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Chorlton Arts Festival

Ten days of performance at the ninth annual festival

Published on May 13th 2009.

Chorlton Arts Festival

Chorlton Arts Festival is about to enter its ninth year and as one of the largest multi-arts events in the north of England, organisers are promising that 2009 will be the best yet.

The festival is running for an extended 10 days this year after welcoming an excess of 25,000 people in 2008. Running from Thursday 14 May until Saturday 23 May, events will include dance classes, performances, drama, comedy shows, painting and photography exhibitions, sculpture displays, workshops, book readings, poetry recitals, kids activities and even a mini film gala.

Music-wise, expect a mixture of all genres from rock, pop and folk to jazz, classical and world. Keep an ear out for Zimbabwean reggae courtesy of the Heritage Survival Band, who have played Womad and Glastonbury, and the unique township jazz and jive of South African group Shebeen.

There is also an extensive classical programme, and the various performers back from previous years include the Northern Flute Quartet (with a selection of chamber music) and pianist Alessandra Pompili (who will be performing a number of works by twentieth century composers).

There’s also plenty of folk to enjoy, including traditional Irish music from The Chorlton Fiddlers and a Bob Dylan tribute night held by Chorlton Folk Club.

This year, the focus is firmly on performers with even more acts than usual taking to the different stages around Chorlton. Every evening, a live band night will be presented in association with local promoters. Chorlton-based independent label Sounds of the Suburbs will be throwing a launch party while brand-new bi-monthly music and art fixture The New Labour Club will have its inaugural session during the festival.

Chorlton Arts Festival has no long-term funding and relies on the support of businesses and individuals. Festival chair the Rt Hon Lord Keith Bradley said: “We continue to make it a priority that a large proportion of our programme is free of charge, enabling everyone in the local community to experience high-quality arts right on their doorstep.“

The festival’s patrons are singer-songwriter Damon Gough of Badly Drawn Boy, the newly appointed poet laureate Carol Ann Duffy, and actor and comedian John Thomson.


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