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20 February 08

24 Hour Wilson Memorial

The biggest names in design and the arts sign up to stage Manchester longest ever intelligent conversation, to benefit creative young people from the city and beyond.

Up to two hundred talented and creative young people, selected for the potential they show across a broad spectrum of the creative arts, are set to gain inspiration and stimulation this summer from the 'Tony Wilson Experience', a 24 hour seminar to be held in Manchester in memory of broadcaster, entrepreneur and creative champion, Anthony H Wilson.

Billed as Manchester's 'longest ever intelligent conversation' the event will run continuously from midday on Saturday 21 June - the longest day - to midday on Sunday 22 June and will be based in the much talked about Stephenson Bell architect designed marquee, first used during Manchester International Festival last year, and due to be located adjacent to Urbis in the city centre for the duration of the summer.

The Tony Wilson Experience will see some of the country's best known and celebrated creative talents brought together to deliver of their 'experience' through a nonstop 24 hour conversation to a nominated audience of up to 200 specially chosen 'students'.

Major figures who have already come forward in principle include New Order bassist Peter Hook, actor and comedian Steve Coogan, architect Ben Kelly, and Peter Saville, the design guru and Creative Director for Manchester who co-founded Factory Records with his long-standing friend and colleague, Tony Wilson.

Peter Saville said: "It seemed obvious to me that Tony was always more than just the sum of his parts - throughout his life and work Tony was a hub around whom creative people circled.

"There was always a bigger creative picture in play with Tony. If there was a chance to foster new talent he'd take it. If he could fuse several different disciplines together into something brave and new and unexpected, he'd make it happen. He was at all times crucible, catalyst and collector."

"The Tony Wilson Experience will be groundbreaking and absolutely unmissable for anyone out there with a creative talent who is really serious about what they do and is keen to learn from the 'experienced' who are going to be a part of this. "Great things I'm sure will come out of this weekend - not just for the students but for the creatives themselves with experience who are also set to learn not just from each other but from some of the hugely talented and inspiring young people who will be chosen to take part in this."

Funded by Manchester City Council it is hoped that this year's event will form the basis for further activity next year and in future years to help encourage, inspire, teach, and mentor the next generation of creative young people from Manchester and beyond.

Sir Richard Leese, Leader of Manchester City Council, said: "Tony Wilson was the epitome of the Mancunian spirit. He was innovating, enterpreneurial, had a huge sense of civic pride, and inspired many people in many different ways. This was his legacy to the city of Manchester.

"The twenty-four hour event that will take place on 21st June is an opportunity to harness some of the great creative talent that has been formed and developed both through the city and through direct association with Tony over the years.

"These 'Experienced', highly creative, and - in their own right - inspiring individuals, will share their creative knowledge and help pass on this legacy to the next generation of talented individuals from Manchester.

"The response to the idea so far has been fantastic from all those who have heard about it and we are very excited about the prospect of who may be taking part in the event. We'll be making further announcements over the coming months once everyone has had the opportunity to offer their support."


MEDIA CONTACT: Jane Lemon, Press Office, Tel: 0161 234 3179