Reaching for the moon as Barnaby starts
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