Tonight, the seventh Salford Music Festival kicks off, with rock, pop, dub, dance, acoustic and more hitting pubs, clubs and even a church across the city. It's all free and there's no tickets. It's just turn up and tune in to the Salford vibe.
"We've got more than seventy bands and we're absolutely full" says founder Ed Blaney, whose own band, Blaney, plays the Sacred Trinity Church on Friday along with Jess Kemp, Sound of Thieves, Cabbage and proper Salford poet JB Barrington.
"The selection process is not about how many likes you've got on Facebook, or 'owt like that, it's about how you apply, so it's a really good balance and we've got some great acts" adds Ed "It wouldn't be fair to single out anyone but for the first time ever we've got an LGBT night at The Crescent, one of Salford's last great venues and landmarks."
He explains that an LGBT act got in touch, asked to play the Festival and he offered them their own night, which became the free Salford Music Festival Queer Party on Saturday (11pm-2am)...
"We've got that DIY thing going on" Ed explains "Like Ting and Ting are doing a night on Friday at Pacifica in Eccles with DJs and an MC called Craig Breen, who's ex military and really interesting. At the Salford Music Fest anyone can play...well you've got to have a song, at least."
Also epitomising the Festival are Salford Musical Youth, a group of young people in Lower Broughton who started out just meeting and learning to play in community centres but now gig all over the place, including at the huge Festwich this year. They play at the Salford Arms on Saturday night, along with six other bands...
"Salford Musical Youth have played for three or four years and they are what the Festival is all about" says Ed "They are a young band, all from Salford, and their parents and helpers are all involved in the project. They are the future of music in Salford because without that, on the street level, where would we be going? It would be all middle class, `Come to college and learn how to play an instrument or be a manager'... You can't. You've either got it or you haven't ; but you need nurturing at an early age, and Salford Musical Youth are doing so well.
"There's also Molly Corcoran, who's up and coming, very working class, a great talent and she's on at the Blue Bell in Monton on Saturday night" he adds "People might go `Monton?' but there's four cracking venues run by people who have got the city's vibe...The Blind Pig, Playfoots, Enoteca and the Blue Bell.
"The criteria for venues is that you've got to know how the Salford-ness works" Ed insists "We've blown a few venues out because you have to work with us and for the artists, and I think we've got that in place this year."
While Ed himself has just left Salford, he says the Festival will continue next year and well after that...
"I've only just moved out of the city but after two weeks I'm able to concentrate more and do the work I want for the city" he explains "The Salford Music Festival is one piece of Salford that will always exist and will never be taken away from the people.
"I've not sold out, I'm really proud and I'm really up for it this year; I feel stronger than I've ever felt" Ed adds "Anyone who does events in Salford knows how hard it is. We've got a miniscule amount of funding - which I'm very grateful for, but which is a shame because it would be so good if they really got behind it proper.
"The Festival is a great thing for the city and it's still got its integrity" he says "It does benefit the people of Salford, it does benefit those who take part, everyone gets something out of it...apart from me but I get the satisfaction of putting the bands on. I'd say to everyone `Get yourself out, it's free entertainment, support the artists who are playing and maybe buy them a pint'..."
The Salford Music Festival starts tonight Thursday 29th September and runs Friday 30th and Saturday 1st October – for full line ups and venues see the Salford Music Festival website – click here
See also previous Salford Star article on the Festival – click here