Small Steps Festival coming to Manchester’s Northern Quarter

  • Small Steps, a charity music and arts festival, is coming to Manchester's Northern Quarter this week 
  • Based across 3 different venues in the NQ, Small Steps hopes to rais money for two different charities, Sea Life foundation and Rape Crisis
  • Music will include sets from Limit UK Dj's and acoustic sets from Gazelle, Ladylamp and the Bethlehem Casuals 

A new arts and music festival is debuting in Mancehster later this week.

Predominantly an arts activism festival, Small Steps will be showcasing the work of local artists and musicians in three venues in Manchester’s iconic Northern Quarter on Thursday, 11 May. The event will start during the day running right into the early hours of Friday.

Organised by LightUp Collective, who describe themselves as a network of artists concerned with student safety, working to create a network for change, Small Steps promises to bring something a little different to Manchester. 

The small but vibrant festival will provide Mancunians with the chance to immerse themselves in local creative talent, all while raising money and awareness for two improtant charities.   

The NQ caught up with Jess Mallard, one of the event’s organisers, to find out what to expect from the new festival of culture

Jess explained why the LightUp Collective organised the festival: “The aim of the event is to provide an opportunity for people to enjoy local talent and see the Small Step’s artists are taking to be activists in the issues they feel strongly about.

“We want everyone to enjoy the night and hopefully be inspired to do the same!”

Jess continued, explaining that while the Collective and the Small Steps festival was predominantly involved with showcasing local artists’ work, they also wanted to give back to the local community:  “We’re always planning on doing a bigger event to raise money for Rape Crisis, after our previous events had been surrounding raising awareness, we really wanted to make a monetary donation to help the organisation knowing the good work they do.

Gazelle who will be performing acoustic at kosmonaut
Gazelle who will be performing acoustic at Kosmonaut

“We knew we wanted to put on an enjoyable event of art and music to do this, and so teamed up with Changing Tides and their event for the environment in order to create the door to door festival to celebrate activism as a whole.”

The Northern Quarter’s historic association with art and music makes it the ideal location to host the event. Jess told us why LightUp chose the various venues to hold the festival:  “The first two venues are Twentytwenty Two and Kosmonaut in the Northern Quarter, with Stage and Radio hosting the after party.

“LightUp Collective have been in charge of organising the event at Twentytwenty Two, which is a really cool bar in the NQ. It even has ping pong tables!

“There’s going to be a raffle with a luxury hot stone massage on offer, so that’s probably the part I’m personally looking forward to most!

“Our event at Twenty Twenty Two will have a really nice mix of artist works and interactive pieces on offer, with all money raised from that particular venue going to Rape Crisis, which in light of government cuts are severely underfunded at the minute.”

limit uk owners who will be performing at twenty twenty two
Limit UK who will be performing at Twentytwenty Two

There will be a diverse range of music for festival goers to enjoy, including funky house vibes from Limit UK Dj’s and acoustic sets from Gazelle, Ladylamp and the Bethlehem Casuals. Jess added: “There will even be an afterparty at Stage and Radio from 10.30pm playing upbeat house to celebrate all the money raised!”

LightUp are hoping the event can raise a sizeable donation for their chosen charities, especially Rape Crisis: “As I mentioned, Rape Crisis is really underfunded at the minute and an incredibly valuable service, and so needed in recent times with the increase of sexual assaults in the Manchester area.

“The Kosmonaut venue will be raising money for the Sea Life Trust, and is showcasing artwork on the subject of the environment with speakers from Lovemybeach.

“They’re two extremely different causes, but are linked together by the activism aspect of art which is what Small Steps hopes to celebrate.

“Coming to the event, and donating a little money, is a Small Step that we can do together in the right direction!”

Small Steps is organised by the LightUp Collective, a network of artists concerned with student safety, working to create a network for change.

For more information on the event, head to their official Facebook, or send them an email at [email protected]

Tickets are still available (and under a fiver!) at https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/small-steps-festival-tickets-33393653316.