day of the performance (Saturday 10th and/or Sunday 11th September) with the live performance taking place from 12.30 – 1pm. The performance will be recorded and may be broadcast.

To apply to take part in The Weekend Orchestra with the BBC Philharmonic, go to We Invented the Weekend and select whether you will be playing an instrument or singing and whether you’re available to take part in the Saturday or Sunday performance, or both. Find out more about MediaCity here.


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