A STAGGERING £18,000 was raised for The Christie NHS Foundation Trust at the first ever Manchester Soul Festival at The Printworks.
Saddleworth’s ‘Memphis Soul Stu’ Stuart Widdall, helped put soul into the event as he performed as vocalist for four-piece group the Soul Amigos.
Around 30 other bands and artists joined them to perform live Motown and soul musicat the fundraising festival, hosted by The Printworks entertainment complex.
And the impressive total was raised as more than 35,000 soulies from up and down the country made their way to enjoy the event, in aid of The Christie Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.
Pre-sales of wristbands brought in £11,000 before a further £7,000 was raised by sales on the day, and supporters donated raffle prizes and silent auction gifts, including rare vinyl records and exclusive soul merchandise.
Influential Northern Soul fans and BBC Radio DJs Richard Searling and Stuart Maconie supported the event on their dedicated radio shows.
The event was also attended by Emmerdale’s Adam Thomas, whose dad fronts The Dougie James Soul Train that performed on the main stage.
Manchester Soul Festival is the brainchild of Manchester DJ, Frank Byrne, a devotee to the Northern Soul scene for over thirty years.
Frank was sadly diagnosed with oesophagus cancer in October 2014 and started receiving chemotherapy treatment at The Christie in Withington.
Touched by the exceptional care he received, Frank got in contact with the many musicians and DJs he has worked with over the years to put on a special fundraiser.
Fred Booth, The Printworks Centre Director said: “The Printworks was packed to the rafters for the Festival and we have been blown away by the generosity and passion for the event.
“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.
“It was a great team effort with lots of the venues in The Printworks running special food and drink offers to celebrate the occasion.
“Northern Soul is a huge part of the city’s culture and we are hoping to make this an annual event.”