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Rock arrives in Manchester

Thousands of classic rock fans packed the city centre of Manchester on Monday afternoon to witness the launch of GMG's new station for the area. 106.1 Rock Radio launched at 6pm after free free five hour music festival fronted by 70s rockers Bad Company 2008 and 90s band GUN.

The two headliners were joined on stage in Cathedral Gardens by the Salford Jets, fronted by Rock Radio drive-time jock Mike Sweeney, who got the crowd going with tracks including their 1980 hit Who You Looking At?

The afternoon of live music built up to the five minute countdown sequence before big station switch-on at 6pm, followed by the very first track to be played on Rock Radio – AC/DC’s For Those About To Rock (We Salute You). Station jingles have been custom created by JonesTM in Dallas, and the station voice-over is the same as Rock's sister stations in Scotland and Newcastle.

Rock Radio presenters including Mike Sweeney, breakfast host Steve Berry, weekend breakfast presenter James H Reeve and Paul Anthony hosted the event.

Joe Radcliffe, station director at Rock Radio, said: “It was an amazing day, Cathedral Gardens was absolutely rocking and it’s fantastic to now be on-air playing great rock music to rock fans all across Greater Manchester.

“The crowd were clearly having a great time, the sun shone – in between the drizzle – and the gig really summed up the spirit of the station.”

GMG won the last Manchester licence as RockTalk in February 2007, fighting off strong competition from Chrysalis, Emap and Absolute Radio.

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