SpringFest 2024 at Victoria Baths

SpringFest 2024 at Victoria Baths (13)

On Saturday 20 April Victoria Baths in Manchester is hosting SpringFest, a celebratory day filled with art exhibitions and music performances that will take over the pool halls of the famous Grade II* listed building and to which everyone is invited. Also on the menu is food, building tours and Family Friendly entertainment. Make a day of it with family or friends, or pop in on your own, and you’ll find plenty to see and do.

SpringFest music
Musicians will be performing throughout the day on the stage in the Sports Hall (former Males 2nd Class pool). Guacamaya Latin Band will be delivering their distinct Latin flavour and rhythms to give a unique twist to your favourite Britpop bangers. Amatiime’s music is a mixture of the places they’ve lived, the people they’ve met and the experiences they’ve had; as well as the ones they haven’t. Expect a fusion of RnB, jazz, funk and soul that will get your feet tapping. Visitors can look forward to a thought-provoking solo acoustic performance from Dennis Queen; a well-known figure in Manchester as a disabled, transgender artist and activist. Bringing a talent for lyrics that reflect his multifaceted creativity and a broad range of influences, is rap artist Dominic G. The South Manchester artist is highly regarded on the local hip hop scene and lists one of his highlights as an appearance alongside New York artist, Ra The Rugged Man, at Manchester venue, Gorilla.

SpringFest art
Artists love exhibiting at Victoria Baths because of its inspiring design and SpringFest will be a showcase for some of the North West’s most creative people who will transform the building into a giant art exhibition for the day. Visitors will be able to see contemporary art, textiles, paintings, photography and multimedia pieces amongst the stained glass, glazed tiles and changing rooms of Victoria Baths. Artists include Brigitte Watkinson, Creative Design Manufacture UK, Dan Warb (After the Rain), Jessie Tam, John Merril, Mahvish Javed, Olga Gerke and Venessa Scott. Plus more to be announced!

SpringFest will also see the opening of a year-long programme of exhibitions at Victoria Baths by Pool Arts, an arts collective that works to break down the barriers that can exist in the world of art. In the days when the building was closed to the public, art was still alive in Victoria Baths thanks to Pool Arts residency for many years; hence the name. The first exhibition A Work in Progress will be a cross section of the diverse and varied work of the Pool Art’s collective.

Family Friendly fun at SpringFest
SpringFest is bursting with Family Friendly fun. There will be lawn games taking place in the kid’s area – where there is also a mini-kitchen, book tent and colouring station to explore. And for exploring on a bigger scale there is the whole building to discover in the Miles of Tiles activity trail (suggested donation of £1); with fun facts to reveal and quirky features to spot.

To turn up the fun factor even further then you can buy a ticket for Our Kids Social’s special Make, Do and Bop which is taking over the Gala pool with a shimmering and glistening Under the Sea theme. Crafting comes first, with jellyfish and star fish mobiles to make, then it’s time to make some moves on the pool floor with a two channel silent disco broadcasting kids’ pop vs adult guilty pleasures! No cozzies are needed but fancy dress and sparkly party clothes will be all the rage.

Building tours, food and more
Behind the grand backdrops of Victoria Baths lies the fascinating history of the building and its many different spaces, all of which is revealed in the Discover Victoria Baths tour, which will be running at 12noon, 1pm and 2pm. This is a must do if you really want to get to know Victoria Baths, and not just for first time visitors.

Some of Manchester’s finest Street Food cuisine will be available at SpringFest. Dim Sum Su will be serving steamed buns, spring rolls and savoury dumplings; Wholesome Junkies turn junk-food favourites green with their vegan junk food menu; and for sweet treats don’t miss Exclusive Scoop’s scrumptious ice creams and crepes. Plus, the Victoria Baths Bar will be open throughout for a wide range of alcoholic and soft drinks and delicious baked goodies and hot drinks will be available from the volunteer led Victoria Baths Tearoom.

In what’s become a SpringFest tradition, those visitors travelling to the event by bike can claim a free brew for their efforts. Just take a selfie of you and your two-wheeler on arrival, show the Tearoom volunteers your pic and they’ll make you a free hot drink.

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