This year, the Big Change Society is launching a campaign called Love for the Streets. Love for the Streets is an event series campaigning to raise awareness and money for homeless charities in Manchester.
Love for the Streets’ eponymous and first ever event is going to be held at 256 in Fallowfield on the 30th of September, and has never been imagined as a small affair. The September event was initially planned as an open air festival in Plattfields Park. When it didn’t work out, Jonah, the president of the Big Change Society, was not dissuaded. He pulled back and started to develop an entire campaign in its place. Just like that, Love for the Streets was born. The event on the 30th is set to have two stages, both complete with a heavy setlist. Notable members of the lineup include the huge city veterans of MAYDAY, everybody’s favourite golden oldies, Grandma’s Tea Party, and the smooth operators of Off-Beat, who are bringing Ed Solo to theAntwerp Mansion on October 17th. Oh, and there’s even an after-party confirmed. HIT & RUN are hosting all the big grime boys – that’s underground spinner Inka, DJ Rich Reason, who comes from cult-favourite known to some as Levelz, and dubstep’s finest – that’s Plastician if you didn’t already know. And what’s more, plans for a Plattfields send off are still on the go. If all goes to plan, and £30k is raised, you could be attending a festival in May. If the Love for the Streets lineup is this impressive now, who knows how the festival might turn out…
Although Love for the Streets is a free party, it’s not only about having a good time. Since profits aren’t being made in ticketing, its objective is to raise awareness. This is not only awareness of the campaign for the success of future fundraisers, nor is it only awareness surrounding the issue of homelessness: The event also aims to educate people on what they can do in order to properly make a difference.
In a sense, Love for the Streets is the essential mouthpiece for the heart of its host, The Big Change Society.The Big Change Society works closely with a multitude of homeless charities. Its president, Jonah Enyi Ogbuneke, told me that these charities not only work ‘with virtually no support’, but also on ‘absolute shoestring budgets’. I found this an honest shock, where a little investigation on my part might have found it obvious, and it became clear to me why campaigns like Love for the Streets are so necessary. Without any talk, buzz or even a little hubbub, there’s no way that a big change can be made. Which brings me onto an exclusive announcement: Speaking, and therefore bringing the talk at the launch party, is mayor of Greater Manchester, and Labour MP Andy Burnham. You’re clicking ‘going’ on the event page now. I hate to think how many computer mouses (mice?) I’ve just broken.
Seeing that Love for the Streets’ first event has politicians involved, that it features so many collectives, and hearing that it’s grown to 40 members before the semester has even begun, it’s clear that people care about the fight to raise awareness about homelessness. People are more than willing to dedicate their time to tackling this incomprehensibly huge issue. The more people that are on board, the more likely it is that money will start to flow in a more sensitive direction.
If you skim read this, I’m not about to tell you off – here’s what you need to know:
Love for the Street’s launch party is at 256, Fallowfield from 12pm til 10pm. Entry is free. So is the chance to see Andy Burnham speak directly to the student population.
And one last thing, in follow-up to Love for the Streets’ launch party, we’re planning a Funraising x Love for the Streets mystery event on the 10th of October, which is World Homelessness Day. We’re really excited to get involved and we have a bunch of ideas on the go, so we’ll be releasing more about it as we go along. Stay tuned and hold tight – it’s set to be a wild year, and hopefully one for change.
**REVISIT: Andy Burnham never came – it was claimed that he had some urgent commitments to attend to…