Belfast Telegraph

Albarn to unveil songs at festival

Damon Albarn is to give his live debut of songs from his first solo album when he headlines a new two-day festival being launched by the BBC's digital radio station 6 Music.

T he event, to be staged next month in Manchester, will also feature performances by acts such as Jake Bugg, Franz Ferdinand and Mercury Prize-winner James Blake among the line-up of 30 artists.

Alongside the £25-a-night main stage shows at the city's Victoria Warehouse, there will also be a free "fringe" event featuring spoken word events, films and a photographic exhibition.

Other performers will include The National, former Doves frontman Jimi Goodwin, The Horrors and Midlake for the festival which takes place on Friday, February 28 and Saturday, March 1.

It will be Damon's first solo appearance of the year and he will be premiering songs from his forthcoming album Everyday Robots, the first official studio release of solo material in his own name after years of post-Blur collaborations and scores for stage productions.

The announcement of his involvement with the BBC 6 Music Festival comes just hours after he was announced as a headliner for Suffolk's Latitude event.

Presenters of 6 Music announced the names of performers throughout today, finishing with Damon's name this afternoon. The station will be broadcasting live from the event and there will be online streaming of many performances, with a number available through the red button on TV.

The network already broadcasts a number of its shows - including programmes hosted by Mark Radcliffe and Stuart Maconie - from nearby Salford, at the BBC's Media City complex.

Peter Salmon, the director of BBC North, said: "The north west music scene is vibrant and eclectic, with Manchester and BBC Radio 6 Music at its heart. We are thrilled the network's inaugural festival with its imaginative programme is based here and shared with the nation."

Tickets go on sale on Friday at noon, and tickets for the fringe event will be allocated in a draw, with further details at bbc.co.uk/6music.

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