LYR open Festival of Libraries 2024

  • DATE

    12 June 2024

  • TIME

    7:30 pm to 10:00 pm

  • AGES

    All ages welcome


    £12 / £4


    Manchester Central Library
    St Peter's Square, Manchester, M2 5PD

Band LYR have written a new song, ‘Enlightenment’, dedicated to the Festival of Libraries 2024. The band will open the festival on 12th June with a very special performance featuring Manchester singer-songwriter Josephine Oniyama at Manchester Central Library.

New single The Enlightenment will be released on streaming platforms on Friday 7 June and will be performed live for the first time by the band at Manchester Central Library as part of the festival on Wednesday 12 June (doors open at 7pm).

The Enlightenment tells of the adventures, discoveries, inventions and encounters that lie in wait within a library; a subject that each member of LYR is passionate about. The band are also using the opportunity to highlight the importance of libraries to the fabric of society and from a very personal perspective.

Simon Armitage says, “Libraries are very close to my heart. Since I became Poet Laureate I’ve been reading in libraries around the UK every spring, from big landmark buildings like the British Library to a mobile library van on the Outer Hebrides. I want to support the under-pressure services that play a vital role in shaping the cultural, imaginative and intellectual life of this country, and often stand at the core of communities. I wanted to write about libraries in general as places of illumination, where a person’s mind can expand in every direction, and can do so for free. I think we sometimes forget that knowledge, learning and information can be very expensive, be that an internet connection, a smart phone or a course of study. Libraries are the ultimate democratic institutions – places of sharing – and having taken so much out this is an opportunity for me to give something back. Let’s say I’m balancing the books.”

As a region boasting world-class libraries that have made Manchester a UNESCO City of Literature, a region that proudly invests in its libraries and celebrates all of the community, learning and creativity that they represent, it is fitting that The Enlightenment will sit at the centre of a festival that is exploring these themes for the fourth year running.

The Festival of Libraries spans the ten boroughs of Greater Manchester and its 133 libraries, bringing with it a programme that’s full of ideas, connections and discussion with exhibitions, author talks, vibrant performances, fascinating installations, workshops to get stuck into and international dynamics that are putting Manchester Libraries on the map.