UK’s biggest music-writing festival – Louder Than Words – returns to Manchester and in real life


The Louder Than Words music and writing festival is growing every year. Today in its ninth edition, it remains the only festival that truly questions this love story that continues between music and writing.

After last year’s virtual festival… and now we come to what writer Caitlin Moran called “the big inconvenience”… we are delighted to announce that we will be back “IRL” to Manchester, the perennial home of the festival. However, there are two key changes. First, some of what has been learned about how it works online has been carried over, to give our visitors the choice of attending in person or participating online. Second, we have moved home. Fittingly, the festival will now take place at the Innside hotel on Tony Wilson Place, and in the shadow of what used to be Manchester’s Haçienda nightclub.

There is so much to choose from, it’s hard to isolate the highlights, so for full details as well as all event tickets, and full day and weekend passes, go to the website. We can tell you that the festival kicks off on Friday November 12th with a typically elastic and eclectic collection of events, from famous designer Malcolm Garrett speaking all things Buzzcocks to a panel of junglists and a DJ set.

On Saturday, Daniel Rachel discusses his bestselling book Oasis; Eleanor McAvoy presents her new movie and performs live, Kevin Cummins discusses his photography of Joy Division, and Jordan talks about life as one of the original punks. As for musical performances, is it possible to have a more varied selection than that which goes from Frank Bellow of Anthrax to John Illsey of Dire Straits via Will Sergeant of Echo and the Bunnyman?

And Sunday closes in a similar vein, with panels covering topics as diverse as gender, Shane MacGowan, skinheads and Ravi Shankar, with renowned writers on all these topics like Paul ‘Smiler’ Anderson, award-winning Daniel Rachel, Roisin Dwyer, David Hepworth and Paul Morley. If that wasn’t enough, how about tackling Dylan, Lennon and God? Well, Sleeper’s Jon Stewart will attempt to do it… all at the same time, within one panel.

And this is only to scratch the surface, because elsewhere many academics and music authors meet for panels, discussions, questions and answers, workshops… and even a musical quiz! In addition to hearing their stories, the Festival also offers a unique chance to connect with people often seen only on stage; in the much more social and conducive atmosphere of Innside. We have the exclusive use of three adjacent hotel reception rooms during the weekend, providing visitors with the best experience of moving comfortably between rooms. With the three rooms operating throughout the weekend, there is obviously a lot of choice and we will also have a dedicated bar area, for our pop-up bookstore, signings and… of course… meetings before and after the events.

Since its first incarnation in 2013, the number of audiences and contributors has more than doubled at Louder, which has only increased the variety of conferences, panels and workshops scheduled over the weekend. During these years, the festival has hosted musical characters such as Rick Buckler (The Jam), Guy Garvey (Elbow), Edwyn Collins, Viv Albertine, Mary Anne Hobbs, Woody Woodmansey (The Spiders From Mars), Wolfgang Flur ( Kraftwerk), Brix Smith (The Fall), Tim Burgess (The Charlatans), Miles Hunt (The Wonderstuff), Bob Geldof, Hugh Cornwell (The Stranglers) and Alan McGee (Creation Records).

Participants come from as far away as San Francisco and Moscow to participate in a weekend that includes panels, Q&A moderated by John Robb de Louder (among others) and very special performances from all over the musical world: from rave to metal; from ska to punk.

In addition to looking back with the most important musical personalities of decades past, Louder Than Words also celebrates future voices, with an emphasis on the role of education in music and journalism, which he has seen. act to welcome new writers to come; involve students as volunteers and panelists; organizing workshops on everything from writing to publishing, music creation, music journalism and music law. The Wilko Johnson Writing Award will make an extremely welcome return, celebrating young music writers under the age of 25 and there is much to enjoy on the sidelines of the Festival.

Time: November 12-14, 2021

Location: Innside Hotel, 1 First St, Manchester M15 4RP

Tickets: Tickets are available through and are available as weekend passes, day passes or event tickets, ranging from £ 5 for one event to £ 75 for a full pass to the entire three-day weekend (prices are subject to booking fees)

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