Swinton Sounds

Johnny James, Managing Editor
Zola Steelpan playing in Swinton Square for Swinton Sounds
Jason Lawton / From the Other

Swinton Sounds at Victoria Park, Swinton, Salford 31 May — 2 June 2024 Entrance is free — Visit now

Ushering in summer in Salford, Swinton Sounds is back for its second edition, bringing a FREE weekend of pop-up music, performance and family fun to venues across Swinton.

From the BBC Philharmonic to From The Other, there’s a host of cultural creators involved in Swinton Sounds, each throwing their own ingredients into the melting pot, which is to spill across Victoria Park, Swinton Square, two local pubs and – new for the 2024 festival – the historic Grand Palais.

The Untold Orchestra kick things off on Friday night at the Palais, an iconic ballroom dating back more than 100 years. Hidden in plain site, it’s a stunning space that first opened as the Plaza Picture House, before becoming home to the Wishing Well disco in the 70s and 80s. Aptly, the six-piece Untold Orchestra will perform dance songs from across the eras, from disco to funk and soul. Squint and you’ll be transported to a looser, headier decade, in which Earth, Wind & Fire was a band and not a headline about the impending climate apocalypse.

There’s more live music the following day, with a pop-up stage on Swinton Square. Here you’ll also find family-friendly activities including an exclusive live premiere performance of the BBC Philharmonic’s latest CBeebies Musical Story, The Enormous Turnip, alongside a disco craft workshop, and more creative fun from local community arts organisation Arts Let Loose. Artist Lowri Evans, meanwhile, will invite people to time travel through key moments in Swinton Square’s history, rooting the festival to the vibrant history of its location.

Later in the day, the action moves to two local pubs: House of Hops and The Wobbly Stool. This is where the team behind Sounds From The Other City take the reins, hosting acts including Gideon Conn and Séamus Óg.

Stealing Sheep playing the bandstand at Victoria Park at Swinton Sounds 2023
Jason Lawton / From the Other

On Sunday 2 June, the party continues at Victoria Park, a lush green space that made for a really lovely festival vibe last year. The jewel in this park’s crown is its Grade II listed Victorian bandstand, where the SFTOC team pick up where they left off the night before. They’re hosting some great emerging bands including Big Society, Good Grief, and Meduulla, as well as DJs like Me Gusta.

There are plenty of activities to get involved in, too. Salford Mad Pride and the Lowry Show Selectors present a Citizens Assembly on Climate Change, an interactive work co-created by acclaimed theatre maker Andy Smith. For something literally more hands-on, Clay Life Mcr will be running clay-working sessions, and for kids, Walk the Plank’s giant magpie ‘Collector’ puppet will be roaming around, looking to make some new pals.

With a pop-up bar from House of Hops and street food by Dim Sum Su (genuinely great), you’ll be happily fed and watered while all this is going on, and who knows, the sun might do it’s bit, too. It owes us one from last year.

Swinton Sounds at Victoria Park, Swinton, Salford 31 May — 2 June 2024 Entrance is free Visit now

Where to go near Swinton Sounds

Pot Kettle Black cafe in Manchester.
Manchester
Café or Coffee Shop
Pot Kettle Black

Tucked away in Barton Arcade, a small but beautiful shopping centre between St Ann’s Square and Deansgate, is Pot Kettle Black. This cosy cafe serves up both excellent coffee and an inventive brunch menu (8am-3pm daily) – we particularly recommend the figs on toast, with whipped ricotta, fresh mint and infused honey.

Manchester
Park
LIVIA forest

LIVIA is an accumulation of woodlands included Drinkwater, Forest Bank, Clifton, Robin Hood Sidings, Silverdale, Queensmere reservoir and Waterdale.

Salford
Park
Duke’s Drive, Monton

Dukes Drive is located next to the historic Bridgewater Canal. Situated in the centre of Monton, this green oasis has excellent links to surrounding areas and is linked by canal tow paths and cycle routes (66) to Worsley and further afield.

Manchester
Albert Park

Albert Park is an important and valued piece of open space which first opened in 1877. Among the park’s main attractions is a fantastic all-weather astro turf pitch,

mediacity courtesy salford university
Manchester
Tourist Attraction
MediaCity and Salford Quays

MediaCityUK sits on the site of the redeveloped Manchester Docks though for the most part it’s in Salford. It’s well worth a look if you’re on a visit to  the…

squipsoup commission at mediacity create festival salford
Manchester
Event venue
MediaCityUK Piazza

Open air square – notably not a Public Square  – owned by Peel Holdings who are the developers behind the Media CityUK project as a whole. It’s a fairly large…

Manchester
Restaurant
The Botanist Media City

The newest branch of the Botanist, featuring high-class herbal-infused cocktails and a variety of world cuisine – including those impressive hanging kebabs.

Broughton Leisure Centre
Salford
Event venue
Broughton Leisure Centre

Broughton Leisure Centre is a sports facility located in Salford, Manchester. Broughton Leisure Centre houses a 25m pool and a teaching pool and also has a sauna and steam room.

What's on: Music

Until
ActivityManchester
DJ Gym at Hatch

Learn some DJ and production skills with DJ Gym Manchester, based in the culturally infused surrounds of Hatch.

from £269
Until
MusicManchester
Open Deck at Band on the Wall

Bring your records for a spin at our Open Deck session this Saturday! If you’ve bought some new vinyl from a local record shop this week, just show your receipt at the bar to get yourself a free 9” pizza!

Until
MusicManchester
RNCM Summer Season 2024

Read our highlights from the RNCM Summer Season, taking in huge collaborative events, internationally acclaimed artists and family adventures.

from £8.50
Smile Star & Garter Weekend
MusicManchester
SMILE at the Star & Garter Weekend

SMILE returns to the Star & Garter at the end of June for a weekend of all-singing, all-dancing alternative anthems, celebrating the life of Andy Martin, the pub’s legendary licensee.

from £6.00

Culture Guides