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18 June 08


Cult novelist Irvine Welsh, Charlatans front man Tim Burgess, and legendary punk poet John Cooper Clarke have all been confirmed in the final line up for this weekend's Reification* the Tony Wilson Experience in Manchester. Together with poet and author Simon Armitage, cultural ambassador and founder of Cream nightclub in Liverpool Jayne Casey, and Urban Splash supremo Tom Bloxham, they are the latest creatives to sign up for the 24 hour nonstop talking marathon, being held this weekend Saturday 21 and Sunday 22 June, in memory of broadcaster, entrepreneur and creative champion Anthony H Wilson. Other big creative names taking part - in what promises to be a weekend full of suprises and unmissable moments of pure genius - include Steve Coogan, Mark Radcliffe, Paul Morley, Stuart Maconie, Peter Hook and Professor Brian Cox.

Designed to inspire and stimulate the next generation of creative talent, the speakers are made up largely of former friends and colleagues of Wilson's who are taking part in the event as a tribute to him following his death last year. Irvine Welsh said: "Tony was always a great evangelist for Manchester and his music. I first met him in the Hacienda and then again a few years later when I got into writing. What always struck me was the way he never talked down to people, he always made time for them, no matter who he was speaking to. "He was always very supportive and encouraging of what I did and when I was starting out as a writer this kind of encouragement and belief in what I was doing was just what I needed. "Talking to other people, sharing ideas and thoughts with them about what you do and what they do is an important part of the creative process for most artists and this is what the Tony Wilson Experience is all about." There are 24 key speakers over the 24 hours who, together with a cast of many others, will be sharing of their creative expertise and experience with a hand-picked audience of around 200 talented young individuals who were selected to take part in the event from creative submissions they made through the event website. Oliver Wilson, Tony's son, said: "Going through the applications sent in there really are some very intelligent, cool and creative kids out there – I can see the future is looking really bright for Manchester. "Tony and his peers had a big influence on the city and it’s great to know the next generation of creatives and entrepreneurs will benefit from it. I’m sure they can gain something from the event to help them achieve success - whether it be in film, television, music, fashion, art, architecture, literature, or whatever it is they have a passion for. "Tony loved helping people realise their talents and follow their passions so it’s great to see his influence live on even though he isn’t here in person.

The hard work everyone has put into the event is astounding and its culminated in a fantastic line up of extraordinary individuals… looking over the 24 hour schedule I am getting really excited!" The 24 key speakers are: Peter Saville, Steve Coogan, Mark Radcliffe, Liam Spencer, Peter Hook, Ben Kelly, Alan McGee, Kevin Cummins, Sue Woodward, Stuart Maconie, Grant Gee, Matt Greenhalgh, Professor Brian Cox, Stephen Morris, Gillian Gilbert, Paul Morley, John Robb, Caroline Elleray, Irvine Welsh, John Cooper Clarke, Simon Armitage, Tim Burgess, Tom Bloxham, Jayne Casey. Funded by Manchester City Council, the event takes place at Cathedral Gardens and Urbis in Manchester City Centre from 12 noon Saturday 21 June to 12 noon Sunday 22 June. Urbis is open to the general public as usual from 10 am to 6 pm on both days and will be offering a number of specially themed family friendly activities throughout the day including badge making, design a t-shirt and design a record sleeve. In addition the conversation from the marquee will be relayed to plasma screens in and around Urbis for members of the public who wish to keep up with the conversation and see what's going on in the marquee. Overnight in Urbis alongside the conversation, which continues through the night, there are other activities planned for participants including a performance art piece by painter Phil Diggle accompanied live on the bass by New Order bassist Peter Hook, DJ sets by former Hacienda DJs Jon Dasilva and Graeme Parke, and live music including a special guest appearance by former Factory band ACR, who were managed by Wilson. For more information please visit


* Reification - making the abstract concrete