The acclaimed United We Stream Greater Manchester is coming back to The Met by request of the Mayor of Greater Manchester, as a massive morale booster for Mancunians this Christmas.
In support of Andy Burnham’s new initiative oneGM, the city’s Night Time Economy Adviser Sacha Lord is planning a host of festive, feel-good shows to give the region’s residents a break from the boredom and isolation of restrictions, starting on ‘Mad Friday’ December 18.
United We Stream GM was initially created in response to the first UK shutdown and began on April 3rd. The project
wrapped 12 weeks later having amassed donations of £477,000 for 12 different good causes and local charities, with 35 fundraising events broadcast live on the platform.
During the year that Bury was announced as Greater Manchester’s first Town Of Culture, The Met was delighted to be a partner in delivering this project to screens across the region and beyond. Now the city that thinks a table is for dancing on, will continue to party through the Christmas holidays with three more exclusive productions for party people to enjoy at home on December 19, Boxing Day and New Year’s Eve.
The award-winning streaming platform will restart following the government’s announcement of a second national lockdown, and growing concern about the rapid decline in mental health throughout the region.
Calls to police and specialist services about mental health issues caused by loneliness, depression, isolation and
personal circumstances have almost doubled in Manchester since the start of the pandemic and are continuing to rise. The Greater Manchester Mental Health Foundation’s helpline received 2,168 calls in July compared with 1,187 in April.
All donations will go directly to the Mayor’s oneGM initiative via the Just Giving page. The campaign was launched by Andy on October 27, backed by a group of the city-region’s business leaders and celebrities. oneGM is raising funds to get local support to the people hardest hit by the economic impact of COVID-19 in Greater Manchester.
From food poverty, to supporting those experiencing or at risk of homelessness, to providing mental health support; oneGM will deliver funding to organisations working hard to minimise the impact of this global crisis right within all local neighbourhoods.
Sacha Lord explains: “Greater Manchester is the most resilient city region in the UK. When we are up against it, we
come together to look after those most in need.
“Last week, our Mayor, Andy Burnham launched oneGM, a campaign to look after many people who need it right now. The next morning, he called me to see if I could persuade the original United We Stream team to get back together and support the campaign.
“Without hesitation, the whole team said yes. We’ve programmed 4 huge festive parties, including what will undoubtedly be the biggest NYE party in the UK. So many of us want put 2020 truly behind us, and we totally understand that for many, their mental wellbeing is at tipping point and that the holidays could be a very lonely
and bleak time.
“We hope that these shows will allow you a bit of escapism for a few hours. As always, United We Stream will be
completely free to watch, and I know for many that money is very tight, but if you can spare a pound or two, that
would be great, and your donation will go straight to oneGM.”
United We Stream GM is free to view, but donations to oneGM will be encouraged.
People around the world will be able to can watch the streams via the website’s event page, www.unitedwestream.co.uk, and their Facebook, Twitter and You Tube accounts.
During the first series, United We Stream GM reached 14.5 million people who saw their positive and informative
social media announcements, and Public Health England-led ‘stay at home’ messaging.
The Met was the production base for this unique, ambitious project. The venue worked hard to ensure the safety of performers and a dedicated production team who also beamed in performances from artist’s homes, gardens, or specially selected venues, with all performances adhering to government advice around isolating, distancing and infection control.
The festive shows be will be produced by Parklife Festival founder Sacha with a team from Greater Manchester
Combined Authority (GMCA) culture department, Badger & Combes production company and L.G. Publicity.
The production team won two Prolific North awards in the summer for United We Stream: 2020 Digital Campaign of the Year and 2020 Broadcasting Programme of the Year. A highlights reel from the first series can be viewed on You Tube.