Contact has announced its final 50th birthday celebration, The Big Banquet, featuring an array of events, parties and workshops across one weekend.

The Big Banquet will showcase emerging talent, art and push creative boundaries including poetry, music and artwork.

Speaking about how The Big Banquet will bring to life the unique energy of Contact, Artistic Director and CEO Keisha Thompson 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 organization, I know one thing for sure: there’s nowhere in the world like Contact.”

Highlights of Contact’s The Big Banquet will include:

The Big Banquet Supper Club: What would a Big Banquet be without a feast?! Before you fill up on culture, secure your spot at our Supper Club, hosted by the ARMR Café and Kitchen.  The event features an intimate Caribbean supper, extra special drinks and a party at the castle on Oxford Road with an immersive fashion show by the Contact Young Company following their performance of Hand Me Down.

The Afterparty: Kick off the weekend with a bang at the Big Banquet After Party with a night of music, dancing and revelry.  With live DJs, performances, and surprises throughout the night, this event promises an exhilarating experience for party enthusiasts.

Morning Rave: Rise and shine with the Big Banquet Morning Rave, an invigorating start to your day with a morning filled with high-energy beats, vibrant lights, and a lively atmosphere that will get your body moving and your spirits soaring. Fuel up with energizing refreshments and experience the unique blend of dance and wellness.

Cocktails and Cinquains x Capsule 2120 Launch: What makes a good cocktail? What on earth is a cinquain? And why put the two together? Anight of boisterous beverages and punchy poetry hosted by Keisha Thompson and Rory Dickinson along with the launch of Capsule 2120; a compilation album created by Contact’s most talented musicians and artists.

A string of five free workshops led by local Manchester creatives covering music, making Zins and making clothes.

When will Contact host The Big Banquet?

The Big Banquet runs at Contact Manchester from 28-29 July 2023.

Image of Contact courtesy of Adrian Lambert