Madchester mavericks Happy Mondays are the stars of this year’s Macclesfield Festival, just one of a packed summer of events happening here in the home town of Spiral Colour.
OK, Shaun Ryder, Bez and company may have slowed down a tad since their 1985 heyday, but it will be the full original line-up hitting the Macclesfield Rocks Main Stage at Priory Park on 21 July. Memory-jerkers like Kinky Afro, Step On and 24 Hour Party People are a certainty.
In fact it’s set to be a Macctastic few months all round. More excellent reasons (other than our superb printing prowess) to be in and around the town this summer include:
The Barnaby Festival is a Macclesfield tradition going back to the thirteenth century, but it was re-established in its modern form in 2010. This 10-day arts and culture extravaganza takes over Macclesfield from 15 – 24 June, with headline acts including stand-up comedian Arthur Smith and author Will Self. There’ll also be live music and DJs in the historic St Michael and All Saints churchyard. The Barnaby Beat Route places free live music all over town on one supercharged evening. And there’s a special programme of walks, talks, workshops and women’s events throughout the ten days.
Macclesfield Food Festival
Held for the very first time in 2018, this new event will be bringing a feast of flavours to the Market Place on Saturday 30th June.
Macc is a cycling lover’s paradise, with the hills of the Peak district, the Bollin Valley, Macclesfield Canal and the winding roads of rural Cheshire all nearby. Saturday 1 July is a new event designed to promote the many exciting and enjoyable cycle trails in the area. There’s something for riders of every age and ability. And it happens to coincide with the start of the Tour de France, so we’ll all be in peak pedalling mood.
This is by no means a summer-only event. In fact Treacle Markets happen on the final Sunday of every month, except in December when it’s brought forward for Christmas-related reasons. But strolling the streets of Macclesfield browsing for fresh and speciality foods, gifts and craft wares is best enjoyed on warm days with long evenings.
Music, drama and festivals at Gawsworth and Capesthorne
Both of our local stately homes have busy summer programmes of outdoor events. Gawsworth goes in for single-night music and drama performances, with 2018’s highlights including Sherlock Holmes, The Tempest, Carmen and Leo Sayer, along with a Summer Prom.
Capesthorne tends more towards the festival end of the spectrum, hosting the 80s themed Rewind Festival on 3-5 August with The Jacksons. OMD and Midge Ure among the artists bringing their shoulder pads out of retirement. For more up-to-date music lovers there’s also Classical Ibiza on 30th June, with superstar DJs and the Urban Soul Orchestra sending us all Balearic.
The Blue Dot Festival
The world-famous Jodrell Bank radio telescope regularly holds this event, which modestly describes itself as an intergalactic festival of music, science, arts, culture and the exploration of space. This year’s takes place on 19-22 July. In music alone the stars you can observe at Jodrell Bank include The Chemical Brothers and The Flaming Lips. Where better to see a show based around Sir David Attenborough’s Blue Planet series, accompanied live by the Halle Orchestra? And there are mind-expanding talks by leading scientists and shows featuring top stand-ups too.
Living and working in such a hotbed of culture makes us proud to be Maxonians.