Macclesfield Barnaby Festival 2018

Friday 15 June – Sunday 24 June

It’s time to paint the town Barnaby!

Join us for 10 days of art, music, theatre, talks, walks, debate, comedy and more. As always, the programme includes a vibrant mix of artists and performers from both the local area and further afield plus a selection of well-known national names.

Lots of activities and events are free, with no need to book, a few are free but need booking due to limited space, and others are on sale.

On Friday 15th and at the weekends, you’ll be able to find us at the Barnaby Hub opposite Clarks in the Grosvenor Centre.

What’s happening?

The Parade

Saturday 16 June, 12pm – 1pm

The much-loved Barnaby Parade – expect a spectacle of costume, colour and creativity as groups from across Macclesfield bring their interpretation of the Roots/Routes theme to the streets of the town.

Headline Acts

Comedy from Arthur Smith (22 June) , insight and observation from Will Self (19 June), acid jazz funk from the James Taylor Quartet (15 June), and a rare chance to catch The Breath (24 June).

The Barnaby Beat Route

Friday 15 June, 5pm till late

One evening. Fourteen venues. More than 20 live music acts. And all free! See the Beat Route programme to check out what’s on where.

The Barnaby Big Weekend

Saturday 16 June and Sunday 17 June

On the first weekend of the Festival, Market Place comes alive to the sounds and sights of the Barnaby Big Weekend. Free family-friendly events all day on Saturday and Sunday, with live music, street theatre, story telling, and activities ranging from parcour workshops to kaleidoscopic coding! During the evenings, the marquee in the churchyard is the place to be – live bands on Saturday night, and DJ sets on Sunday. Drinks from our very own Barnaby Tap, plus day-time food stalls.

The Visual Arts Trail

Throughout the Festival

Twenty-five venues hosting visual art shows large and small. Don’t miss Zarah Hussain’s mesmerising ‘Invisible Threads‘ installation at the Silk Museum – what else will you discover?

Explore the exhibitions online (note dates shown in the images are start dates only) and collect a trail map from the Barnaby Hub.

Women’s Town

Saturday 16 June

Events focusing on the female experience, inspired by Macclesfield’s reputation as ‘Women’s Town’ during its industrial peak. Includes debate with former MP Edwina Currie, author Beatrix Campbell, activist Amina Lone, Professor Theresa Anderson, and the Guardian’s Frances Perraudin. See Women’s Town programme.

The full programme

There’s lots more – browse the full programme.

How to book

You can find booking details in the event listings. Most events that need to be booked can be booked online. No tickets issued for paid booked online events, just names checked on entry. Online bookings close 24 hours before the event, with tickets available on the door if the event isn’t sold out.

For a few events, you’ll need to contact the individual event organiser using the contact details given.


The main venues are accessible, but where spaces are normally used for other purposes, access can be harder. Check the details given for each event; if you need more information, email

Barnaby Hub

The Hub is in the unit opposite Clarks in the Grosvenor Centre. Any questions, come and find us!
Opening hours:

Monday 18 June –

Friday 22 June                       12.00pm–2.00pm

Saturday 23 June:                 9.15am–5.15pm (silhouette workshop 11am – 3pm)

Sunday 24 June                     11.00am–3.00pm

When we’re closed, you can collect information from the Visitor Information Centre in the Market Place.

Photos by Fiona Bailey, Travelling Simon Photography, Brian Law, Katrina Gratton, Anthony Mulryan, Michael Steff.