Shout Louder’s Sober Social @ Manchester Punk Fest 2022

As part of Manchester Punk Festival 2022, we’re hosting our first Sober Social! Anyone attending the festival can join us at Sandbar on Saturday 16th April between 12:00-13:00. 

Our aim is to provide a welcome space for anyone who’s sober, sober-curious, or anyone who feels like they’ve gone a bit hard on the first night. Drop in for a coffee or a pizza and meet some new friends. 

Most music festivals are booze-fuelled carnage, and MPF’s no different. If you’re trying to cut down or keep off the booze, festivals can be intimidating, but we don’t want it to be that way. 

The Sober Social is a fun and relaxed opportunity to meet some new friends and chat with like-minded sober or sober-curious folks. It’s at Sandbar, so there’ll be coffee, pizza and loads of alcohol-free options. We’ll be chatting, telling stories and playing some games. It’s open to anyone – you’re welcome to drop in for 10 minutes or hang out for the full hour, whatever you feel like.

We’ll have flyers on offer with a list of the alcohol-free options available at each of the MPF venues, so you needn’t feel anxious about approaching the bar. If you’re planning a boozy weekend but you’d like to know what the low-alcohol options are, feel free to pop in and pick up a flyer. Alcohol-free beers are great for pacing yourself!

The event is being hosted by three friends who are all at different points in their sobriety journey:

  • Helen Taylor is completing a 100-day sobriety challenge, which includes MPF. Helen did dry Jan for the first time this year and decided to keep going. She’s also performing at MPF as the lead singer of Smoking Gives You Big Tits. She’s smashing her challenge and MPF will be the final weekend of the 100 days, so she’s got lots of insight into the world of the sober-curious and anyone considering a sobriety challenge.
  • Chloë Glover, who’s also performing at YES on Friday, will be six months sober by the time MPF rolls around. She realised drinking was starting to take over/trash her life in various ways and decided it was time to cut out the booze. She still hits up as many gigs and events as she always has, just with a different perspective. She’s loving her recovery journey – as hard as it can be – and she’s happy to talk about it and offer any advice.
  • Sarah Williams of Shout Louder fame, who’s also part of the MPF crew. Sarah has clocked in 2 ½ years sober one day at a time, but this will still be her first sober MPF! Sarah’s living proof that you don’t need to drink to have a rager at a punk gig – you’ll find her down the front. Sarah struggled with severe depression, but quitting drugs and alcohol sorted her the fuck out. The Sarah you meet now is happy, healthy and probably running off to go see the next band. 

Come chat with us at the Sober Social. We’re all happy to talk about what’s working for us, what didn’t work for us, and the joys of waking up without The Fear. For all of us, this is our first sober MPF – we’re nervous and excited!

We want everyone to feel to drop in and come and go as you please- there’s no pressure to stick around for the whole hour or arrive when it starts. We hope to see you there!

Cover photo by Jim Taylor Photo.

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