One of the most exciting new additions to the festival calendar, Columns is a one-night celebration of the best in leftfield pop, hip-hop and electronica, all staged in the stunning cavernous surroundings of Manchester Cathedral. Since its inaugural show in 2014, the event has welcomed both established international acts such as Future Islands, Zola Jesus and Purity Ring, as well as emerging homegrown talents like East India Youth, Rosie Lowe and Shivum Sharma.
Following the success of its 2014 debut and spring 2015 follow-up, the festival will return to Manchester Cathedral for a third feast of future sounds at the end of October. Columns tickets are expected to be snapped up quickly for what is fast becoming one of Manchester's must-see musical events.
Renowned for its stunning stained glass displays and wooden furnishings, Columns' home, Manchester Cathedral, dates back to the Middle Ages and is one of fifteen Grade 1 listed buildings in England's second city. The cathedral first began hosting concerts in 2009 and has since hosted the likes of Wild Beasts, Anna Calvi, The Fall, Belle & Sebastian, Laura Marling, Augustines, Marina and the Diamonds and Alicia Keys.
Staged by DHP, a leading entertainment company renowned for their creative approach to music promotion and production, the first Columns night took place in the autumn of 2014. Enjoying a newfound popularity thanks to their spellbinding performance on "Late Night with David Letterman," Baltimore synth-pop outfit Future Islands took top billing, with Mercury Prize nominee East India Youth, alternative singer-songwriter Zola Jesus, goth-pop balladeer Cousin Marnie, electro-soul chanteuse Rosie Lowe, shoegazey duo Hockeysmith and ambient outfit O>L>A also helping to ensure that the event would become a regular fixture of the Manchester music calendar.
The festival's reputation was consolidated in the spring of 2015 when another array of forward-thinking artists descended upon Manchester Cathedral for a captivating night of musical entertainment. Alongside a headlining set from witch house pioneers Purity Ring, attendees also enjoyed performances from Canadian art rockers Braids, Mercury Prize nominee Ghostpoet, electro-pop duo Cash+David, warped funk maestro Clarence Clarity, electro R&B Londoner Shivum Sharma and pop experimentalist Born Gold.
The latest Columns line-up boasts several artists who have enjoyed critical and commercial success with their first studio efforts. Nottingham songstress Indiana reached No. 17 in the UK in early 2015 with their album "No Romeo," a bewitching electro-pop affair which spawned a Top 10 single in the shape of "Solo Dancing," while BRIT School graduate Georgia received rave reviews for her self-titled debut's eclectic blend of grime, electro and pop. Joining them on the night are hotly-tipped troubadour Jack Garratt, who's become a staple of the Radio 1 playlist with his soul-baring brand of folktronica, as well as smoky-voiced Melbourne teenager Cloves and beach-friendly producer Duck House, whose remix of Ellie Goulding's "Love Me Like You Do" has racked up over a million views on YouTube.
With everyone from emotive singer-songwriters to party-starting DJs taking to the stage, attendees should look forward to an eclectic show featuring moments where you can hear a pin drop as well as moments where the urge to dance becomes overwhelming. Offering the chance to hear both today's hitmakers and tomorrow's stars in a unique location, Columns' popularity amongst Manchester gig-goers looks set to continue.
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