Saddleworth to help put the soul into first ever Manchester Soul Festival

SADDLEWORTH IS helping to put the soul into the first ever Manchester Soul Festival this Sunday, August 30.

More than 30 live soul bands and artists are confirmed to perform at the fundraising festival, which is the first of its kind and is being hosted by The Printworks entertainment complex.

One of the performers is Stuart Widdall, Saddleworth’s ‘Memphis Soul Stu’, who will be performing as vocalist for four-piece group the Soul Amigos.

Soul Amigos band
The Soul Amigos band

Three of the members of the Soul Amigos were also part of the Manchester Soul Band “Stax of Soul” for 25 years and are legendary in the Soul music scene.

The first ever event of its kind, the Manchester Soul Festival will bring together musicians from all over the UK, to celebrate the iconic Northern Soul scene.

The idea transpired when Manchester DJ, Frank Byrne, a devotee to the Northern Soul scene for over thirty years, was diagnosed with oesophagus cancer in October 2014.

He decided to organise the festival in aid of The Christie Hospital NHS Foundation Trust after receiving chemotherapy treatment at the specialist hospital in Withington – and nearly £8,000 has been raised already.

Stuart Widdall from Soul Amigos said: “It’s going to be mad. There are a lot of acts and there’ll be a lot of people.

“But more importantly it’s going to be a great opportunity to raise a lot of money for a great cause.”

The line-up will include sets from other soul favourites The Casino Allstars, Twisted Soul and Franny Ward and more.

The all-day event kicks off at 2pm on Bank Holiday Sunday, Augst 30, with The Oldham Scottish Pipe Band parading through the Pump Yard in The Printworks.

Revellers will be invited to purchase a wristband for £5, which will entitle them to special Manchester Soul Festival offers throughout the venues in The Printworks.

Participating venues include Tiger Tiger with its specially designated Groovy Wonderland bar, The Hard Rock Cafe, and The Bierkeller, plus many more.

Not just for the original mods, the event will have something for everyone as face painting will ensure kids get into festival spirit and there will also be a fundraising silent auction with a host of luxury prizes.

Fred Booth, Centre Director said: “Frank is an influential part of the Mancunian music scene and it’s fantastic to see the support come flooding in for such a good cause.

“The Printworks is at the heart of Manchester’s city centre and ideally placed to showcase the best of Northern Soul throughout the different entertainment venues.

“We are delighted to be hosting the festival and look forward to welcoming visitors.”

Wristbands for Manchester Soul Festival are on sale now online and visit The Printworks website for a full line up of performers.

For more information call 0161 829 8000 or email


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