In what is destined to be a memorable debut, Salford’s first interactive trail that celebrates the incredible legacy of the city’s music and cultural footprint is set for release, with special appearances from some regional royalty.
Made possible through The National Lottery Heritage Fund, thanks to money raised by National Lottery players, Echo Salford is an exciting new augmented reality (AR) experience that takes users across the places and spaces of Salford’s iconic musical and cultural history.
Starting at MediaCity and taking in Salford Lads Club, Islington Mill, Maxwell Hall and ending at the infamous Kings Arms, the trail will take people on a mind-opening visual and audio journey that aims to inspire and educate.
Accessed via the Echo Salford app, the trail enables users to launch an AR experience at each location, view never-before-seen images, create musical content and other digital takeaways, and downloadable memorabilia.
From exploring the Edwardian elegance and Smith's room at the Salford Lads Club, with history spanning over 100 years, to immersing yourself in the artistic epicentre of Islington Mill which is creating a new wave of artists and creators, to getting lyrical and submitting a poem in the style of the wondrous John Cooper Clarke at The Lowry – which he’ll also personally review and award prizes to – Echo Salford is also a celebration of the diversity and inclusion that runs through the city.
And if that’s not enough to get you hooked, you’ll even be able to enjoy the dulcet tones and supporting commentary of some local and national treasures, including Peter Hook, Maxine Peake, and John Cooper Clarke, as well as the next generation of incredible talent from the city such as Priya Matharu and Cheddar Gorgeous.
The trail includes the following locations, experiences, and celebrity commentators:
Place the AR in the middle of MediaCity Piazza. Mix a track from some famous Salford instruments in the immersive musical playground of music boxes located on the Piazza.
Meet one of Salford’s creative giants and make your own poem in his style to submit for prizes.
Get introduced to the building’s history and recreate an iconic picture with The Smiths as your own keepsake.
Experience the interactive graffiti that will help tell the tale of the Mill’s musical and LGBTQ+ community.
Learn about the library’s heritage and musical giants including Ewan MacColl and Peggy Seeger who were all inspired by the working-class struggle.
Get a glimpse of gigs from the past and catch a cascade of tickets from seminal concerts with tickets and memorabilia from MDMArchive.
She’ll introduce you to some of Sounds From The Other City’s finest moments. As you wander down the square, performance excerpts appearing in front of you.
Meet the infamous Kings Arms cat and jukebox for some musical shenanigans and takeaway a living piece of the Kings Arms history.
Working alongside cultural partners, the University of Salford, and other city stakeholders, Echo Salford is sharing, uncovering, and restoring heritage content, supporting new and future music in Salford, and providing career opportunities for both students and early-stage professionals as they start their media production careers.
Echo Salford is a collaboration between Dig Media and Toasted Productions, who are both based at MediaCity and came together through the destination’s innovation community. For the history-fanatics, Dig Media is also the owner of a vast archive of video and visual art created by the prolific filmmaker and social documenter Jack Henry Moore across the 60s, 70s and 80s, which can be viewed on the Dig Media website.
Simon Marsland from Toasted Productions and one of the founders of Echo Salford, said: “This is a great experience for both city visitors to explore unknown cultural hotspots and city residents who can gain a new appreciation for their neighbourhood and community. Heritage sites can be lost to regeneration so by using non-invasive augmented reality, physical places can be celebrated for everyone to experience the impact they had and are still having.”
Salford City Mayor Paul Dennett said: “The Echo Salford app is another superb ‘Salford First’, a perfect example of the world class innovation produced here in Salford – right in the heart of our city’s immersive technologies and innovation hub in Media City. This wonderful immersive trail shows off Salford’s vibrant cultural and musical past, present and future - bringing buildings and people to life in front of our eyes.
“It’s also fantastic to see punk-poet and Salford son, John Cooper Clarke, who was recently awarded Freedom of the City making an appearance in the trail. There are many Salford greats to spot along the route. I would encourage residents and visitors interested in music, culture or local history to download the app – it really is a fun way to explore Salford at your own pace.”
To download the app and for more information visit the Echo Salford website.