Walking into the press room this morning after a few hours sleep, the team looking after the web cast looked tired but had stories to tell.
Quite frankly, editorial guidelines prevent me from telling all. It would seem some people in the Green Room were… well, I’ll just leave it there before the MEN lawyers get twitchy about libel action.
At 3am a fire alarm in Urbis required a complete evacuation during a heavy rain storm whilst waiting Greater Manchester Fire Brigade to turn out and make sure the building was clear of smoke and fire. It was full of a lot of things, but thankfully not a fire.
As it happens, that alarm saved the main tent from a major brawl. Stella Grundy had chosen a few moments before to take issue with the Happy Mondays about a song of hers that she felt they were “inspired” by. Actually the precise words were that they were “[deleted] thieves”.
It’s a little unclear as exactly what happened next, however somebody (Shaun Ryder? Bez?), dispatched a jug of water in her direction. One of their wives was, quote, “kicking off with this audience member for no reason”, and suddenly it became apparent why the entire event was staffed with bouncers and security guards.
At around 5am Steve Coogan decided to wonder out of the Green Room, a little tired and emotional and seemingly “in character” as Alan Partridge. The audience were slightly taken aback by his mood but it was all taken in good humour.
I really wish I could tell you some of the other stories. Part of me wishes I’d been here, but I’m also glad of the sleep I managed to cram in.
As I type, Richard Leese is on stage trying to convince the audience that the wall in Piccadilly Gardens is “the most exciting piece of architecture in Manchester” because “it provokes a reaction”. Isn’t that just another way of saying he accepts it’s a bit rubbish? The audience certainly seem to think so.
Updates coming up throughout the morning.