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Get a preview of some of our upcoming events this autumn and winter

We’ll be updating this as more events go on sale!


Black Gold Arts Festival, returns online on Friday 23 – Sunday 25 October. Catch a keynote event with Travis Alabanza, new artist film commissions, a female-DJ-MC extravaganza, and a Black queer Manchester Garden Party.

All event are on sale now on a pay-what-you-decide basis. Income goes towards supporting the work of Black Gold Arts.

The Starter Kit

We’ve also already announced Contact Young Company’s autumn show The Starter Kit, their first ever online performance. Now we’ve got dates and times for you too.

This frisky, funny and interactive show explores the ins and outs of social movements. It’ll take place Wednesday 4 – Saturday 7 November, with performances at 6pm and 8.30pm. Tickets are on sale now.

Emergency 2020

What’s this? Our first live performance here in Contact’s building in 2020?

Contact and Word of Warning present Emergency 2020, with ten brand new live works for a socially distanced audience. The performances take place as part of a guided tour through the building, where you’ll get to see each work in turn. Tickets are on sale from Friday 13 November.

UPDATE: Due to changes in government restrictions, Emergency has been postponed until 2021. Look out for more details on this in the future.


Back to the digital world. LINK UP is a chance to catch up with the work of four young Contact-supported artists who’ll be performing at Queer Contact Festival in 2021. Adam Ali, Mandla Rae, Mark Croasdale and Roma Havers will be showing off and chatting through their new projects at this digital event on Wednesday 25 – Thursday 26 November. Tickets are on sale now.

I Read Me: More Black Authors in Schools

A livestreamed, interactive children’s book reading in partnership Read Manchester and Manchester City of Literature
Over the summer, 9-year old Maia wrote to her Headteacher asking for her school to include more ‘Black books by Black authors’ in their reading lists and on the curriculum. Now, Maia invites her favourite authors Nathan Bryon, Hannah Lee and Peter Kalu to read their books and have a conversation with Manchester school children. Saturday 28 November, 2pm. Book a free ticket now.

In Equal Parts: World AIDS Day 2020

On Tuesday 1 December, Join the GHT Positive Speakers from George House Trust along with HIV+ artists Jordan Roberts and Nathaniel Hall. They’ll be sharing stories and answering your stories around living with HIV. Plus, watch a short film featuring some well-known faces from the queer community. Tuesday 1 December, 8pm. Book a free ticket now.

Forest of Forgotten Discos!

From there, Contact will be heading into the festive season via a disco with a difference, and the whole family’s invited.

Forest of Forgotten Discos! returns Friday 4 – Saturday 5 December to bring the show right into your homes. This zoom-based family dance party for everyone 4 and upwards features a cast of reimagined fairytale characters. Meet three grumpy bears, fearless runaway Red, and get a helping hand from a digital assistant! Tickets on sale now.

One Mic Stand – Online

Following two successful digital versions earlier this yearOne Mic Stand – Online is back on Friday 11 December.

Young Identity host this fast-paced poetry slam. Ten performers are given only three minutes each to impress both the audience and judges with their mastery of words and rhyme, alongside some very special guests.

Contact’s Artistic Director and Chief Executive Matt Fenton said:

Since lockdown our staff have been working flat out to deliver our young people’s and community activity without interruption, first online, and now in the new creative spaces of the refurbished Contact. After two years of building works, it was gutting not to be able to welcome the public to our planned re-opening in September. Instead, we’re delighted to announce an alternative Autumn programme online.

With a theme of decolonising theatre, Black Gold Arts Festival is a burst of energy and activism this Black History Month. It’s followed by some of the things that make Contact great – a new show from Contact Young Company with Keisha Thompson and Javaad Alipoor; a taster of Queer Contact Festival; and an accessible family Christmas disco courtesy of Jackie Hagan and Nickie Miles-Wildin. We’ve even got a live performance tour of the building itself for Emergency 2020, featuring ten north-west artists. We hope you can join us, in any way you can.”

What’s Next?

We’ll be teaming up Mancunian poet Tony Walsh aka Longfella  to highlight the devastation of the live events industry during Covid-19. Using Longfella’s poem ‘Arts and Minds’, Contact will be spearheading a cultural rallying cry from Northern arts venues.