Chorlton Arts Festival

Biggest-ever Chorlton Arts Festival takes place over 12 days this month so check it out.

By Lee Isherwood | 20 May 2011

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Biggest-ever Chorlton Arts Festival takes place over 12 days this monthChorlton Arts Festival returns on 19 May with its busiest and most diverse programme yet. Since the Festival launched in May 2001, it has established itself as one of the most exciting multi-arts events in the north of England, with record audience figures of 27,000 in 2010. This year, artists from around the globe (including Australia, America and Germany) will join the best local, regional and national talent for 12 days of over 200 exceptional performances.

Festival Director Philip Hannaway says: “What makes Chorlton Arts Festival so special is that we work with so many local artists and community groups, while adding to the mix some of the best talent from further afield. It makes for a healthy exchange of ideas and practice.”

New music is a focus this year, with Australian band Cloud Control (28 May) and Leeds indie folksters Ellen & the Escapades (27 May) headlining. Also included in the music line-up are John Smith (21 May) and Chorlton resident Graham Massey’s band The Sisters of Transistors (29 May). Chorlton’s Blind Atlas and Manchester jazz trumpeter Matthew Halsall are back for another year, and the Festival once again has a strong classical programme.

Also back, after packing out the 2010 Festival with his Ivan Brackenbury show, is comedian Tom Binns with latest creation Ian D Montford: Spirit Medium (22 May). Other comedy turns will be Dan Nightingale, Rich Wall, Red Redmond, Sam Gore and Katie Mulgrew.

New York-based dance duo Sobers & Godley will be performing in the UK for the first time at the Festival (21 May) while one of the many exciting visual arts shows taking place is the Arts Council-funded project This Way Up, developed by Bread Arts Collective, which sees large-scale artworks created by local young people placed on the top of buildings in Chorlton.This year’s Festival features plenty of drama and literary events, including the first-ever flash fiction writing competition in the Festival’s 10-year history, Flash Mob. The shortlist will be announced on 13 May, and the winners revealed at a fun-filled awards ceremony on 26 May.

Philip says: “CAF 2011 builds on the success of previous years and is our most ambitious yet. I hope that audiences enjoy this year’s diverse programme, featuring a record number of performances from the best local, regional and international talent, right here in Chorlton.”

This year’s festival is in association with Metrolink and, for the first time, tickets are available to book online at The Festival Hub will also be open for ticket sales and information in Chorlton Precinct Wednesday-Saturday 10am-4pm.