300 young people across Greater Manchester have been given the opportunity to watch ‘Grime King of the North’ Bugzy Malone’s homecoming performances at Mayfield.

A true Manchester talent, Bugzy Malone has been named “one of the most successful independent British MCs of his time” and sees this as an opportunity to give back to the city he grew up in and a chance for him to inspire the next generation of young talent – “If it wasn’t for my fans, I wouldn’t be in this position, that’s why I’m giving back them to show that I appreciate them – and I know not all of them can afford to come to the show. I want them all to B. Inspired.”

Tickets have been distributed through 25 community groups, youth centres and academies, such as YMCA Salford, Manchester Communication Academy, Manchester Youth Zone , Centrepoint and Rochdale Connections Trust, given as rewards and incentives to young people across the region who may not previously had the opportunity to experience a live show such as this.

Alex Clay from Centrepoint said: “Bugzy is someone many Centrepoint Manchester young people can really relate with. The life experiences he projects through his music are very familiar to many of them, from disrupted home lives or lack of opportunity to street violence and peer pressure. He’s in touch with his own mental health, speaking openly about his struggles, and a great role model in using words and music to process his experience and feelings in a way that’s real.”

“It’s been brilliant to have Manchester International Festival connect Centrepoint young people with Bugzy and his work, and a great opportunity to see him perform live, which many would not be able to with the financial issues homelessness brings. MIF offers many fantastic opportunities for Centrepoint young people throughout the year as well as at festival time. A chance to create, meet people and have their voices heard.”

Jayne Lawton from YMCA Salford said: “For my students to be given the tickets has made them so excited, and thrilled to experience a fantastic night with their favourite musician. Thank you so much, MIF.”

Debra Madden from Rochdale Connections Trust said: “Thank you so much for this opportunity that would normally be financially out of reach for our families. I have shared Bugzy Malone’s story with many young people to help give them hope and inspiration so this is fabulous.”

Part of the biggest grime tour of all time, Bugzy Malone will perform two special homecoming shows in Manchester on 8 and 9 November, for our MIF x WHP Special Edition series, curated with BBC Radio 6 Music’s Mary Anne Hobbs. Our Special Edition performances (8-9 November) are part of a series of events paving the way for the opening of The Factory, a new major arts space being developed in the heart of the city.

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