The Mancunion

Britain's biggest student newspaper

Feature: We’ll help you form a band and get you your first gig

Lonely Viking Arts are helping musicians in Manchester find one another and starting a night for acts who’ve never played a gig in Manchester before


Whilst Manchester’s music scene is fantastic, it is something of an impenetrable fortress at the beginning. When I started a band, I didn’t know the promoters or many other acts on the circuit, and the ones I came across were hesitant to book a band which lacked experience or a fan base. When I finally managed to book us one, it was on the same bill as slick acts who’d been playing for a while, which was bloody intimidating.

All this is enough to put a lot of people off; I didn’t pluck up the courage to start gigging until my third year and I met many musicians who never got around to it at all. But being in a band was one of the best things I did while at university in Manchester and although our first gig was a mess, we drew a big crowd; our friends wanted to see us play for the first time and cheered us on through the bum notes. A first gig is a big event; whilst nervy and unpolished, they fizzle with the energy and excitement of something completely new.

Now that I’ve graduated, I want to harness this energy and help musicians make their start on the Manchester music scene. LVA Presents is a new night which celebrates first gigs. We only book artists who’ve never played a gig in Manchester before, creating a supportive environment in which everyone’s in the same boat. We accept artists of any genre and try to put artists of the same genre on the same bill; we try not to follow acoustic folk singers with heavy metal.

If you already have a band, are a solo act or DJ, but haven’t played in Manchester before, get in touch and we’ll get you on an LVA Presents line up as soon as we can.

If you’d like to play live, but are struggling to find like-minded musicians to collaborate with, we can help! Lonely Musicians is an online space where musicians looking to form bands and new bands looking to complete their line-up can advertise for free.

Additionally, we’re holding a launch event for LVA Presents on the 27th of September at Koh Tao from 7-10pm. It’ll be an opportunity to meet other musicians who are looking to form bands and there’ll be live music from some of our favourite local acts.

If you’d like to play LVA Presents or want to advertise on Lonely Musicians, email us at

If you’d like to know more about Lonely Viking Arts, visit or find us on Facebook.