Barnaby Festival launches 2016 programme

2005 Dr. Brian Cox

Countdown to ‘Space’ themed extravaganza!

5 – Festival runs for 10 days from 17 to 26 June

4 – 2016’s theme is ‘Space’ in all its dimensions

3 – Headliners: Professor Brian Cox and the BBC’s Nick Robinson

2 – Carnival Parade, Saturday 18 June 1pm

1 – New ‘Five Star Pass’ launched; tickets at

The waiting is over! Macclesfield Barnaby Festival reveals its ‘Space’ themed 2016 programme, with Professors Brian Cox and Tim O’Brien of Jodrell Bank, and Nick Robinson a presenter of BBC Radio 4’s Today, joining the bill.

From 17 to 26 June, Barnaby will fill Macclesfield with more than 100 events and happenings – over half of them free – including music, comedy, street theatre, science, spectacle, film, art, poetry, walks, talks and more.

Work commissioned especially for the festival includes La Lune from Macclesfield’s Wild Rumpus – a series of family events around an intriguing astronomer’s story. Four critically acclaimed artists present their commissions inspired by the town’s heritage and people.

Professors Brian Cox and Tim O’Brien of Jodrell Bank discuss what we do and don’t know about the Universe (days after British astronaut Tim Peake returns from space). Nick Robinson, a presenter of BBC Radio 4 Today, returns to his home town to give a unique perspective on political life in two talks.

Other highlights include an exclusive music headline double bill with John Bramwell (I Am Kloot) and Recreations (Sam Duckworth of Get Cape.Wear Cape.Fly). Comedy includes Francesca Martinez’s UK premiere of her Wobbly Manifesto show, plus a pre-Edinburgh Festival double bill with Tom Ward and Pierre Novellie.

Karl Wallace, Festival Director, said: “Barnaby is all about turning Macclesfield into a vibrant hub of cultural celebration, mixing performance with visual arts and spectacle. One eye is on nurturing local talent, the other on commissioning and producing work with partners across and beyond the town. We’re proudly an arts and cultural festival created with its community and powered by volunteers.”

A new Barnaby Five Star Pass is launched, offering five of the main events for £50, a discount of £17 (25%).There are ‘Pay What You Can’ events this year for the first time – where you make a donation rather than paying a set price.

The Barnaby Carnival Parade, the exuberant community centrepiece of the festival, takes place on Saturday 18 June at 1pm. This year it will be “out of this world” with all manner of space related creatures roaming the streets of the town.

Barnaby is also exploring space in the form of new venues by hosting performances in people’s homes and gardens across the town with a number of ‘Secret Concerts’.

Festival programme highlights


Francesca Martinez premieres her new Wobbly Manifesto show.

A pre-Edinburgh Festival circuit double bill of Tom Ward and Pierre Novellie (4OD’s comedy series Taxi Gags, Best Club Comic 2016 Chortle Awards).


La Lune, an exciting new commission by Barnaby from Macclesfield’s own Wild Rumpus is an intriguing story about an eccentric astronomer who puts the town in peril. There are family focused events at Christ Church, Macclesfield, over the first weekend – The Observatory (FREE) and The Astronomer’s Story (£8/£6) – culminating in an unmissable spectacle, The Moon Rising on Sat 25 June.

Children encounter instruments through The Planet’s Guide to the Orchestra and comedy cabaret string quartet Graffiti Classics are in town.


An exclusive double bill of John Bramwell (I Am Kloot) and Recreations (Sam Duckworth ofGet Cape. Wear Cape. Fly) at St Michael’s Church. “[Bramwell is] Utterly compelling, quite beautiful and frequently hilarious” – THE GUARDIAN.

The Gimp Twister Music Lounge becomes a bar and bolt hole for music lovers, Fri 17- Sun 19 June, with breakthrough artists, local acts and ambient tunes.


Two days of Street Treats including crazy comedy, amazing acrobatics, quirky children’s theatre, adrenalin-fuelled street dance, the poetry ‘takeaway’ and more.

There’s also a brand new green space for Barnaby, the Maccles-field.

A thousand stars line the streets on Saturday 18 June at 1pm, for the ‘out of this world’ Carnival Parade as giant puppets, elaborate push-floats, music, jugglers and jesters entertain the crowds.


An audience with Professors Brian Cox of University of Manchester and Tim O’Brien of Jodrell Bank headlines a series of science-based events, including a Deep Space Lab, the Spacepod Challenge and an outdoor Planetarium!


Nick Robinson, former Political Editor of BBC returns to his home town to give a unique perspective on political life through two distinct events In Conversation and Space for Debate.

Visual Art:

Four critically acclaimed artists present their commissions inspired by the town’s heritage and people, along with four Macclesfield commissions and the best ‘Space’ themed work from local artists.

Leave a Reply