The Fête of Britain

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A Union Jack flag made of purples, blues and greens – instead of the usual colours

22 - 25 Feb 2024

Explore what's on

Accessibility features available for this event: Wheelchair Access

A four-day celebration of collaboration and imagination in the face of the great challenges of our time

How can we face up to the challenges of the twenty-first century? How do we make the world safer, fairer and better for those we love and the place we call home?

From the climate crisis to the cost of living, nothing is off the table at The Fête of Britain. Take your seat and have your voice heard across four days of play, workshops, people’s assemblies, talks and performances.

The takeover at Aviva Studios is programmed by Hard Art – a movement of artists, musicians and others in the creative and cultural worlds including Brian Eno and Es Devlin, who have teamed up to create a new culture of participation and positive change.

The programme brings together a mix of artists, performers and community groups and features contributions from artists Cornelia Parker, Human Atlas and Jeremy Deller, and journalist and presenter Jon Ronson. Music comes from Commoners Choir, hip hop star Louis VI and a night curated by LOWD Sound System. There’ll also be events from Empathy Museum, Starting Point Stockport and Salford Involve – plus plenty more to be announced soon.

Come and have a cuppa in our public living room, help us write an alternative national anthem or learn about Manchester’s radical history. Workshops and discussions will delve into key issues facing Manchester and the UK – encouraging us all to talk, take part and find our way out of tough spots together. Like any fête worth its salt, there’s plenty of fun to be had too. Games to play, problems to solve and stories to share – all under the theme of ‘Come Together’.

Asking how we can draw on Britain's rich history of resistance, culture and assembly to find our power today, The Fête of Britain champions community, collaboration and imagination. There’ll be lots of ways to get involved, try a new twist on a tradition and have your say. The fate of Britain is in your hands.

Lead image © Charlie Waterhouse

What's on

Explore by day

Comedy: Live from The Fête of Britain

Comedians  Jon Ronson, Rosie Holt, Stuart Goldsmith and Jonathan Pie
A provocative night of comedy with Jon Ronson, Rosie Holt, Desiree Burch, Stuart Goldsmith and Jonathan Pie.

Credits

Commissioned and produced by Factory International and Hard Art.

Access information

Our full address is Aviva Studios, Water Street, Manchester M3 4JQ and the what3words is chop.feeds.chase.

You can approach Aviva Studios along Water Street (coming from Quay Street) or along Liverpool Road (coming from Deansgate or Castlefield). Both entrances to the building have double sets of glass doors.

Once inside Aviva Studios, there is step-free access to all areas of the venue. The flooring throughout the building is smooth concrete.

The entrance to the Hall is by lift, escalator or stairs from one side of the Social beside the brick arches. There is only one escalator, and this will take you up to the Hall before the show, and will be reversed so that you can travel down at the end of the performance.

The Social has a range of seating, including those with arms and backs.

The bars in the Social and Hall Foyer have lowered accessible service points.

Our building is large. We have portable stools available to borrow if you would benefit from resting along the way during your visit.

We have wheelchair spaces and seats at standing events for all events.

There is step-free access to all areas of the venue, with lift access to the Warehouse from the Social, and lift and escalator access to the Hall from the Social. The escalator leading to the Hall foyers usually works in the direction of audience flow, so it will take you up before the performance, and the same escalator will bring you down at the interval or at the end of the show.

There are accessible toilets on all public levels of our building.

Accessible toilets are located inside the main toilets space in the brick arches of the Social.

Here you’ll find a mixture of accessible cubicles with left- or right-hand transfer, towards the back of the space, as well as ambulant accessible cubicles with grab rails, as well as a Changing Places facility.

The toilets in the brick arches of the Social are split into male, female and gender neutral – all of which contain accessible cubicles. There are shared handwashing facilities in each arch – they have soap dispensers under the mirrors to your left and dryers to the right. There are separate handwashing facilities inside the accessible cubicles.

There are additional single-room accessible toilets located in both Hall Foyers, at stalls and circle level.

There are additional single-room accessible toilets located in the Warehouse Foyer.

You do not need a key to use the accessible toilets at Aviva Studios.

Assistance dogs are welcome in our building, and we can provide mats and water bowls on request, just ask a host when you arrive. We can also take care of your assistance dog if you do not want to take your dog into the performance space. Please also refer to our assistance dogs policy.

If you are bringing an assistance dog to a ticketed event, please let us know in advance by contacting access@factoryinternational.org or calling our access phone number: 0161 817 4531 (phone lines are open 10am to 5pm, Monday to Friday).

Travel information

Aviva Studios can be approached along Water Street (coming from Quay Street) or along Liverpool Road (coming from Deansgate or Castlefield).

Our closest stations are:

Salford Central station: 0.4 miles

Deansgate station and Deansgate-Castlefield tram: 0.6 miles

St Peter’s Square tram: 0.6 miles

Manchester Victoria station is approximately one mile from Aviva Studios

Manchester Piccadilly station is approximately 1.3 miles from Aviva Studios

Click on the links above to find detailed access information for each station.

By Bike

There are 40 bike parking spaces at Aviva Studios including space for two accessible bikes.

National Cycling Route 6 passes close to the venue and this TfGM webpage can help with route planning.

You can also hire bikes from on-street docking stations across the city centre. The closest docking stations to our venue are currently on Deansgate by Liverpool Road and (400m from the building) and by King Street (500m from the building). Take a look at Transport for Greater Manchester’s webpage for advice on cycle hire.

By Walking and Other Active Means

Aviva Studios can be approached along Water Street via Liverpool Road (coming from Deansgate or Castlefield).

If you're coming from Quay Street, the safest route to avoid construction works is via the cut-through opposite Gartside Street and past Booking.com.

All footways in the surrounding area are well lit and there are appropriate crossings across all main roads.

Pedestrians with visual impairment are recommended to approach the building via Water Street, from Liverpool Road. This route has traditional carriageway and footway design with fixed street furniture which should help with navigation to the entrance.

A footbridge at Left Bank in Spinningfields provides an accessible link across the River Irwell to Salford Central station, and a further footbridge also links Aviva Studios with the Salford area of Middlewood Locks.

Free bus services stop at all city-centre stations, and near to Aviva Studios along Deansgate, Bridge St and Quay St. Buses on these free routes are wheelchair accessible. For full details of the free bus routes, please visit the TfGM website.

There is a car park approximately 0.6 miles from Aviva Studios at Water Street Car Park, New Elm Rd, Manchester, M3 4JH.

There is also a NCP car park (Manchester Spinningfields) approximately 0.5 miles away from Aviva Studios at Spinningfields, New Quay Street, Manchester, M3 3BE. It has 35 accessible bays.

There are a small number of Blue Badge spaces along Water St and Quay St. Otherwise head towards Liverpool Road, Great John St and Lower Byrom St – close to our neighbours, the Science and Industry Museum where there are a small number of additional Blue Badge spaces.

For a list of other parking bays available in the area, visit Manchester City Council website.

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