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.


dusk moon


‘I love magical realist writing, so I like bringing impossible things to life.’

                                                                                             - Sean Burn, 14 May 2015


2015 will be remembered in Didsbury as the year of the fox! On posters and programme covers, the bold, pointed features of an urban fox – this year’s DAF emblem - stare out from a receding avenue of poplars. The effect is unnerving; you are being watched!

And now there’s the enigmatic, ‘dusk-eyed’ creature of Sean Burn’s mesmerising new poetry cycle. Padding quietly through Didsbury, Sean’s magical, speaking fox takes in the varied sights, sounds and vibrations of the suburbs. A sudden gust sends a tin can rolling down the street; an underground tremor announces an approaching tram; from a nearby street comes the tap-tap-tap of a football (someone playing ‘keepy-uppy’). In front of the fishmonger’s, the fox pauses to watch the elegant, rhythmic ballet of white-aproned workers flinging shovelfuls of crushed ice over the pristine, white window counter. Crossing the outer edge of the village, the fox heads towards Fletcher Moss and the dim, watery coolness of the river. Overlapping layers of recorded sound and live, spoken word, to create a fox’s dusktime stroll in prose-poem, Sean takes us into a mysterious, hidden world so tantalisingly close, yet just beyond our grasp.

‘I saw the festival call-out with its theme, In-between Places. I was intrigued by the idea of this edge land existing between city and country. And, of course, you’ve got both these elements combining in surburbia,’ says Sean.

‘The idea of bringing an animal to life is fun for me. I chose a fox because it is quite sizeable, quite chunky. They’re not too much in fear of humans anymore; they’re happy just co-existing and nosing around. I thought it would be interesting to imagine what they hear, what they think, what they feel - and to bring that to life.’

With a strong tradition of foxes in literature, folktale and fable, Sean’s creation has its roots in the kitsune, the magical, shape-shifting trickster of Japanese fairytale. ‘It can change everything about its appearance, apart from its tail,’ says Sean. ‘Sometimes the tail will hang out from their clothes and then you’ll know. They run away very fast when challenged!

‘I love magical realist writing so I like bringing impossible and improbable things to life. The piece is being performed on Midsummer’s Eve, 21 June, so again it’s a magical time of the year when these sorts of things might happen!’




Sean Burn, What the dusk-eyed fox sees, a DAF commission Sunday 21 June, 19.30-21.00, Didsbury Baptist Church, entry free