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Thursday, 22 September 2011 08:48

Seeking emergency accommodation…

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Seeking emergency accommodation…

In June 2011, greenroom, Manchester’s iconic theatre for all things new, contemporary and experimental closed its doors for the final time. Beyond the loss of one of the Manchester‘s ‘hidden treasures’, there is also the story of the creative community it nurtured over the course of its existence, as a ‘home’ for artists, giving opportunities to literally thousands of young people looking to take their first steps into an often precarious career.

For 13 years, a key way into greenroom was the annual emergency free micro-festival, showing upwards of 40 short experimental works in a crazy day and a half.  Co-produced by hÅb, an independent production and development organisation, emergency has been responsible for kick-starting literally hundreds of careers and offering a free explosion of performance to thousands of audience members.

As the Autumn approaches and, with it, the first full ‘season’ without greenroom, emergency is now seeing a re-birth in the shape of emergency accommodation (Saturday 1st October). hÅb has teamed up with Blank Media Collective, a group of mixed-media practitioners offering a range of artist-showing opportunities in a cooperatively run environment, and with the ever supportive International Anthony Burgess Foundation, to create a new kind of micro-festival in new kinds of spaces.

hÅb’s Director, Tamsin Drury says of the event “We wanted to keep the legacy of greenroom alive and, more vitally, to continue to offer opportunities to artists and audiences to experiment with exciting new ways of making and seeing work.  It will be an emergency like never before, 30 new pieces of work, crammed into one hectic day – ranging from an exhibition of installation and interactive live works, to a series of exciting new shows in a packed 9 hour free artistic marathon.  We are incredibly grateful to the energy and enthusiasm of Blank Media Collective for making it possible to create emergency accommodation and to the artists, volunteers and other supporters (IABF, Arts Council England, Contact and University of Central Lancashire) for their help.”

I am genuinely really excited by the programme – with artists travelling from all over the country to take part.  We have two venues: BLANKSPACE and IABF, 3 minutes apart on Hulme Street, and we are using every possible space, street, stairwell and cupboard to show striking installations, intense one-to-one encounters, playful strolls and raucous performances – you can even have your own private, shower experience!

emergency accommodation is a free one day micro-festival taking place on Saturday 1st October 2011, at BLANKSPACE and IABF on Hulme Street, Manchester (

Full information at

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