To celebrate one year since its big reopening, Band on the Wall has revealed a new digital art installation that explores 200 years of Manchester’s rich music and social history.

Three digital art screens on the rear of the building display a specially commissioned short film directed by renowned interdisciplinary graphic designer Malcolm Garret. The footage, much of which has rarely been publicly displayed before, presents the stories, music and culture of the migrants who have influenced Manchester over the last 200 years.

The film covers three main themes. Firstly, the ‘Broadsides’, using footage from Manchester Library’s archive Broadside collection, tells the early story of the Swan Street area surrounding the venue, the Smithfield Market area, and the George and Dragon pub, which would later become Band on the Wall.

The opening sequences explore in detail this corner of the northern Quarter, depicting its forgotten history and shining a light on the migrant communities who settled in the area and shaped the bohemian neighbourhood in the midst of the industrial revolution.

Part two moves into the 20th century and is centred around the theme ‘Workers of the World Unite’. This section depicts how the Northern Quarter and neighbouring Ancoats evolved during this period, highlighting how the influx of migrants accelerated a melting pot of cultures with a variety of commercial traders, cultural venues, religious venues and markets.

The final chapter, ‘Regeneration and Re-birth’, delves into the evolution of the Northern Quarter and Mancunian collective spirit, celebrating the area’s incredible cultural past and present, paying tribute to the role Band on the Wall has played in its development.

The film will play out every evening across the three large-scale displays on the exterior of the venue, and are completely free to enjoy by the general public.

A Manchester Wire Partnership post
Wed 22 Mar, Band on the Wall,
25 Swan St, Manchester M4 5JZ
Bradley Lengden
Published on:
Wed 22 Mar 2023