About Abigail Ward
I’m a musician, curator, DJ, producer and podcaster based in Manchester.
I’m also a co-founder of Manchester Digital Music Archive – an online crowd-sourced archive established to celebrate Greater Manchester music and its social history.
As a guitarist/songwriter/performer, I was awarded the Developing Your Creative Practice grant by Arts Council England in 2019. The project involved writing, recording and gigging new material with some of my favourite musicians, including Raz Ullah (Jane Weaver) and Howie Jacobs (808 State/Architects of Rosslyn).
I have been DJing professionally since 2008 at clubs, bars and arts venues across the North West. I have residencies at Cultureplex and The Refuge, Manchester, and co-curate the annual women-led DJ fundraising event Suffragette City at the latter.
I opened up for Doves at Warrington Parr Hall in March 2019 – their first gig in a decade.
My work as an audio producer includes:
- Unity is Strength, a podcast exploring rebel women of the trade union movement, commissioned by Manchester Histories
- Not Going Shopping, an audio documentary commissioned by Manchester Pride marking 30 years since the enactment of Section 28
- The Lapsed Clubber Audio Map, a podcast tracking the rave scene in Manchester, commissioned by Manchester Metropolitan University
- Superbia, an audio installation of queer poetry for this year’s Superbia Gallery, commissioned by Manchester Pride
Curator | producer
I work regularly as a freelance producer for Drake Music – a charity that opens up access to music for Disabled people of all ages.
I recently acted as Consultant Curator on New Order’s box set re-release of their debut album, Movement.
Other clients include: Boiler Room, NTS Radio, Manchester Metropolitan University, Imperial War Museum North, Manchester Academy, The Refuge, The Lowry, Manchester Pride, People’s History Museum, University of Manchester, Liverpool John Moores University, Red Bull Music Academy.
– We Are Dynamite! Rock Against Racism 40th Anniversary exhibition at NIAMOS
– Queer Noise: The History of LGBT+ Music and Club Culture in Manchester at People’s History Museum
– Defining Me: Musical Adventures in Mcr – a major exhibition exploring music & identity at The Lowry
– Moss Side Stories: an online exhibition celebrating music and club life in Moss Side & Hulme
Selected public speaking engagements:
– Queer Noise: The History of LGBT+ Music and Club Culture in Manchester, University of Salford
– It’s Alright: A Celebration of Manchester’s Rave Heritage 1985-1995, Manchester Metropolitan University
– We Make Music Inclusive Music Festival, Amnesty International, London
– Putting Women Upfront, Women in Music panel, Ladyfest, Islington Mill