Coronavirus: Manchester music stars to stream live during pandemic

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Image caption,
House music act Solardo will play a set to kick off the streaming service's launch

A free live streaming service showcasing Manchester's top DJs and other artists during the coronavirus pandemic has launched.

The founder of the cancelled Parklife festival set up the channel to keep the city's much-lauded music scene alive while clubs are closed.

Ex-Hacienda DJ Graeme Park and poet Lemn Sissay will be among those performing.

Organiser Sacha Lord said he was "overwhelmed" by the support.

The United We Stream website will be free to use but people will be urged to leave donations, which will go towards a relief fund set up to support Manchester's night-time economy, and several charities.

A similar service was first launched in Berlin after its own pubs and clubs were closed, and other cities are now picking up on the idea.

Image caption,
Poet Lemn Sissay will perform readings from his home to entertain viewers

Manchester house producers DJ Paulette and Solardo have also volunteered to play, while cookery demonstrations from Gary Usher and readings from poet Tony Walsh are also on the line-up.

Lord, who also helped found the Warehouse Project club night, said: "As a city, we are known as 24-hour party people. I want to keep our vibrant music and entertainment scene active.

"This is a free streaming service, available to entertain everyone. However, I encourage as many of you as possible to please make a small contribution to watch."

The shows, details of which are revealed weekly on the website, begin at 19:00 BST.

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