Manchester’s Grassroots Music and Arts Festival FOUNDATIONS Returns This December

  • Two day micro-festival returns on 14 and 15 December
  • Features live music and art installations from local talent
  • Taking place in Northern Quarter venues Aatma and The Peer Hat

FOUNDATIONS Festival is returning to Manchester this December to celebrate the city’s grassroots alternative music and art scene.

Focusing on recognising the talent beyond the big names of Manchester’s cultural exports, Foundations will be hosting live music, art installations, discussion panels and even an alternative Christmas celebration featuring cabaret, poetry and satanic Santas.

After a successful debut festival in 2016, the micro-festival will take place on Friday 14 and Saturday 15 December at Northern Quarter venues The Peer Hat and Aatma.

Foundations Festival lineup poster
Foundations Festival’s official poster

Festival curator Emily Oldfield said: “This is a community-based festival, we want to make a difference and create a really immersive experience that gets you familiar with bands on the scene in Manchester right now.

“It’s going to be an experimental festival, with films screened onto the walls and art installations. Then in the evenings music will be going on downstairs at The Peer Hat and Aatma.”

Saturday afternoon sees a panel discussion on the Community Action Stage, hosted by Emily and esteemed musician and music journalist John Robb, creator and editor-in-chief of music publication Louder Than War.

Community Action Stage hosts John Robb and Emily Oldfield
Community Action Stage panel hosts John Robb and Emily Oldfield

Emily said: “If we’re doing a community-based festival we want to be accessible to everybody. On Saturday it’s going to be free during the day so people can come along to the panel. There’s going to be discussion about issues in music and culture affecting Manchester right now. HAUNT Manchester’s Black Christmas series of celebrations will be happening in The Peer Hat bar until 7pm on Saturday too, featuring some of the city’s finest alternative talent.”

The festival aims to create a more ‘immersive experience’ than conventional music festivals by hosting a variety of multimedia performances in intimate independent venues.

Foundations also has a variety of volunteer roles available to those who wish to get involved. Opportunities include artist liaison, social media management, box office and merchandising to overseeing the events, installations and attractions throughout the weekend.

Emily added: “It’s a really good opportunity for people who want to get into events management or people who are interested in music festivals and the music scene and want to get to know some grassroots artists and record labels.”

Tickets and information on how to volunteer can be found at