Didsbury Arts Festival 2017

DAF’s back! With 100 amazing events packed into nine days, this year’s festival will be bigger and better than ever – and it’s all right on your doorstep! With live music, visual arts, film, drama, comedy, family fun and much, much more, there’s certainly something for everyone.

Join in the opening celebrations at Fletcher Moss Park on Saturday 24 June (from 11am) with live music on the terrace, art on the railings and art workshops. Celebrate DAF in song with the return of choir master, John Overington, Didsbury’s answer to Gareth Malone. Enjoy lunchtime recitals, dance, children’s story-telling and art in people’s homes.

A one-woman play, Flight, by Nicola Schofield, celebrating the life and legacy of one of Didsbury’s most famous daughters, will provide one of the opening weekend highlights. RSPB founder, Emily Williamson, will be brought back to life in an outdoor, promenade production, taking place at the Old Parsonage.

Meanwhile, the Maggie’s Centre at The Christie Hospital will open its doors for a fundraising musical evening. All proceeds will boost the Centre’s work supporting cancer patients and their friends and families.

Writer Howard Jacobson heads a host of literary luminaries, which will also include novelists Jenn Ashworth and Andrew Michael Hurley, and the historian and broadcaster, Michael Wood.

As part of the centenary celebrations of the birth of Roald Dahl, the Magnard Ensemble (pictured above) will perform Dahl’s Revolting Rhymes – loved by kids everywhere – to a musical setting by composer, Paul Patterson. Other festival highlights include: a whole series of short film events; family fun in Didsbury Park; a magical mystery tour in search of ‘Didsbury’s Lost American Ice Cream Store’ and a concert by soloists of the Hallé Orchestra and Manchester Camerata, with guest star, Didsbury mezzo, Jill Taylor.

This year’s festival theme is ROOTS, celebrating Didsbury’s rich history and diverse community, whilst exploring the emotional and psychological hinterlands that shape identity and experience.

“This year’s DAF features a rich and varied programme and a wealth of talent, from Didsbury, Manchester and from further afield. There’ll definitely be something to challenge, thrill and entertain people of all ages and tastes,” says festival director, Dan Williamson.

“I’d like to say a massive thank you to our hard-working festival team and to all our friends, sponsors and volunteers for making DAF 2017 happen. Without you, it wouldn’t be possible. Many thanks, also, to the people of South Manchester for your continuing support. We hope you enjoy this year’s exciting festival offerings.”

We’re proud to be a festival media sponsor. For a full list of events, prices and booking information, pick up a free festival programme from Didsbury Library and other local venues.