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Doomsday for Dpercussion

Lynda Moyo waves hello and says goodbye to Manchester’s biggest free music festival

Written by . Published on August 3rd 2007.


Doomsday for Dpercussion

After a decade of much-loved Manchester music, a decadent lack of much-needed Manchester money has meant that this year’s Dpercussion will be the last.

Last year festival goers were given stickers emblazoned with the statement ‘I saved Dpercussion’ but whilst they may have saved last year’s event, it wasn’t enough to secure the festival’s future. The slogan this year reads ‘Dpercussion is dead – long live Manchester,’ a positive epitaph to what will be a sadly missed affair for Mancunians, artists, visitors and organisers alike.

It won’t be long before another big event carries on from where Dpercussion left off

Long live Manchester indeed, after all this is what the event set out to mark when Manchester was recovering from the IRA bomb back in 1996. The original Repercussion festival aimed to restore the city’s morale and encourage Mancunians back into the city centre for original talent and a big party.

In keeping with its mission statement, the event, which changed from Repercussion to Dpercussion, has annually exposed the best in new talent as well as big name acts.

Festival organizers, Ear to the Ground, made a commitment to promoting positive happenings in the city: taking up and coming acts out of the underground and into Castlefield. Yes Castlefield, the area which Manchester Confidential has exposed as a precious site desperately in need of TLC. The aim is to take positive action in pushing for change as the area receives another blow to its crumbling cobbles: that blow being no more Dpercussion.

Despite the ‘donation’ of £2 (which was optional but made you feel like a scabby skinflint if you didn’t pay it), last year’s rammed out Castlefield confirmed, people don’t mind paying so long as the acts provide quality and value.

So why is this the last one? Quite simply a lack of funding. It's only through council intervention and the determination of Ear to the Ground that this year's event is going ahead at all.

With the success of other Manchester and Salford festivals this year such as Eurocultured, Manchester International Festival and Sounds from the Other City, hopefully it won’t be long before another big event carries on from where Dpercussion left off. Indeed Ear to the Ground see the demise of Dpercussion as maybe the prelude to another major Manchester happening. They’re keeping schtum at the moment but in the meantime the New Islington Festival (Saturday 1 September) with Urban Splash is beginning to grow into a more family friendly version of the annual Castlefield extravaganza.

The final Dpercussion aims to go out on a high note. Expect a crowd of over 80,000, enjoying the bars but most of all anticipating a selection of music to suit all tastes. This year sees the likes of The Sunshine Underground, Cherry Ghost, Belle and Sebastian, Mani, Liz Green fresh from her stint at Glastonbury, Karima Francis, Virus Syndicate, This is Seb Clarke, Dave Haslam, Eugene McGuinness, who has just signed to the Artic Monkeys label, up and coming hip hop star Akala, and 70s disco DJ Norman Jay adding to the 200 acts on nine magical stages.

The action starts at noon on Saturday 4 August in the Castlefield Arena and carries on into the night. This year entrance costs £3 and is no longer a donation, but after a decade of free Dpercussion it’s the least we can do to say thanks and goodbye.

For more details please visit www.dpercussion.com
And here for thelineup

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9 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

AnonymousAugust 3rd 2007.

there is not really any proper way to police admittance at dpercussion the area is too open to properly cordon off, they do the best they can in the circumstances. only way to do it better is use another area, but in the city center or surrounding, can anyone else thing of somewhere that holds 50,000 people, i know i cant.although a smaller, say 20,000 capacity, and a proper ticket price of around 20 pound or something would be ideal

Professor Rob RightAugust 3rd 2007.

What a shame to hear that the UK's third city of Manchester will be losing this event. Perhaps you could hire someone from Birmingham's NEC group that knows a thing or two about orgainsing world class international events? Although whether they could stop it raining in the streets of your mill town might be asking a bit too much!?

BocaAugust 3rd 2007.

Most of D Percussion was good but why oh why does every event seem to have these ridiculous fairground rides? It's a music festival not a fun fair. Who's idea was it to site one of the rides 30 metres from the acoustic stage? I couldn't hear any of the music due to the noise that the pikies were blasting out.With regard to getting in and out I must have done it about ten times between 1pm and 9pm without any problem by going over the white bridge.All in all a good day.

DissapointedAugust 3rd 2007.

Ten years in - no one knows about this outside of Manchester - too many people who didn't seem interested in the music - too many stages - the soundclash between each area was horrific - the bloody fairground was a pain and played sh%te music far too loud - it was bloody awful.Organise a real event with a real ticket price and try to have a better booking policy.Ear to the Ground always put their heart and soul into these events, but they always seem to seem badly thought out and badly organised.A real waste of a final event and a real shame.

shaggitAugust 3rd 2007.

I went, got drunk and fell over. I blame it on the lager.

Simon JAugust 3rd 2007.

I was really annoyed last night after we were told we would be let back in if we nipped out of the festival at about 6pm. When we got back they shut the event and wouldn't let anyone in, even if they had already paid. Many of the police and event staff (as well as visitors) were being obnoxious and winding the crowd up even further.It's a shame they didn't sell the same number of tickets as capacity. As a result, hundreds of paying customers missed out. I hope they remember that for any future replacement.

BarryAugust 3rd 2007.

They manage to fence off the canal street area during pride - how hard can it be to do Castlefield?

johnAugust 3rd 2007.

From what I saw and what I experienced everyone was having an amazing time. D:percussion is an amazing event and I truly hope something replaces it. As for people not knowing about it outside Manchester, we had friends from London, Milton Keynes, Birmingham and even smelly Sweden come over and everyone headed home (albeit at six in the morning) still smiling.

gazzooaAugust 3rd 2007.

a great day. the best 3 quids worth of entertainment that you can find.Can nothing be done to save it?Come on Gordo, I see you out & the kind of people you drink with - surely they could rustle up the budget between them for a bit of PR?!

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