As The Refuge by Volta fast approaches its two-year anniversary, one of the defining and most beloved gatherings of inclusive, like-minded music and art lovers and general all-around, off-piste wonderfully colourful Mancunian characters, has been the Come As You Are Weekenders.
These full-venue takeovers incorporate the beautiful venue in all its glory, from the intense outdoor atmosphere of the courtyard to the warm surrounding of the public bar, and the heads-down spiritual melting pot that is the basement.
The Come As You Are Weekenders have developed an electric reputation throughout the UK and have become synonymous with a special and unique togetherness that only Manchester can magic from its people.
In celebration of this legendary Manchester weekend, from Friday 24th – Sunday 26th August the bank holiday features two heavyweight disco-masters and friends of The Refuge, Horse Meat Disco and Edit. Presents Joey Negro.
On top of this is a real Manchester-centric collection of people involved in the recently released documentary from Boiler Room, called ‘Fleshback: Queer Raving in Manchester’s Twilight Zone’. The exceptional in-depth study features heavily, Homoelectric, and explores the vivid history, enduring legacy and present landscape of this colourful world.
The Friday features the talents of Jim Spratling (Eastern Bloc) and Joey T in the Public Bar from 5 pm until late, and The Basement welcomes the wonderfully synergetic disco talents of Horse Meat Disco. Four more loveable characters from the UK music scene you will be hard-pushed to find in James Hillard, Jim Stanton, Luke Howard and Severino.
They have toured the world over the past decade bringing their electrifying party to rapturous crowds, and the boys will host their own ‘Horse Meat Disco Does Pride’ all-night-long. Tickets available here.
The Courtyard opens its gates from 2 pm on the Saturday with the sounds of High Hoops, Lucy Ironmonger (Meat Free), Supernature Disco, Abs Ward, Claud Cunningham, Kirby Leanne Halliday and Julie Wills. The Public Bar keeps the vibe again from 3 pm until late with Sally Rodgers (A Man Called Adam) and Homoelectric chief cheerleader, Will Tramp.
The Basement will open from 10pm-4am with another person who needs no introduction, a true master in the art of the edit and super-producer to boot, Joey Negro presents Edit. Tickets available here.
On Sunday 26th, closing out the weekender, and fresh from their stunning boat party at Love International in Croatia will be Homoelectric. Bringing a love-intensity to the Courtyard that has to be seen to be believed. Welcoming guests past and present; Kiss Me Again, Will Dunn, Gina Breeze, Blasha & Allatt, Jamie Bull and the return of the original residents, Kath McDermott and Phillippa Jarman, Homoelectric will guide your sonic adventure from 2pm-10pm.
Ross Roberts and Joy Social hold down the Public Bar from 3 pm until late. The final Basement party from 10 pm will be free entry and is hosted by a Manchester label that is making waves throughout the UK and beyond, Sprechen Music. Label captain Chris Massey will be joined by Paulette, Gina Breeze and Michelle Manetti.
Throughout the Come As You Are Weekender there will also be a carefully curated gathering of food and drink (cocktails and craft beers), with a special feature of Big Grille Style housed in the Courtyard, a unique American style curator of all things sandwich including grilled cheese, Po’ Boys and burgers. There will also be performances by the effervescent Cha Cha Boudoir, The House of Decay and Carmina Entertainment.
Whatever day, night, inside, outside combination you choose… Stay Free x
The Refuge, Oxford St, Manchester M60 7HA
0161 233 5151