LOUD Libraries: Performances to enjoy during Festival Of Libraries 2022

31 May 2022 - News
It’s an outdated concept that a library is acknowledged as a place of quiet, calm and solitude, and the Festival of Libraries is breathing even more energy and fun into these spaces.

This is your opportunity to re-invent what you think a library has to be; filling them with noise, laughter and applause! Over the course of this year’s Festival of Libraries, we have events taking place in libraries across Greater Manchester that are filled with just that. Here are some must-see performances, installations and workshops taking place to get you accustomed to being LOUD in libraries. 


The Living Library

This exceptional musical installation will be brought to different libraries across Greater Manchester by Mapping Migrant Voices with the Olympias Music Foundation, which will include the telling of stories and musical performances from 60 musicians from 27 countries residing in Greater Manchester. Mapping Migrant Voices is a supported by Arts Council England, and they collect ‘musical and oral histories from migrant musicians’. The Festival of Libraries hopes to amplify these voices and encourage creative, diverse engagement within library settings!

Get your tickets to The Living Library in Bolton, Stockport and the John Rylands during the Festival of Libraries below.


Little Libraries by Malandra Jacks

Little Libraries will produce five installations in five different libraries across Greater Manchester, where visitors can immerse themselves in the projection that transforms plain white book covers into a visual and audio-projected experience. The piece will also feature the voices of Greater Manchester’s residents as they describe their favourite stories, books and experiences, acting as a visual celebration of the region’s diversity. Malandra Jacks is a theatre and creative company from Manchester, whose projects use theatrical performances with digital arts practices to explore and represent the lives and voices of young people and working-class communities.

To find out where Little Libraries will be taking place during the festival, see below.


Trailblazers! The Women of Manchester

Located in St Peter’s square stands a bronze statue of Emmeline Pankhurst, frozen in a state of protest while standing on a chair, titled ‘Rise Up Women’. It is only fitting that the Manchester Central Library, located just across the square to the statue, plays host to the Womanchester Festival, who produced the enamouring statue. The half-day festival is an event that celebrates Manchester’s iconic Women through a culmination of activities. Make some noise by taking part in workshops, walking tours, discussion groups as well as a performance from feminist band LittleSheGirls.

To find more about Trailblazers at the Festival of Libraries, see below.


My Library Legacy with Aziz Ibrahim

Longsight born, Burnage alumni Aziz Ibrahim, known for playing around the world with The Stone Roses and Simply Red, will perform his ‘My Library Legacy’ show at Manchester Central Library on Friday 17th June. This is a new solo show which will distil his creative work to date into a journey of music and autobiography.

Aziz is keen to develop the UK’s understanding of the musical instruments of South Asia and their influence of creative practice today as well as the importance of local libraries as spaces for young people to play and access creative activities for free. Join us for a fun afternoon of learning and music.

Please note that this session is only available for schools and isn’t open to the public.


Hawk Dance with Inside the Igloo

For families in particular you mustn’t miss the adventures of Pixel, Crash and Click are brought to life through mesmerising dance and projections. Bring your little ones along to the mesmerising production by Hawk Dance Theatre where they can participate and immerse themselves in the story as the performance unfolds in front of them. Interaction between the children and the performance encourages sounds of laughter and enjoyment as they learn creatively how to take care of one another and their surroundings.

During the Festival of Libraries Inside The Igloo performances will take place in Wigan and Rochdale. To get your tickets, see links to individual performances below.


The Old Green Time Machine with Coalesce Dance Theatre

The Old Green Time Machine follows the journey of two intrepid and quirky time travellers who are in a race to save the world. In a future where all living things have been destroyed and all that’s left is plastic, our two adventurers find themselves on an urgent journey into the past to change the course of history. It’s a shame their time machine has seen better days!

​Made from a a battered old bicycle, our time travellers need your help to fix it, so they can return to their mission…​ Join them at Urmston and Sale Library during the Festival of Libraries to find out how you can help!

Salford based Coalesce Dance Theatre presents this family friendly show that is a whirlwind of contemporary dance, music, poetry and fun. The performance is followed by an interactive ‘Stay, Play and Learn’ workshop.


Sensory Session and Messy Play with Thrive CIC 

Hindley Library and Community Centre are providing the space for your little ones to explore through touch, sight and sound! Adults of children up to 12 months old can watch as they investigate multi-sensory and stimulating objects. The free roam of collaborative play encourages fun and laughter, cultivating a room full of happy noises!

For more information on how to get involved, check out the event here.


The idea of a quiet library is outdated and useless. Libraries should be a place where people buzz around the large floors and feel free to use their local public space in various ways that benefit their arts and cultural experience. The Festival of Libraries is your opportunity to make your library LOUD!

To find details of these events and more events taking place during the Festival of Libraries, please see our full programme here.