Barnaby Bright presents a series of midsummer events and commissions to coincide with the summer solstice 17 -27 June

Barnaby Bright is a series of midsummer events that will take place this June around the summer solstice in the historic spaces of Macclesfield town centre, brought to you by the team at Barnaby Festival

Barnaby Bright takes its name from an old folk rhyme, which refers to the longest day in June. Barnaby bright, Barnaby bright, Light all day and light all night.

As we the town starts to reopen its venues Barnaby Bright is a celebration of culture and community in Macclesfield and an opportunity for people to come out and participate.

The programme will feature contemporary art, live performance, walking tours, a music showcase, a show reel parade, cartoonist workshop, its very own beer as well as a Midsummer Night’s Queen – drag cabaret evening.

Presence (17 -27 June) is a new large-scale, site-specific commission by British contemporary artist Liz West that will be situated in grade II* listed Christ Church on Bridge Street in Macclesfield.

Presence will transform the space taking the form of a tunnel, created from iridescent dichroic panels creating a kaleidoscopic artery down the centre of the church.

Our Future is Ancient (19 June) is a multimedia piece of work inspired by Macclesfield Forest, by Salford-based artist Simon Buckley who works under the name of Not Quite Light.

Our Future is Ancient forms three parts; a performance of words and live music; an exhibition of film and images and a walking tour of the ginnels in Macclesfield to bring the forest into the town.

Macclesfield music venue Mash Guru is working with Brighter Sound, a Manchester-based creative music charity to showcase the latest musical talent in Macclesfield though a programme of gigs and music master classes that will be hosted both online and at Mash Guru on Back Wall Gate.

Macc Assemble (workshops 28-31 May, screening 19 and 26 June) is this year’s Barnaby Bright parade. The parade will be virtual and take the form of  a show reel arranged by arts collective IDST which will be screened at St Michael’s and All Angels Church in Market Place. Social distancing outdoor workshop slots are available for individuals, bubbles and families to take part. The show reel will capture snapshots, of the vibrant spirit of the individuals and communities in Macclesfield.

Creator of Macc Pow (26 June), the event that has brought comic creators from all over the world to Macclesfield since 2016, will be hosting two cartoonist workshops for anyone who wants to start creating cartoons. Marc Jackson and the bright stars of cartoon future! will be two one hour workshops of furiously fun felt pen action to ‘draw’ out the cartoonists of tomorrow.

Midsummer Night’s Queen (26 June) is a drag cabaret show, inspired by the William Shakespeare play, there will be a dressing room area upstairs ‘Frocks and Locks’ with rails of clothes and some wigs, the area to allow guests new to drag to dress up on site and gain expert advice from the more experienced drag queens. The evening will be hosted at Mash Guru where participants will be giving Ru Paul a run for his money…. in their stilettos.

Dr Abi Gilmore, Co chair of Barnaby Festival, said: “We are over the moon to be able to bring a small programme of events to Macclesfield this summer. Barnaby Bright is a celebration around the summer solstice where we can look at taking steps to join together to support our venues and community and to enjoy the creativity in Macclesfield.

“Although the programme is not a full Barnaby Festival we are so happy to be able to animate the town centre again in a safe and friendly way.”

The event will close with a Barnaby Bright Treacle Market on Sunday June 27.

Times and venues will be announced in the next few days.

Barnaby Bright brought to you by the team at Barnaby Festival. All events will be delivered with measures in place to comply with Covid 19 restrictions. Social distancing will be monitored carefully.