Friars Live is reborn, thanks to BIMM Manchester BA2 Music Business student, Sophie Cade and her colleagues, Seb and Ben.
Here’s the story of, how, why and what’s next…
What is Friars Live?
Friars Live is a regular live music event based at Warrington’s Friars Court. It aims to boost the local music scene and provide a regular live platform for local bands who are giving the industry a real shot.
When did it start?
The showcase event began a few years ago at the same venue, Friars Court, and featured a number of bubbling bands including Catfish and the Bottlemen in 2013. The event came to an unfortunate stop due to time restrictions of the venue owner. However, in September 2016 Seb Caddick and Ben Hoyles organised a one-off live music event at Friars Court to raise funds for the Viola Beach Memorial Fund and I offered to help out with any promotional needs. Featuring local bands, the event raised over £1,000 and we agreed with the venue owner that the three of us would give Friars Live another shot due to such a successful night! We’re looking forward to hosting our 3rd event in February.
What’s the aim?
Our aim is to provide a stage for surrounding bands to promote their original music, and to provide local music fans with the opportunity to see a live gig on their doorstep. Friars Court is an indie music venue and the people who regularly attend are mostly well into that side of entertainment. There’s a few open mic nights around Warrington and the odd small gig but the three of us really believe we can generate a brand around Friars Live and make it a mark on people’s calendars.
At our last event somebody I didn’t know came up to me and said that because of Friars Live, she no longer needs to go to Manchester or Liverpool to see live music- so that explains it a lot really! In addition, although under tragic circumstances, the unfortunate death of Viola Beach and Craig opened the town’s minds a little bit as to just how good the talent here is. The local council offer next to nothing in arts funding so it’s very difficult for other bands wanting to follow in the footsteps of Viola Beach to get a kick-start. Although it’s positive to see so much going on around local cities, sometimes it can feel overwhelming and it definitely means more to the three of us to try and generate something proactive in our home town.
Does Manchester’s music scene have an effect on you?
Personally it does as I live and study in Manchester, and I know Manchester has provided Seb and Ben some great opportunities to play with their band Michigan. In terms of having an effect on the event, the Manchester live music scene is nothing but booming and we have been able to exploit this by bringing in bands like The Hotspur Press, Black Sonic Revolver, and Kashmere. Bands like these jump at opportunities like Friars Live because it gives them the chance to play outside of their own city, without the need to cough up for too much petrol in the van!
Any advice you’d give to people wanting to start their own night?
Find your own niche, don’t be afraid to accept help from others, and go with your instinct!