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.



Schools and residential units will participate in a series of projects during DAF week, as part of the festival’s on-going commitment to inclusivity and to serving the community.

The stunning, creative work of local high school students is given a public showcase in DAF's Art Over The Counter project. Watch out for art in shop windows throughout Didsbury and West Didsbury and on tram and train station railings in East Didsbury. Creative writing workshops will be conducted in schools, during festival week, by authors featuring in this year’s official programme.

Pupils at Lancasterian School and The Birches Primary School will have fun making music with The Magnard Ensemble, when they get to take part in an interactive performance of Roald Dahl’s ‘The Three Little Pigs’. The acclaimed wind quintet, whose previous concert highlights include Radio 3 and the Royal Opera House, will later wow DAF audiences with a performance, Revolting Rhymes and Marvellous Music’, at Emmanuel Church.

Magnard musician, Mana Shibata, who left her native Tokyo for Manchester, at the age of 13, to study at Chethams School of Music, spent half-term holidays in Didsbury with her English guardians, Bill and Judith Godfrey, who run the Manchester Language School on Grange Lane.

‘Didsbury was my first English home so I’m delighted to be performing here,’ said Mana.

Also during DAF week, musician and storyteller, Sally Tonge, will visit Buccleuch Lodge Intermediate Care Unit and Laurel Court Care Home, where residents, family, friends and staff will be in for a lively session of singing, story-telling and fun. Since January, DAF board member and psychotherapist, Brenda Mallon, has been running weekly art and creative writing sessions at Buccleuch Lodge, which provides rehabilitation and support for (mainly) frail, elderly patients.

‘Creativity is vital for good physical and mental health and it’s a great way of bringing together different sections of the community,’ said DAF festival director, Daniel Williamson.

‘Loneliness, in particular, is a big problem for many elderly people, so it is especially important to reach out to vulnerable groups and provide opportunities for them to be creative and to share memories and experiences. This year we have extended DAF’s work in the local community; we will continue to develop our outreach programme in the future.’