Do you remember back in the summer of 2011 when Manchester was over-run with disaffected youth, who in their desperation to be heard took to the streets leading to confrontations with the authorities and wide-spread rioting?
The looting, vandalism and a single act of arson provided news agencies and opinion columnists with a huge supply of new material and whilst events on 10th of August 2011 have opened up an important debate on social-economic issues that were largely ignored prior to this date, the counter swing from people and organisations deafeningly pronouncing their love for Manchester is bordering on the hysterical.
In the immediate aftermath, we had the city clean-up. A well intended and attended counter demonstration to show that most people who live in the city distance themselves from events the following evening and our proud of where they live. This was followed by a week long initiative titled ‘I Love MCR’ that culminated with ‘Manchester Day’ last Friday. A few temporary stalls; a tiny stage graced with young schoolchildren from around the region making the most of their X-factor moment; the release of 800 balloons carrying tags of why people love Manchester (which looked far less impressive than it sounds); and a poor turnout in stereotypical Manchester drizzle, was a sign that the relentless reminder to Love Manchester – You must Love Manchester – was becoming tiresome.
But just in case you haven’t shown any Love for Manchester yet (or haven’t spent all of you’re hard earned cash yet) there is another opportunity to do so this weekend as the Northern Quarter host the imaginatively named N4 Loves You, a two-day festival in Manchester’s Northern Quarter (not instantly apparent from the name as most people use the abbreviation NQ) that will feature 3 music stages, outdoor catering and over 30 acts including the resident celeb Mr Scruff.
Whilst I’ve displayed some cynicism as to the means and motives of a lot of the positive propaganda of the city following the violence, I’m sure that the street party in the Northern Quarter will be a fantastic event. The independent businesses in the area genuinely care about the community in which they are based and they showed with the Royal Wedding street party that they’re able to organise a fantastic event. I just hope that there is adequate police to keep an eye on all the street sellers fleecing people for their ‘I Heart MCR’ T-shirts.