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.



Manchester-based writer Sarah Butler invites festival-goers to experience the festival theme, In-between places, with her on walks that follow the boundaries of East and West Didsbury. In addition to two public walks where Sarah will engage in a conversation with participants, she will invite along another commissioned artist, Phil Griffin. After each walk, Sarah will post her writings and photos to the festival website as a creative response to the walks.

Sarah in interested is places, but even more in people and how they experience space and relate to places. “People will have different responses to places that I have. Often places are about community and belonging and that’s what I will also explore in Didsbury.”

Previous work includes many projects in the North West of England. In Glossop, Sarah studied post-industrial life of the evocative buildings of Howard Town Mills, and conducted interviews with previous workers. In Manchester, she has been inspired by lost buildings and recently took part in Chorlton Arts Festival, writing about St Clement’s church yard – the old church sadly no longer exists.

 In terms of Didsbury Arts festival, Sarah hopes for keen participants with many different views. “I grew up in Heaton Moor but do not actually know Didsbury that well. I am interested in the history of a place, and how commercial and global demands change our environment. What happens when a place is put to another use?”

Sarah’s fascination for places comes from home. “My dad was a town planner so I grew up with an interest in cities.”

 That, combined with a Masters in Urban Studies led her to run her own consultancy that develops literature and arts projects that explore and question our relationship with space. She has had several writing residencies, including at Tate Modern in London. This allowed Sarah to interview people who were involved in building a new extension last summer, and documenting the whole process for Tate Modern’s website. 

By Laura Linkomies


Sarah’s public walks take place on Monday 22nd June, 18:00-20:00 and Wednesday 24th June, 10:00-11:30. Pre-book at walkingtheedge@urbanwords.org.uk or tweet @SarahButler100 More info on the commission here