Manchester Guitar Festival announces its full line up for 2023

Flamenco, blues and acoustic guitar heroes will appear at the festival in May

By Kelly Bishop | 18 April 2023

Share this story

Miguel Perez (L) and Eric Bibb (R). Image: Manchester Guitar Festival

Following its inaugural event last year, Manchester Guitar Festival returns to Stoller Hall in May 2023. With performances from some of the world’s biggest names in guitar music as well as workshops and master-classes with world class guitar stars from across the acoustic, jazz, flamenco and blues genres, there’s a lot to sustain your interest this year.

Who’s on the line up for this year’s Manchester Guitar Festival?

Two-time Grammy-nominated American-born blues singer and songwriter Eric Bibb will headline the festival on Friday 19 May. Bibb and his band will perform classics as well as brand new material from forthcoming album, Ridin’. Grounded in blues and folk tradition with contemporary sensibilities, Bibb’s music reflects his thoughts on current world events and his own lived experiences.

Miguel Perez performs with Espiritu Flamenco. Image: Manchester Guitar Festival

Headlining on Saturday 20 May is acclaimed Flamenco guitarist Miguel Pérez from Seville. He will be joined by renowned Spanish flamenco artists – dancer and choreographer Andrés Peña and cantaor (singer) Miguel Rosendo. Together they will present Espiritu Flamenco.

One of the world’s leading guitar quartets Aquarelle Guitar Quartet, which originally formed at the Royal Northern College of Music in 1999, will close the festival on Sunday 21 May.

Alongside the live performance schedule is a series of talks and workshops led by musicians, Chetham’s School of Music guitar tutors and graduates. 

On the Saturday, prior to his evening’s performance at the Stoller Hall, Spanish virtuoso guitarist, Miguel Pérez will lead an afternoon flamenco workshop – suitable for players of all levels. 

Flamenco not your thing? Finger-style guitar expert, Jon Gomm will also lead a master-class for guitarists with good technical ability who wish to develop their skills and understanding of this specific style of guitar playing.

If you’re more into making noise, on the Sunday, guitarist and electronic composer Stuart McCallum will host an Electric Guitar and Pedal Composition workshop.

Manchester’s own Aquerelles Quartet close the Sunday at Stoller Hall. Image: Manchester Guitar Festival

But it’s not just for grown ups, Stoller Hall’s monthly Stoller Story Sounds will run a delightful interactive storytelling session for 3- 5 year olds.

For older children, aged 8-16, Manchester Guitar Festival holds its first ever Guitar Choir for young and budding guitar players to meet other young players and learn and play alongside them with hands on tuition and guidance led by professional guitarists and teachers. 

On the Sunday, Manchester Guitar Festival will hold its first ever Chetham’s Guitar Academy run by Chetham’s School of Music. This free one day event offers a great opportunity for young and enthusiastic guitar players aged between 9-17 to receive expert tuition, ensemble playing, knowledge sharing and guidance from the friendly and specialist team of Chetham’s tutors and professional players including Mike Baker (who will perform later that day as  part of the Aquarelle Guitar Quartet) and Chetham’s alumni, classical guitarist Alexandra Whittingham.

Fran Healey, General Manager at The Stoller Hall, says “We are so delighted to be bringing the Guitar Festival back this May following such a successful debut in 2022. 

“This year, we’re really looking forward to seeing people bring their instruments and get involved in the participatory events we’re getting lined up for you. Guitar Festival is open to all abilities and all types of guitar playing and styles, as well as people who want to come and enjoy the wide variety of musical events.”

Manchester Guitar Festival

19-21 May 2023

Stoller Hall

Events Music