It’s back The literary Festival celebrating words,oral, written and published – associated with music culture for its fifth year.

The Louder Than Words Festival of music and writing grows louder each year.  Now in its fifth edition, this remains the only festival that interrogates that enduring love affair between music and the written word.

Since its first incarnation in 2013, audience and contributor numbers have more than doubled, which in turn has only increased the variety of talks, panels and workshops programmed over the weekend. Over those years the festival has welcomed music characters such as Rick Buckler (The Jam), Guy Garvey, Edwyn Collins, Viv Albertine, Mary Anne Hobbs, Woody Woodmansey (The Spiders From Mars), Wolgang Flur (Kraftwerk), Tim Burgess (The Charlatans), Hugh Cornwell (The Stranglers), Alan McGee (Creation Records) to Manchester, talking all things musical and literary, as well as the spiritual godfather of the festival, Wilko Johnson.

Attendees come from as far as San Francisco and Moscow to engage in a weekend that includes panels, Q&As hosted by Louder’s John Robb (amongst others) and some very special performances from all four corners of the musical world: from club culture to heavy metal; ska to punk.

There are some significant names still to be confirmed at this stage, but already signed up for 2017 are Miles Hunt of The Wonderstuff; Rat Scabies from The Damned; one of the key cornerstones of the punk movement, Jordan; Horace Panter from The Specials; Steve Ignorant of Crass and Jah Wobble (PiL); as well as folk from The Fall and The Undertones and cultural events taking in Paul ‘Smiler’ Anderson’s overview of the Mod scene, Robert Forster(The Go-Betweens) and Celeste Bell (talking about her late mother, Poly Styrene of X-Ray Spex), and the Time Travelling Suffragettes. Louder Luminary, the author Zoe Howe, will be back to talk about her work, alongside key authors such as Barney Hoskyns and John Ingham, taking part in numerous panels, conversations and Q&As.

As well as hearing their stories, the Festival also offers a unique chance to get up close to people often only seen on the stage; in a much more social, conducive atmosphere of the suitably grand Principal Hotel. Built in 1895 as the Refuge Assurance Building, the grade two listed structure’s eclectic baroque style provides the perfect venue for an event of such diverse topics, with varied rooms used, including the elegant, wood-panelled Director’s Suite and the Post Room, for more social occasions and networking, as well as fringe events and book signings.

The hotel recently had a multi-million pound refurb, which included The Electrik Chair guys turning the bar into ‘The Refuge’, where you are likely to find venerated old musicians, and indeed music writers catching up and reminiscing.

As well as looking back with most significant music personalities of past decades, Louder Than Words also celebrates future voices, with a continuing focus on the role of education in music and journalism, whether that be welcoming back the Slam Poetry workshop team; involving students as volunteers and panelists; arranging workshops on everything from writing and getting published, making music, DJing and music law. The Wilko Johnson Writing Award will make an extremely welcome return, celebrating young music writers under 25.

Expect music… expect conversation… expect laughter… expect things to get… loud.

More news will come from Louder Than Words in the coming weeks.

Time: November 10-12 2017

Place: The Principal Hotel, Oxford Road, Manchester, M60 7HA

Tickets: Tickets are available via and are available as weekend passes, day passes, or event tickets, ranging from £7 for an event to £65 for a pass to the whole three-day weekend (£59 early bird)

The festival is co-curated by Jill Adam and John Robb


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here