This June, the Whitworth, Manchester’s gallery in the park, hosts a warped weekend of art, music and the unexpected beneath the trees. Programmed by 15-25 year olds from across Greater Manchester, the festival celebrates the installation of a major new sculpture in Whitworth Park by the Turner Prize-nominated artist, Anya Gallaccio.

The Festival has been masterminded by Whitworth Young Contemporaries, a youth arts collective who are inviting their peers to experience the gallery and the park in a completely different way with a series of events connected to Anya’s work through the themes of folklore, trees and memory.

It’s a Festival which clearly has the organisers and The Whitworth excited, with Artist in Residence Helen Newman commenting “Being part of planning such a huge festival is really exciting, particularly designing thebikes and stereos with Revolve MCR. I can’t wait to start building the Sheds with the rest of the group. Having the opportunity to work with Anya Gallaccio has meant we can all learn from an established artist and take inspiration from her work.”

So, what’s on?

The festival is headlined on Saturday with a collaboration between Manchester-based performers Kaleidoscope Orchestra, intent on mixing up musical genres, and Cul De Sac, “four up and coming Manchester based community hip hop artists with a lot to say and a fine way of saying it”. (

For younger audiences on Sunday, Big Fish Little Fish entertain with a mini-festival of music and events where the adults enjoy themselves as much as the children – and vice versa with grandparents, uncles, aunts and carers all in the mix. Alongside this family rave, the WYC have included Chutney, a musician who combines traditional Indian rhythms with western instruments and multi-track recording techniques for musical family fun. Street Art performers Artizani and Avanti Display will present a new installation, The Bees, a stunning, thought-provoking and humorous installation using all the tricks of the trade and some new ones!

Decorated Bikes & Stereos will circuit along the paths of Whitworth Park ridden by the members of WYC, entertaining visitors with music from many genres and with announcements about the festival on Unity FM ( Bikes will be choreographed to meet at certain points in the park for sound clash activities. Bikes and Stereos is a partnership with the WYC and Revolve MCR.

The festival will also feature eight Warp Artsheds, in collaboration with Walk the Plank.  The young team has commissioned a group of emerging artists to decorate and curate these “sheds” to create unique spaces that provide focal points for more free performances and workshops during the festival. WARP Artsheds will transport audiences into different worlds and experiences throughout the weekend.

And as the sun goes down on 25 June, The Whitworth will host the Circuit Warp After Dark Party running from 9pm to midnight.

Warp Festival takes place at The Whitworth 25 and 26 June 2016

Circuit WARP Festival Listing:

Saturday 25 June:

Circuit WARP Festival, 12noon to 9pm (15-25yrs), Admission Free

Circuit WARP After Dark Party, 9pm to 12midnight (Admission Free but tickets essential)

Sunday 26 June:

Circuit WARP Festival – 11am-5pm (Families and 15-25yrs), Admission Free