• Contact to celebrate 50 years with weekend-long cultural feast

Contact to celebrate 50 years with weekend-long cultural feast

12 July 2023

Manchester’s home of arts and culture, Contact has announced a programme of events to celebrate its 50th birthday at its Oxford Road home this July.

The Big Banquet will take place over one weekend with a line-up of events, parties and workshops, with Contact inviting guests to “experience the unique energy that has made it a cultural cornerstone for half a century”. 

From 28 - 29 July, The Big Banquet will showcase a range of activities that embody the spirit of Contact, highlighting its commitment to nurturing emerging talent and pushing creative boundaries.

Keisha Thompson, Artistic Director and CEO of Contact, said: 

"For 50 years, Contact has proven what can be achieved by putting the future first. I'm so excited to mark this remarkable legacy with The Big Banquet and can't wait to share the beautiful Contact energy with our audiences, artists, visitors, friends, and family over one incredible weekend. After a year at the helm of this magnificent organisation, I know one thing for sure: there's nowhere in the world like Contact."

Some of the highlights of The Big Banquet birthday weekend include

The Big Banquet Supper Club: Hosted by ARMR Café and Kitchen who have been cooking up some serious grub, the supper club is an intimate Caribbean dinner complete with extra special drinks at the castle on Oxford Road. There’ll also be an immersive fashion show by Contact Young Company following their performance of Hand Me Down.

The Afterparty: Join the Contact family for a night of music, dancing, and revelry as they transform the theatre into a hub of energetic celebration. With live DJs, performances, and surprises throughout the night, this event is definitely one for the diary.

Morning Rave: Rise and shine with the Big Banquet Morning Rave, an invigorating start to your day. Filled with high-energy beats, vibrant lights, and a lively atmosphere, there’ll also be energising refreshments on offer throughout the morning.

Cocktails and Cinquains x Capsule 2120 Launch: Hosted by Contact artistic director Keisha Thompson, the promises to be an evening of “boisterous beverages and punchy poetry”. And, for this extra special edition of Cocktails and Cinquains, Contact will also be launching Capsule 2120 - a compilation album created by Contact’s most talented musicians and artists.

Furthermore, on Saturday 29 July, Contact will present five outstanding free workshops open to all, led by local Manchester creatives, including; a clothes making session, music workshops and a zine making workshop.

You can view the whole programme here.