The highly-anticipated Quays Festival is set to throw open its doors once again as it makes a return to Salford Quays with a stunning acrobatic showcase taking centre stage.

The family-friendly event is set to take place across the weekend of the 14th-15th of August and comprises a wide range of spectacles to suit everyone and their tastes.

Quays Culture Producer, Jennifer Taylor, said: “We’re so excited to welcome audiences back to enjoy art and performance in such a safe, accessible and inspiring setting”.

Credit: Quays Festival 2021

One of the highlights set for the weekend includes an exclusive performance from aerial specialists, Scarabeus Aerial Theatre.

The group produce pioneering outdoor and indoor performances which dazzle audiences from young to old as the group impressively merge physically demanding aerial skills with theatrical performance to deliver provoking and unforgettable showcases.

In a piece originally commissioned for The Lowry’s WEEK 53 Festival that was axed as a result of the pandemic, four professional aerialists known as Powerflex will put on a daring routine which will see them suspended from The Lowry’s iconic tower.

Credit : Justin Piperger

Josie Cahill, the place director for MediaCityUK, looked forward to the event bringing a sense of normality back to the world.

She said: “in a post-covid world, public art and culture for all is more important than ever.

“We are thrilled to be working in partnership with Quays Culture and a host of fantastic artists to bring such a vibrant programme of activity to MediaCity which will inspire and engage those who live, work and visit.”

Credit : Justin Piperger

Visitors will also be enticed by a new sculptural instillation by Liz West, known as ‘Through No.4’.

A new permanent addition to MediaCity beyond the festival’s end, the 6-metre long sculpture will be a prismatic corridor of light aimed to allow guests to see the world around them enhanced by colour.

West, a British artist who graduated from Glasgow School of Art in 2007, said: “I am looking forward to seeing the work glisten and throw out mesmerising sundial colour ways onto the quayside.”

Credit : Quays Festival 2021

She described the intended feel to ‘transform the usual colouration and appearances’ of an otherwise typical environment.

She added: “I hope that it brings joy to those who pass nearby and through it.”

One of the most unique aspects to occur is the fusion of swimming, music and dance with Uswim and Colour Swim creating a unique mass dance which participants are invited to join in from the quays water with musical accompaniment from the Manchester School of Samba.

Tony Watt, the founder of the School of Samba, said: “We are absolutely delighted to collaborate on Colour Swim to create something very special and unique, the SambaSwim.”

Credit : 2021 Quays Festival

He added: “We use dance and percussion to create inclusive and dynamic performances and we intend to create one of the highlights of this fantastic event.”

With choreography by the ‘House of Ghetto’ dancers, the public is encouraged to book a ticket to join in whilst spectators will be able to watch the performance from around Dock 9.

For further details on the event including performance times more information can be found on and across Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

Tickets to join in the SambaSwim event can be obtained for free here. 


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