Barnaby Festival takes place every other year in Macclesfield, Cheshire, a market town nestling at the foot of the Peak District. The Barnaby Fair – which dates back to the 13th Century – was reinvented as a midsummer celebration of contemporary arts and culture in 2010. Initiated by a group of local people, partly in response to a report which dubbed Macc the ‘least cultured place in Britain’, the town is transformed into a vibrant hub of artistic endeavours, cultural happenings and family fun.
Barnaby is made with its community, supported by volunteers, businesses, artists, performers and creative thinkers. Macclesfield has no dedicated arts venue and the Festival makes this an opportunity, building local partnerships and presenting work in shops, cafes, bars, disused buildings, heritage spaces and churches.