Art Battle is coming to Salford this May

The battle will bring together 10 local artists at MediaCity’s dock10 studios

By Emma Davidson | 27 March 2023

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Image: Crispy Multimedia

Manchester’s unique art concept, Art Battle has announced it will make its Salford debut this May at MediaCity

Taking over The Open Centre at dock10 studios on Friday 5 May, the event will invite designers, illustrators, street artists, tattooists and more to create a masterpiece in just 30 minutes. Starting with 10 artists, competitors are knocked out of each round as spectators vote for their favourite pieces. 

With 20 sold-out events behind it, Art Battle has become one of the city’s most loved live art concepts. Taking the form of an art exhibition and bringing it to life through live painting, the event also hosts stalls from the artists, as well as a bar and a chance for guests to get stuck in through interactive art tables.

Art Battle is making its Salford debut this May. Image: Art Battle

This is Art Battle’s first event in Salford, previously popping up at the likes of Victoria Warehouse, Escape to Freight Island, Stockport’s abandoned Debenhams store and New Century

One of the artists competing in the event this May is Salford-born Gogglebox star, Helena Worthington. Known for her quirky style and funny quips on the Channel 4 show, she will join more well-known Salford stars, as well as Manchester duo The Soul Twins who will take to the decks across the evening. 

First established in 2013 by Mancunians John and Sophie Macaulay, Art Battle has kept its original format of a live painting competition, while each event offers something new through a mix of tailored entertainment and a new venue for each battle.

The battle brings together 10 local artists to go head to head for the crown. Image: Paul Day

John Macaulay, co-founder of Art Battle MCR, says: “We can’t wait to see the sun set over the docks as the artists go into battle. We’ve got some superb Salford based independent food and drinks traders, so we’ll help raise awareness of them as well as our amazing artists. It’ll be a special evening.

“The event in MediaCity will be our 21st Art Battle and we couldn’t be happier with how far we’ve come – we were even called ‘Manchester’s most energetic art event’ once. We have had over 250 local artists come and compete over the years, and it’s led to some of them turning what used to be a side passion into a full-time job – it has been magical to see them grow.” 

Previously, one of the participating artists described the concept as ‘art for the people, by the people,’ and co-founder Sophie couldn’t agree more. “We love bringing local talent together and always have a few extra tricks up our sleeve too – think fire breathers, skateboarders, live bands – so it’s not to be missed.”

Hattie Pearson has hosted previous Art Battle events across the city. Image: Art Battle

Josie Cahill, MediaCity Place Director, also adds: “It’s an exciting time for us at MediaCity with lots of new events, such as We Invented the Weekend, a huge new festival for MediaCity and Salford Quays, as well as the evolution of activations such as Box on the Docks with a summer programme of events. We also have new businesses opening, such as the ambitious new food hall at Central Bay, so it’s brilliant to have Art Battle MCR on board, too.”

Salford’s We Invented The Weekend festival will take place from Saturday 3 – Sunday 4 June this year and Art Battle has curated a Junior Art Battle to take place at The Lowry as part of the event. Local residents and those who have come for the weekend will get to witness young artists compete in live painting competitions on the Sunday afternoon of the festival.

Art Battle Salford will take place at The Open Centre, dock10 studios from 7-11pm on 5 May 2023. 


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