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ALIVE: Manchester’s student-run festival is back with a bang this month

Come and check out over 30 student artists for the price of a pint


Everybody has the self-inflated belief  they “discovered” a musician. For me, it’s TV Girl. Whenever they start playing at a party I am possessed by something which makes me ensure every person in the room knows  “I listened to them before they were cool!”

Now, imagine just how cool you would have been to be studying at the University of Salford circa 2006 when Everything Everything formed, or UOM in the 90s when Phil Collins graduated. So many incredible music industry heavyweights formed whilst they were studying – Pink Floyd (UOW), Queen (Imperial), and Blur (Goldsmiths).

Manchester is widely regarded as the epicentre of multiple musical movements- Acid House, Madchester, the Hacienda days. However, for students currently studying here, that is maybe not the scene we are experiencing.

Photography by Maddie Drake

Five different UOM societies have joined together to run the second ever ALIVE festival at the SU on Monday 9th October to show what music in Manchester is right now, and a glimpse into the legacy our cohort will leave behind.

We chatted to the Vice-Chair of Gigs and Bands (one of the societies organising the festival) about how the event came to be, and why you should join them on the night.

Lick the Moon at Alive Festival by Amani Bates

Amani explained how some societies can feel alienating, and the ALIVE fest is a hybrid event to show off all the creative talent we have in Manchester and encourage people to get involved.

FuseFM/TV, MUMS, GABS, and MUTTS have all joined together to showcase across five stages 30 student artists. It is from this mixture of different backgrounds that a truly diverse selection of music has been picked with something for everyone, from DJ sets, indie rock, jazz and a silent disco.

Dove Ellis at Alive Fetival by Amani Bates

Rather than looking to the past and playing The Smiths on repeat (which, to be fair, is sometimes necessary) ALIVE wants to look to the future and show off all of the talent which is up and coming, right now. They sold 750 tickets last year and are on track to do the same this year. We spoke to one of the acts, Half Price Dream, about why people should come.

Half Price Dream by Carmela Drake

Rather than looking to the past and playing The Smiths on repeat (which, to be fair, is sometimes necessary) ALIVE wants to look to the future and show off all of the talent which is up and coming, right now. They sold 750 tickets last year and are on track to do the same this year. We spoke to one of the acts, Half Price Dream, about why people should come.

Half Price Dream by Carmela Drake

With their first gig being at a house party (which promptly got shut down by the council in 10 minutes), Half Price Dream really encompass what being in a student band is about. Joe and Alex primarily write the songs with Max then adding in some bass and changing the whole song to create an eclectic blend of Jazz/Indie/Blues.

Half Price Dream are really passionate about reviving live music and moving away from the repetitive night out scene in Manchester. They explained how people are sometimes reluctant to pay to see bands perform and yet will happily spend £6 on a pint. ALIVE festival is the perfect opportunity to see up to 30 different student artists, all for less than two doubles at HAUS.

Half Price Dream by Carmela Drake

ALIVE vows to make live music accessible for everyone. Whether you are a musician yourself and want to meet like minded people, or just fancy trying something different for a night out, Monday 9th October is going to be a fun opportunity to support student artists and experience something new.

Gigs and Bands have an “apply to play” form on their Instagram if you would like to be on stage at their next event, and also a WhatsApp group chat to help people form a band of their own.

The tickets can be found on the SU website or on the @alivefest.mcr instagram page.

More on: alive artists bands Festival gigs student music SU UOM