A UK first – and only the second such service in the world – United We Stream will launch during the first week of April 2020 showcasing Greater Manchester’s best live DJ sets, singers, comedians, musicians, bands, poets, writers, presenters and actors from 7pm every night.
In line with Government advice on isolation and social distancing, all performances will be beamed live from artists’ homes, gardens, or from selected venues across the region.
Cooking demos by Gary Usher (pictured) – founder of Elite Bistros, which runs Pinion as well five other restaurants across the north-west – and stand-up comedy from Justin Moorhouse have already been confirmed.
We are a community – it’s in our blood
The free platform, which will stream positive public service announcements and safety notices alongside a stacked weekly live entertainment schedule, will encourage viewers to donate to Greater Manchester’s night-time industries via a relief fund.
Some 70% of all donations to UnitedWeStream.co.uk will bolster the city region’s night-time economy, including music venues, pubs, freelancers and cultural organisations who are unable to operate due to the ongoing pandemic.
“Over the past few weeks, I have been contacted by many grassroots venues, artists and freelancers, and the main thing I've heard is how difficult this period is and will be for them,” Lord said. “Many of them are in dire financial straits and at risk of never recovering.
“Together with the Greater Manchester Combined Authority, we have been working hard to create opportunities and hope for these people, and I am delighted it is now about to come to fruition.
In Greater Manchester we pull together in times of need and especially reach out to those who need it. We also know our music and how to party! Coming this week. My DMs are open! @StreamGM@greatermcr@GM_Culture@AndyBurnhamGM#UnitedWeStreamhttps://t.co/5Pe2MBY0VT— Sacha Lord (@Sacha_Lord) March 29, 2020
“People always associate Greater Manchester with football, music and culture – it’s in our DNA. But whichever band you prefer, or whichever colour you support, if there's one thing Mancunians all agree on, it’s that we are a community. It’s in our blood.
“In the most difficult of times, we come together to look after each other, support each other and look after the most vulnerable.
“This is a free streaming service, however, I encourage as many as possible to please make a small contribution to watch. Anything will help, whether that’s £1 or £50. It’s only by working together as a community that we can be at our strongest.”
What’s more, 8% of the remaining donations will be given to Nordoff Robbins Music Therapy Charity while the remaining 22% will go to the Mayor of Greater Manchester’s Charity.
Helping night-time and creative industries
Greater Manchester will become the only second city in the world to launch a live stream fundraising concept when it goes live later this week after Berlin night tsar Lutz Leichsenring pioneered the idea.
At the time of writing. United We Stream Berlin has raised over £700,000 in donations since its launch on 19 March.
“United We Stream is a great way for us all to be involved in Greater Manchester, helping to support the people and organisations that make Greater Manchester’s music and culture quite so special,” Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester, (pictured above left) added.
“I want to thank Sacha Lord for leading on this initiative and ensuring that even in these difficult and unprecedented times, Greater Manchester continues to lead the way with world renowned music, arts and culture.
“As well as helping our local night-time and creative industries, it’s great to give support for Nordoff Robbins, a national music therapy charity, who have a base in Greater Manchester, and offer music therapy for those affected by life-limiting illness, isolation or disability.
“From a Greater Manchester perspective, I’m thrilled to see us directing some of the money raised towards fighting homelessness in Greater Manchester, something I know all of us care about deeply here.”