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  • Writer's pictureSTEVE COOKE AATA

The Fête of Britain

Preview by Steve Cooke


The Fête of Britain is a four-day celebration of collaboration and imagination in the face of the great challenges of our time. Another innovative, challenging event from the team at Factory International.


How can we face up to the challenges of the twenty-first century? How do we make the world safer, fairer and better for those we love and the place we call home?


From the climate crisis to the cost of living, nothing is off the table at The Fête of Britain. Take your seat and have your voice heard across four days of play, workshops, people’s assemblies, talks and performances.


The takeover at Aviva Studios is programmed by Hard Art – a movement of artists, musicians and others in the creative and cultural worlds including Brian Eno and Es Devlin, who have teamed up to create a new culture of participation and positive change.


The programme brings together a mix of artists, performers and community groups and features contributions from artists Cornelia Parker, Human Atlas and Jeremy Deller, and journalist and presenter Jon Ronson. Music comes from Commoners Choir, hip hop star Louis VI and a night curated by LOWD Sound System. There’ll also be events from Empathy Museum, Starting Point Stockport and Salford Involve – plus plenty more to be announced soon.


Go and have a cuppa in the public living room, help to write an alternative national anthem or learn about Manchester’s radical history. Workshops and discussions will delve into key issues facing Manchester and the UK – encouraging us all to talk, take part and find our way out of tough spots together. Like any fête worth its salt, there’s plenty of fun to be had too. Games to play, problems to solve and stories to share – all under the theme of ‘Come Together’.


Asking how we can draw on Britain's rich history of resistance, culture, and assembly to find our power today, The Fête of Britain champions community, collaboration and imagination. There’ll be lots of ways to get involved, try a new twist on a tradition and have your say. The fate of Britain is in your hands.


23 FEB  - A provocative comedy night looking at the multi-faceted nightmare that is the modern world


Drawing from his book So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed and two seasons of his BBC podcast Things Fell Apart, journalist and broadcaster Jon Ronson shares funny, startling human stories about the origins of the cultural conflicts that tear us apart today – and offers ideas for how we might repair the damage.


Jon is followed by a top comedy line-up with Rosie Holt, Desiree Burch, Stuart Goldsmith, and Jonathan Pie.


Affordable tickets

Suitable for ages 18+

Accessibility features available for this event: Wheelchair Access





LOWD brings their revolutionary sound system to the South Warehouse for a huge free show – featuring Chimpo, Jenna G, Chunky and J.Chambers (live)


LOWD (Love Overcomes World Destruction) Sound System are taking over the South Warehouse with their debut show, mixing heavyweight sounds with incredible visuals – all while championing social and ecological causes.


Expect a Manchester legends set from Chimpo ft Jenna G and Chunky. World-class Manc rapper J. Chambers & The Redemption Sound both perform live, as well as the multi-talented MC, producer and singer-songwriter Renee Stormz. From London, special guest Louis VI is also live. The incredible OneDa presents the HERchester Cypher – a collective of female rappers based in Manchester freestyling together. VJ Matt Black (Coldcut) provides visuals throughout the night, which is compered by hosts Lionbeat and HAM. And with LOWD residents DJ Snuff and D'Vo – the bass culture and ama sounds are on lock. Don’t miss it.


LOWD (Love Overcomes World Destruction) is a state-of -the-art sound system built by renowed free party crew Innerfield. LOWD platforms cultural resistance, bringing in-house selectors and local communities together through bass culture.


Saturday evening plans: sorted. Just bag a free ticket to secure your spot.


FREE, Pre-booking required

Suitable for all ages. Under 16s must be accompanied by an adult aged 18+

Running time: 4 hours. 7pm-11pm.



The Fête of Britain takes over Aviva Studios from 22 to 25 February.





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