Dialled In Manchester at NIAMOS

Johnny James, Managing Editor
Dancers at South Asian event, Dialled In
Avel Shah.

Dialled In Manchester, NIAMOS at Niamos Centre, Manchester, Manchester 20 July 2024 Tickets from £22.00 — Book now

In their Manchester debut, South Asian collective Dialled In bring a genre-spanning line-up of artists to Hulme’s iconic NIAMOS as part of a joyous all-dayer with underground music at its core.

Dialled In is an artist-led platform, showcasing the breadth and depth of South Asian artistry. Made up of some of the brightest minds and creatives within the diaspora, the collective have hosted three flagship London festivals, taken over the Southbank Centre, programmed a classical concert at the Union Chapel, a stage at Printworks London, and a V&A late. Further afield, they played a fundamental part in the inaugural Boiler Room Pakistan, and produced an artistic residency in Nepal, bringing together South Asian creatives from around the world. All in the space of just a few years.

2024’s shaping up to be the collective’s biggest year yet, having just collaborated on the first ever dedicated South Asian space at Glastonbury’s legendary Shangri-La, and now gearing up for their debut Manchester festival in partnership with one of our favourite restaurants, Dishoom. And it’s to Dishoom we go to hear more about July’s event, meeting up with Dialled In Co-Founder Dhruva Balram, programmers Gracie T and Chandé, and a host of the creative minds involved in putting this ambitious all-dayer together.

The NIAMOS event, we learn, gets to the heart of what the collective are all about: connecting with South Asian communities while championing underrepresented voices operating within a huge range of genres. From pop, rock, indie, folk and jazz, the line-up for Dialled In Manchester is eclectic to say the least, with a hearty dose of electronic and club music for those with moves to bust.

Spilling across three stages, highlights include Glasgow-based audio-visual artist Kapil Seshasayee, who’ll be bringing Indian Classical and R&B-infused art rock, classically trained British-Tamil R&B artist Pritt, and Haaji Ka Halva, who’ll be serving up “plinky plonky soundscapes, euphoric breakbeats and playful jungle”. On the more experimental tip, check out Leeds-based Nahi Mitti, whose sets navigate a galaxy of genres, moving through experimental rhythms, ambient and deconstructed club music.

Bringing non-stop energy spanning dancehall, reggaeton, UK funky, garage, bass and old school bootlegs, DJ highlights include Asian Network resident Manara, rising star Arthi (Rinse FM), beloved NTS host and Club Yeke label head, Tash LC, Manchester legend Zaleel and longstanding QIBPOC-championing arts collective, PXSSY PALACE. 

Manchester’s Samrai (formerly of Swing Ting) and British-Colombian Florentino’s back-to-back set promises a serious club workout while Manchester local legend Chunky and Girls Dont Sync’s G33 will join forces for an MC vs DJ set. Bengal Sound, Harpriya and Korzi are also DJing, bringing special guest selector, DJ Radical Sista, along for the ride.

At Dishoom, we also learn about the workshops the collective are running in the lead-up to the NIAMOS event. Gracie T, who’s both programming and DJing at the festival, has been running DJ and marketing workshops, helping budding artists learn the skills that will help them break through to the next level. Chandé, a fellow programmer and DJ, tells me that each of the three stages will open with an “open deck”, meaning anyone – including those who have participated in the DJ workshops – can jump on for a spin. There’ll also be workshops on the day itself, with announcements to follow from Dialled In.

It’s very clear while talking with the collective that they are genuinely passionate about building relationships with communities here in Manchester, and providing real opportunities for aspiring artists. Manchester plays host to more than its fair share of festivals, but few of them make such a proactive effort to connect with and support local communities. Hats off.

And what better venue for this community-forward festival than the cooperatively-run NIAMOS, which as a historic venue has played host to everyone from Nina Simone to Gil Scott-Heron, and as a recently-reopened community hub, provides local artists with affordable rehearsal and studio space, as well as workshops, classes and events for the wider community.

As for the involvement of Dishoom, the two brands have a long-standing friendship, having teamed up at a number of Dialled In events over the years. Shamil Thakrar, Dishoom co-founder, says:

“Back in 2019 we took Dishoom to Lost Village, and this is where we first met Ahad Elley – he was brilliant as part of the South Asian line-up in our Dishoom tent. We’ve been huge admirers of the work the Dialled In team have done since. The way they bring together and champion the South Asian community is awesome. We’ve brought our food and chai to Dialled In parties over the past few years, and now it feels like the right time to do something even bigger and better together.”

More details are being announced soon on Dishoom’s involvement on the day, but it’s a reasonable assumption that you’d do well to arrive hungry.

Dialled In MCR Line up poster
Dialled In.

Dialled In Manchester, NIAMOS at Niamos Centre, Manchester, Manchester 20 July 2024 Tickets from £22.00 Book now

Where to go near Dialled In Manchester at NIAMOS

Hulme Playhouse Theatre

The Playhouse Theatre, originally known as the Hulme Hippodrome opened its doors on 6 October 1902. In 2018, the historic venue was relaunched as a community arts centre by NIAMOS – a collective of artists, musicians and local residents.

Clay Studio Manchester
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Clay Studio Manchester

Clay studio was founded in 2016 to provide a dedicated workshop for new graduates, hobby ceramicists and experienced makers. The studio also offers a range of classes for students of all abilities.

Venture Arts
Venture Arts, Manchester

Venture Arts is a progressive visual arts charity based in Hulme, Manchester, with a small exhibition space. It works alongside learning disabled artists to create and show exciting new collaborative visual artwork.


Z-arts was formed in 2000 as a ‘creative space for young people’ with a priority on providing participatory activity.

Manchester Metropolitan University Brooks building, Birley Campus in Manchester
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MMU Birley Campus

Birley is Manchester Met’s world-class centre for Education and Health Professionals and the university’s flagship community campus.

The Old Abbey Taphouse

STEAM focused – pub, hub and event space, food, local ale, recording studio, rehearsal room, urban farm + micro-brewery. Food served 11.30am-3pm and 5-10pm.

MMU Student Union

Manchester Metropolitan University Students’ Union building houses a bar and various other facilities for students and staff.

Manchester School of Art

The Manchester School of Art, of which the Holden Gallery is a part, is a beautiful neo-Gothic building that’s part of MMU’s All Saints campus.

The Holden Gallery, Manchester School of Art
The Holden Gallery

Manchester School of Art’s Holden Gallery at Manchester Metropolitan University, offers an ongoing programme of exhibitions that are open free to the public.

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