Didsbury Arts Festival

Didsbury Arts festival is a volunteer led multi arts festival celebrating creative culture in Didsbury, through working with local, national and international artists. 

We are a biennial festival. The next edition will take place from 22 June - 30 June 2019. The festival theme will be Roots. If you would like to join the 2019 team, please get in touch.

We meet by a pub cordoned off by silver makeshift fences and start at once to place ourselves with tales of schools and jobs, picking raspberries in a Didsbury garden; knocking on doors with politics in mind.

First, a stretch of houses where the road’s white line marks more than left and right – two boroughs fitted so neatly together you wouldn’t notice the join.

We choose the tunnel instead of the road, a glossed tarmac path past tram tracks and parked cars and the memories of allotment riches. Nature’s here though, the verges crammed green and yellow and pink and white, the birds practising in the trees.

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We pass through the ribbed metal space, cool and dark and graffitied, to find laminated signs declaring a diversion. But the path around the edge of this makeshift fence is well trodden and so we carry on.

We pass under the trees, through scattered light, to emerge at the river with the sky huge above us. Another silver fence, another laminated sign:
Unfortunately Stockport MBC have not put in place a diversion route at this access point to the trail. We can only suggest that you consult the adjacent map to decide what alternative route you should take.

It is not the path we want to take. We turn and follow the river west. House martins sip from the water, swifts flit above, and two herons stand, statuesque, amongst the reeds.

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We cannot pass under this bridge, cannot keep to the edge. We lose ourselves amongst steel beams, plastic drainpipes and mirrored glass. Forced to retreat – we go back and around, through a car park which peters out into woodland, leads us back to the slow water, while we tell stories of boggarts – tame and wild.

We choose the tunnel instead of the road, plunge into shadows; pass through the low, concrete, cave-like space to where the river starts to hurry.


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Thanks to Daniel, Ellie, Gwyneth and Emma for joining me on the walk