Not Quite Light image

Date published: May 08, 2018

Not Quite Light 2018, 17-20 May

Salford based artist Simon Buckley is returning for another year with his arts festival, this time in the Chapel Street and River Irwell areas of Manchester.

The Not Quite Festival is running from Thursday 17 to Sunday 20 May and features over 20 events combining art, music, guided tours, architecture and debate.

Simon’s inspiration for the weekend is drawn from his year-round Not Quite Light project, with striking city imagery taken at dawn – indeed – when it’s not quite light. The festival in 2016 explored themes of heritage and restoration in central Manchester and won the accolade of Best Exhibition in the CityLife Awards – cultural recognition for a unique and thought-provoking programme of events.

This May’s 2018 Festival weekend is to be held Salford, and seeks to inspire people to observe the city, so often in Manchester's shadow, from a different perspective. Based on this current project, there will be a photography exhibition entitled From Trinity to the Crescent. Showcased at the Lowry Hotel, it will run for two months and begins on Thursday 17 May, which is also when the Festival kicks off.

Simon Buckley comments: “It has been a joy putting this programme together – the subjects in question are so interesting and important to the future of Salford. Individually and collaboratively, I have created events at dawn, during the day, and at dusk, to explore the city in a unique way.

I’m thrilled to be back with a 2018 Festival. It's a new festival for Salford, with the aim being to repeat in 2019 and 2020.  It would be fantastic to see as many people there as possible to meet, socialise, discuss and enjoy the environs of a special place through the arts and these events.”

To see the programme in full, visit notquitelight/NQL2018.

Highlight events

4 new commissions – 1 composer ( Daniel Mawson ) , 2 sound artists ( Xavier Velastin, Sounds Of The Irwell, Jacky Waldock Timekeeper's Square project ) and a choreography piece by Sameena Hussain.

TRANSITION // Fri 18 May // 8-11pm

Poetry reading and storytelling from local actor and activist Julie Hesmondhalgh alongside live performances from classical musicians playing the work of Beethoven, Britten and Macmillan on the theme of dawn and dusk. There will also be a special performance of Amid The Irk Over The Irk- combining trad Irish and Jewish Klezmer music, featuring well known musician Mike McGoldrick.

The programme includes a world premier of a piece specially commissioned for the festival written by Daniel Mawson, inspired by the Not Quite Light project.

Info + tickets: notquitelight/transition

CHANGING FACE OF SALFORD // Sat 19 May // 2-4.45pm

Talk on the history of Salford and a debate on its future. A screening of 1968 film The Changing Face of Salford and the context of Not Quite Light, followed by a discussion between city influencers – City Mayor Paul Dennett, head of Development Salford city Council Shelagh McNerney, Clare devaney of Citizen-i and Andy Avery of Buttress architects. It will be chaired by Katie Popperwell. Read details of panel contributors via the link below.

Info + tickets: notquitelight/nightlights

NIGHT LIGHTS // Sat 19 May // 7.30-11.30pm

A captivating night of art, light, new music, live performances, poetry, ghost stories, and cocktails. All in the stunning backdrop of the iconic Georgian St. Phillips Church.

The night will include light installations created by artists bringing their own projectors and light sources. Live music will be performed by rising star Carmel Smickersgill and the band Room 1985. There will be a first performance of a commissioned sound work by Xavier Velastin, based on the sounds of the River Irwell and poetry by space poet Dom Conlan and Emily Oldfield. In the crypt, cult  horror actor Lauren Ashley Carter will read ghost stories and cocktails will be provided by Into The Gathering Dusk. Yatie Reyes is the DJ.

Info + tickets: notquitelight/changingfaceofsalford

CITIZENS' JOURNAL // Sat 19 May // 4-5am

Guided walk with a writer, sketcher, photographer and psycho-geographer to observe the city in early morning stillness. A journey of discovery through different eyes, with work produced captured into a zine. Check out the artist biogs in the link below.

Info + tickets: notquitelight/citizensjournal

MOBIKE SUNRISE // Sun 20 May // 4.15-5am

A festival and Mobike collaboration to bring you an early morning bike ride through the carless streets of Salford – see a different perspective before the city wakes up.

Info + tickets: notquitelight/mobike


Once world famous for cotton, Manchester and Salford no longer holds that intrinsically in its identity. Situated in a side street off Strangeways, Private White VC still flies the flag, making high end menswear sold in Selfridges and on London’s Bond Street. Explore the mill, with a specially curated soundtrack produced by BBC 6 Music favourite LoneLady, and listen to the owners chat with Thom Hetherington. There will also be a special dance performance by Sam Hussain that looks at the story of arrival into the city, with musicians Liz Hanks and Michael Walsh.

Info + tickets: notquitelight/privatewhitevc

AWAKE // Sun 20 May // 8-11pm

Be a part of an immersive, social, art performance to experience the sunset and twilight in a meditative and collective way. A harmonious and special closing event of the Festival. With artist Lucy May Schofield.

Info + tickets: notquitelight/awake


For all enquiries, please contact Simon Buckley:

07770 426888



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