Words by Tom Frodsham

The line up of Dot To Dot Festival can be a bit overwhelming at first inspection. But heaven sent an angel in the form of the Dot To Dot playlist on Spotify to help decide who to check out. Like the geek I am; I circled, highlighted and underlined the artists that took my fancy. Read ahead for BagThing’s diary from the festival (I’m no Adrian Mole or Bridget Jones, but you’ll get the jist)….

16:30: After a long, sweaty wait in the sun at Old Granada Studios BagThing finally picks up the D2D wristband, this year it’s a happy shade of turquoise.

17:30: Following a trek across town, I get to Aatma to see Yonaka. After a glitchy and delayed start they begin their set for a nearly full venue. Georgy on guitar steals the show head banging (with not much hair) through every track. Best Bit? Singer Theresa jumping into a weary looking audience, aggressively singing in their faces.

D2D Rating? 6/10

18:15: BagThing heads over to Band On The Wall to see Ardyn. Not a big turnout for the brother/sister duo, but they impress with their harmonious melodies. Best Bit? Singer Katy’s ethereal green baby doll dress matched their music’s mood perfectly. D2D Rating? 7/10

18:40: Next stop? Pixx is set to already be on at Gullivers. We arrive a little late, but thankfully told she won’t be on until 7:30 – she’s stuck in traffic. That old chestnut. Plan B then; We grab a cocktail at Turtle Bay before Sondre Lerche at Mint Lounge.

19:15: Lerche starts his underwhelming four song set at Mint Lounge. He nearly trips over his microphone and guitar leads a few times, which gives the set some oomph at least. Best bit? Spotting the ketchup stain on Lerche’s white vest D2D Rating? 6/10

19:40: BagThing power walks back to Gullivers to catch the illusive Pixx. One look at her angry face performing and you’d be lead to believe she wish she’d stayed in that traffic jam. But her performance mesmerizes and all bad punctuality is forgiven. Best Bit? Key track ‘I Bow Down’ going down a treat. D2D Rating? 8/10

20:00: Over the road it is to The Castle to catch Artificial Pleasure. The stage room is practically dripping with sweat its that hot and humid. This isn’t for the faint hearted. BagThing powers through the energetic set; who cares if your t-shirt is drenched in sweat when the music is this good?! Best Bit? Crowd pleaser ‘I’ll Make It Worth Your While’ is like a Bowie/Franz Ferdinand collaboration. D2D Rating? 9/10

20:30: All that music has taken it out of us. Let’s go to Dry Bar, grab a bottle of wine and inhale a pizza before moving on…

21:15: BagThing has sacrificed Swimming Tapes at Soup Kitchen for that pit stop, but never mind Tom Grennan is on at Ruby Lounge. Grennan is the unexpected delight of the whole festival. He’s current, has a voice charged with passion and grit and his songs could all be hits. One to watch. Best Bit? Getting the crowd to sing along to ‘Don’t Make Them Like You Anymore’. D2D rating? 9/10

21:45: The Manchester Run isn’t until Sunday, but this certainly felt like a practice, running from Ruby Lounge to Old Granada Studios following Grennan’s set to catch The Growlers. They are one of the headlining acts and tipped to be amazing live. The studio space where they’re on at is filling up as I arrive. For over an hour they give an astounding performance without any moments of boredom. Best Bit? One festivalgoer waving their crutches in the air throughout. D2D rating? 9/10

Dot To Dot easily delivered in providing a spoiler into what up and coming artists are out there about to make it big. Roll on Neighbourhood Festival in October for another excuse to run around the city centre catching the hottest new acts live all over again.


Dot To Dot Festival took place across Manchester on Friday 26th May, 2017.

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