A new entertainment channel is launching in Manchester later this week, hosting free live DJ sets, music and performances every night from 7pm.
You’ll be able to watch singers, comedians, musicians, bands, poets, writers, presenters, actors and DJs, including house music from Solardo, cooking demonstrations with Gary Usher, and stand up comedy by Justin Moorhouse.
Performances will take place at artist’s homes, gardens, or from selected host venues around the region, and all performances will adhere to government advice regarding isolating, distancing and infection control.
The channel will also be used for positive public service announcements and messaging regarding safety and social distancing.
A full line up will be published each week, and the livestream is free.
Called United We Stream, the platform has been created by Sacha Lord, co-founder of the Parklife festival and the Warehouse Project, and Night Time Economy Adviser to Greater Manchester, as well as the Greater Manchester Combined Authority’s Culture team.
Pioneered by Berlin Night Tsar Lutz Leichsenring, Greater Manchester will be the second city worldwide to launch the concept, and first in the UK. United We Stream Berlin has raised over £700,000 in donations since its launch on 19th March.
Donations are welcome, with all proceeds going to Greater Manchester’s night time economy (the restaurants, bars and hotels who cannot stay open), cultural organisations and charities.
“Over the last few weeks, I have been contacted by many grass root venues, artists and freelancers, and the main thing I’ve heard is how difficult this period is and will be for them,” said Sacha.
“Many of them are in dire financial straits and at risk of never recovering.
“Together with the GMCA, we have been working hard to create opportunities and hope for these people, and I am delighted it is now about to come to fruition.
“People always associate Greater Manchester with football, music and culture – it’s in our DNA. But whichever band you prefer, or whichever colour you support, if there’s one thing Mancunians all agree on, it’s that we are a community. It’s in our blood.
“In the most difficult of times, we come together to look after each other, support each other and look after the most vulnerable.
“This is a free streaming service, however, I encourage as many as possible to please make a small contribution to watch. Anything will help, whether that’s £1 or £50. It’s only by working together as a community that we can be at our strongest.”
Seventy per cent of all donations to UnitedWeStream.co.uk will go directly to a relief fund to support the Greater Manchester’s night time economy music venues, restaurants, bars, freelancers and cultural organisations who are unable to work or operate their businesses due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The remaining donations will be split between 8% to Nordoff Robbins Music Therapy Charity (8 per cent) and the Mayor Of Greater Manchester’s Charity (22 per cent).
“United We Stream is a great way for us all to be involved in Greater Manchester, helping to support the people and organisations that make Greater Manchester’s music and culture quite so special,” said Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester.
“I want to thank Sacha Lord for leading on this initiative and ensuring that even in these difficult and unprecedented times, Greater Manchester continues to lead the way with world renowned music, arts and culture.
“As well as helping our local night time and creative industries, it’s great to give support for Nordoff Robbins, a national music therapy charity, who have a base in Greater Manchester, and offer music therapy for those affected by life-limiting illness, isolation or disability.
“From a Greater Manchester perspective, I’m thrilled to see us directing some of the money raised towards fighting homelessness in Greater Manchester, something I know all of us care about deeply here.”
Ticketmaster and Live Nation have agreed to promote United We Stream through their social channels.
“There has never been a more important time for our city, this industry and its event professionals to stand together, which is why we’re showing our support for United We Stream,” said James Allen, general manager for Manchester Arena, which is backing the project.
“We implore everyone across Greater Manchester and beyond, to get behind the initiative and the causes it supports.
“During this period of pause, technology allows us to continue to shine a light on incredible talent, until we are able to enjoy live experiences together again.”
United We Stream launches later this week.