Cohesion Festival – Manchester

If T4 on the Beach with The Pussycat Dolls and Will Young had you cringing and the absence of Glastonbury has caused your summer to lack excitement, then Cohesion Live will restore your faith in music festivals. Manchester’s newest and biggest outdoor music festival will take place in Platt Fields Park as Manchester Aid to Kosovo (MaK) aim raise funds to complete Manchester Peace Park in Kosovo.

Backed by XFM Manchester, this promises to be one of the musical highlights of the year, as well as an historical occasion. Ever since 1999, when the concept of MaK was born in a Mancunian pub, this voluntary organisation has been working to support the Kosovan people and help them rebuild their lives following the brutal ethnic cleansing campaign in the Balkans. The completion of the Peace Park will provide a landmark for those evacuee families who, having sought refuge in Manchester, have now returned to their homes and wish to commemorate their time here.

With special guest headliners, there are home-grown stars and stalwarts of the music scene. MaK Patron, Badly Drawn Boy, will be airing some exclusive new material. Elbow, I Am Kloot and Durutti Column line up on the main stage alongside ex-Blur guitarist and NME’s Best Solo Artist 2005, Graham Coxon. Ex-Smiths bassist Andy Rourke has formed a supergroup for the event and 2006 Mercury Music Prize Nominee and former Lamb front woman, Lou Rhodes, will be appearing. There’s also the promise of an exclusive DJ set from Doves who are looking forward to escaping the confines of the recording studio where they’re constructing their follow-up to Some Cities.

The second stage, curated by the pioneering High Voltage Sounds, sees hotly-tipped Deltasonic trio The Longcut headline with appearances from art punks Roland Shanks, Leeds party boys The Sunshine Underground, Preston groove merchants The KBC and more.

The festival has its roots in Cohesion, a critically acclaimed 36-track compilation CD produced in 2001 by MaK. It featured some of Manchester’s best musicians including Badly Drawn Boy, Ian Brown, Doves and Mr Scruff. Now, Cohesion Live! reunites many of these artists, bringing the spirit of the original Cohesion CD gloriously to life at this unique festival.

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