With so much going on in Manchester during the summer, you would be forgiven for not giving the eclectic Not Part of Festival the full attention that it deserves.
The festival has undoubtedly suffered from coinciding with the media darling that is the Manchester International Festival, and in the promotion material for Not Part of Festival, it looks as if the organisers have aimed a jab in the direction of its more courted cousin. ‘…see what happens when a festival stops treating artists as a revenue stream and gives them the freedom of self-expression’.
Whereas the MIF has received criticism for its exclusivity and high ticket prices for some of its performances, the ethos of Not Part Of is very much of inclusion and accessibility.
Not Part Of certainly fulfils this remit, with 150 separate events falling under the banner of the festival at over 40 venues across the city. The events programme is more varied than a packet of Liquorice All-sorts, and like the big bag of Bassets, not everything will be to your taste. But by covering every angle, including Poetry for Knitters, the organisers hope that there will be something for everyone.
The sheer number of events falling under the banner of the festival is a little misleading. Some of the entries in the programme are regular events that would otherwise operate outside the remit of Not Part Of, but for reasons of publicity or expanding of the festival calendar, they have been included in the diary for the 2 week period that the festival runs. Regardless of this, there is plenty of interesting and original pieces that will be appearing in Manchester for the very first time.
The festival runs until Saturday the 16th of July and the range of events put together by festival partners, Forever Manchester and The University of Salford really is staggering.
So if you missed out on seeing Bjork and SnoopDogg, or even if you didn’t, make sure you have a look at the programme for Not Part Of and see what exciting innovative work is being produced at the opposite end of the spectrum.