Reach­ing for the moon as Barn­aby starts

Macclesfield Express - - BARNABY FESTIVAL -

MAC­CLES­FIELD’S bian­nual Barn­aby Fes­ti­val cel­e­brat­ing art and cul­ture got off to an ex­plo­sive start.

The 10-day event started on Fri­day with a vis­ual arts spec­ta­cle in­clud­ing Bed­wyr Wil­liams’ film Flex­ure, com­edy by Francesca Martinez and per­for­mances at the Gimp Twister Mu­sic Lounge.

More than 150 peo­ple gath­ered in Mac­cles­field’s United Re­form Church at Park Green to hear fas­ci­nat­ing speeches from broad­cast jour­nal­ist Nick Robin­son and Pro­fes­sor Teresa Anderson MBE, di­rec­tor of Jo­drell Bank Discovery Cen­tre.

The car­ni­val pa­rade was the star of Satur­day’s line up with hun­dreds lin­ing the route to watch as space-themed cos­tumes and flam­boy­ant floats pass through the town.

Some of the high­lights in­cluded a brass band of Storm Troop­ers led by band leader Darth Vader, and an ap­pear­ance from ET.

The two sell-out ‘in-con­ver­sa­tion’ events be­tween Pro­fes­sors Brian Cox and Tim O’Brien, and BBC pre­sen­ter Nick Robin­son and Guardian colum­nist Owen Jones were also hits.

Vis­i­tors en­joyed works of art in lots of un­usual spaces in­clud­ing Han­nah Im­lach’s Canopy Lens sus­pended in the trees in Spar­row Park.

The La Lune pro­gramme kicked off at Christ Church with the fam­ily the­atre show The As­tronomer’s Story while real sam­ples of the moon went on dis­play at the Town Hall.

Karl Wal­lace, fes­ti­val di­rec­tor, said: “What a truly as­tro­nom­i­cal start to Barn­aby Fes­ti­val. We’ve had more com­mu­nity in­volve- ment and in­ter­ac­tion in the arts than ever be­fore. The pa­rade was much big­ger than it has been pre­vi­ously and there were big­ger crowds there to watch it. It worked re­ally well.

“One of the real coups was that we man­aged to get hold of some real lu­nar sam­ples and put them on dis­play. They are so pre­cious we weren’t al­lowed to ad­ver­tise they were part of the fes­ti­val.”

There are more than 100 events on across the 10-day fes­ti­val in­clud­ing mu­sic, com­edy, the­atre, art, de­bate and guest speak­ers, with many more to come un­til the grand fi­nale on Sun­day, June 26.

Karl added: “The peo­ple of Mac­cles­field should be very proud to have such a great event in their town – and one that wouldn’t be pos­si­ble with­out the com­mu­nity cre­at­ing it and sup­port­ing it.

“Come along and en­joy the at­mos­phere and do some­thing that you can’t nor­mally do in a corner of Mac­cles­field that you might never have been to.”

●● Barn­aby’s Back deckchairs in Mar­ket Place

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