This Vibrant Thing Festival Pumps Life into Manchester’s Libraries

Festival season reaches Manchester’s libraries as hip-hop talents, 8 Gold Rings and Abnormal Sleepz, plus the thrilling spoken word talent of Isaiah Hull are confirmed to perform.

By Steven Pankhurst | 2 March 2018

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The first acts confirmed to play THIS VIBRANT THING, a three-date, FREE festival-style, music, spoken word and performing arts event, innovatively staged at three Manchester libraries over three weekends in March 2018, have been confirmed.

Bringing some of the UK’s most vital, rising talents to libraries in Longsight (Sat 3 Mar 2018), Wythenshawe (Sat 17 Mar 2018) and North City, Harpurhey (Sat 24 Mar 2018), artists including hip-hop collective, 8 Gold Rings, critically-acclaimed singer-songwriter, Mica Miller and acclaimed hip-hop explorer, Abnormal Sleepz will perform.

Staged as part of Creative Spaces, a cultural initiative of Manchester Libraries, in partnership with creative change makers, Platform Mcr, THIS VIBRANT THING will see libraries transformed through music, poetry, spoken word, installations, visual art and more, featuring a line-up of rising stars, renowned artists and local talent. Hands-on experiences, including yoga and art workshops, will give audiences the chance to test both their physical and creative flexibility.

Looking deep into the fast-beating heart of Manchester’s modern cultural scene, the searing talent of Old Trafford wordsmith, Isaiah Hull also joins the line-up as host and performer for the Longsight date. Having appeared on stage in front of thousands at the BBC Radio 1 Big Weekend 2016 and brought his idiosyncratic take on modern life to TedX Manchester, the poet treats THIS VIBRANT THING audiences to his witty and acerbic talent. Hull is joined in the line-up by the spoken-word collective, Young Identity, which supported him to find expression in prose and showcases yet more, fresh, poetic talent from Manchester to the festival.

Having received an overwhelmingly positive response from critics and DJs for his mixtape, The Meditapes Two, Abnormal Sleepz returns to his native city to perform his dynamic mix of ambient beats and observational rhymes, both drawn from experience of  performing internationally as a rapper and DJ, and experiences of his life in Manchester’s Moss Side. More music comes from Abnormal Sleepz collaborators and fearless, electronic boundary-breakers in their own right, HMD and beats-pioneer, Glue70.

The addition of performing arts companies, MAD Theatre Company and KYSO, both of which provide access to performing arts opportunities for groups and individuals in Manchester communities, means audiences can expect a dazzlingly wide range of creative experiences that celebrate life, laughter, colour and community.

In what promises to be an alternative experience of local libraries, THIS VIBRANT THING is taking place as part of the Creative Spaces programme, a new initiative, which celebrates Manchester’s local libraries as spaces where you can enjoy arts and culture on your doorstep, for FREE.

Affecting change through creativity in cultural opportunity in and around Manchester, Platform Mcr works to empower marginalised individuals and groups. Whether working on festival events like THIS VIBRANT THING or distinct, skills-based projects in music production, animation or drama, the organisation explores identity, community and the social issues affecting families and individuals.