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Meltdown festival 2016: five great free events

James Manning

Guy Garvey’s Meltdown arrives at the Southbank Centre this week, with a mouthwatering bill of concerts, performances and parties spanning ten days. Alongside the big centrepiece gigs (I Am Kloot, Lift To Experience and Femi Kuti among them) there’s a plethora of stuff to get involved with – and lots of it won’t set you back a penny. Here are five of the best free events happening at Meltdown 2016.

5. Meltdown Circus Day

Watch astonishing feats or learn a new skill with performers including The Majorettes, Upswing and professional slack rope walker and juggler Stefano Di Renzo.

4. KOG & The Zongo Brigade

Frontman KOG (Kweku Of Ghana, since you ask) heads up this storming eight-piece band from Sheffield who mash up afrobeat with ska, rap, soul and high-energy funk. They’re playing what should be a raucous late-night show, with Afriquoi DJs taking things through till the early hours.

3. Bryan Glancy Stage

A free stage for new music at Meltdown, named in honour of the late singer-songwriter Bryan Glancy (also known as The Seldom Seen Kid), a friend of curator Guy Garvey. Catch live acts including Rozi Plain, Nérija, Erika Wennerstrom, Palace Winter and Slug.

2. Different Strokes

Northern Soul hits the Royal Festival Hall for one night only, with DJs from Manchester’s prime soul, funk and R&B night Different Strokes stoking up a free party in the Clore Ballroom.

1. Drunk At Vogue

Drag queens and club kids, disco classics, glitter and performance art: dispelling Manchester clichés left, right and centre, the city’s primo party crew descend on the South Bank for a vogue ball to launch Meltdown in style.

Check out our full Meltdown festival page for more summer fun.

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