A festival which has been providing a platform for Warrington creatives for more than a decade is set for a relaunch in 2024.

Culture Warrington’s annual Contemporary Arts Festival has previously been held in the autumn but will be moving to springtime next year and going forwards.

This is to unlock more funding opportunities for the event which could see it grow in the future, develop its outdoor programme and position the festival at a time of year when there will be more venue and staff resources to support it.

Warrington Contemporary Arts Festival (WCAF) is a multi-venue event which champions all artforms as well as providing a springboard for emerging creatives and new work.

It is probably best known for presenting Luke Jerram’s awe-inspiring Museum of the Moon at Parr Hall and the ‘Light Night’ in Queens Gardens.

Each year, the festival also supports emerging artists of every discipline with the Open Exhibition.

However, to provide a stopgap and an offering for WCAF audiences in the meantime, there will still be a small-scale festival between September and November this year under the banner ‘WCAF Presents’.

This will encompass theatre productions, contemporary dance, exhibitions and even aerial dance theatre.

Leah Biddle, Cultural Manager for Culture Warrington, said:We’d like to take this opportunity to thank all our artists, supporters and audiences for helping to make WCAF a success as we enter our next chapter.

We’re busy working on our programme for spring 2024 and we’re excited about the opportunities for growing the festival which lay ahead.

But we also felt it was important to maintain a presence this year and we’re doing just that with ‘WCAF Presents’ – a diverse collection of events which really showcases what we do, just on a smaller scale. We hope you can join us.

WCAF Presents includes:

· Identities, Pyramid, 22 and 23 September - Co-created with women who have lived experience of breast cancer and those who treat them, Rae Bell’s Identities unclasps the hidden adventures our boobs go on.

Identities production

· Tony Green: Scribble, Warrington Museum, from 29 September – Warrington’s own renowned fashion illustrator will be showcasing his playful and energetic style which has seen him in work with brands like Selfridges, Prada and Adidas.

· Wired Aerial Theatre: Me vs Me, Pyramid, 3 October – This bungee assisted dance performance focuses on mental wellbeing. There will also be opportunities for school students to meet the company and discuss pathways into the creative industries.

Two aerial performers

· ADHD The Musical, Pyramid, 13 October – A wonderful mix of storytelling, facts and showtunes exploring what it is like to have ADHD in a world designed for the neurotypical brain.

Actor performing in ADHD the musical

· When You Light A Candle, You Also Cast A Shadow, Pyramid, 11 November – This unique performance includes a trio of dancers and a live string quintet in a moving show that celebrates the natural world amid warning about the climate crisis.

· Scratch Night, Pyramid, 16 November – Our popular Scratch Night returns providing a friendly and open platform for works in progress where artists can seek audience feedback and peer review.

· Pete Regan: We’re All Alone In This Together, Warrington Museum, from 24 November – This exhibition ponders Warrington’s future following the closures of iconic giants Fiddler’s Ferry and Unilever and the dusk of the town’s industrial heritage.

WCAF Presents launches on 22 September and runs until 24 November. Warrington Contemporary Arts Festival returns in spring 2024. Visit https://wcaf.culturewarrington.org


Pyramid and Parr Hall
Pyramid and Parr Hall

Nestled in the heart of Warrington’s Cultural Quarter, the Pyramid and Parr Hall are two of the North West’s premier performance, arts and entertainment venues.



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    Looking forward to the Warrington Contemporary Arts Festivals relaunch in 2024. The shift to spring sounds like a strategic move for growth and WCAF Presents seems like a fantastic interim treat.
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