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MediaCity brings Art Battle MCR concept to Salford for the first time

10 artists will have just 30 minutes to create their masterpieces, before the audience decides who wins at this unique live art show

The next edition of Manchester’s live art concept Art Battle is set to take place on Friday 5th May in MediaCity – with tickets on sale now.

The unique concept will see the entrance of dock10 studios in MediaCity turned into a colourful battle ground for one night only, as 10 artists go head-to-head to create a masterpiece in just 30 minutes. From painters and illustrators to street and tattoo artists, contenders take to the stage armed with nothing but brushes and their imaginations, as up to 1,000 spectators circulate the action and cast their votes round after round, leading to knockouts as the battle goes on.

Having already made a splash of colour across a number of well-known city-centre venues, Art Battle MCR is making its debut in Salford this spring. With 20 sold-out events under their belt, the live action art organisers are set to bring an eclectic blend of artists, styles, and skillsets into this full-of-energy affair, as well as a mix of local independent traders and entertainers.

As it marks a first for Salford and MediaCity, it won’t go without a special appearance, with Gogglebox Star Helena Worthington confirmed to take part as well as more well known faces from MediaCity to be announced. The show will run alongside a soundtrack provided by Manchester DJ duo The Soul Twins, who will be playing soul, hip-hop, disco, house, funk, reggae and all the bits in-between with a firm eye on the dance floor, as well as DJ Peter G, who will also be spinning ambient tunes, with more surprise entertainment yet to be announced.

First established in 2013 by Mancunians John and Sophie Macaulay, Art Battle has kept its original format of a live painting competition, while each event always offers something unique thanks to a mix of tailored entertainment and never using the same venue twice.

John Macaulay, co-founder of Art Battle MCR, says: “We can’t wait to get the see the sun set over the docks as the artist go into battle. We’ve got some superb Salford based independent food and drinks traders, so we’ll help raise awareness of them as well as our amazing artists. It’ll be a special evening.

“The event in MediaCity will be our 21st Art Battle and we couldn’t be happier with how far we’ve come – we were even called ‘Manchester’s most energetic art event’ once! We have had over 250 local artists come and compete over the years, and it’s led to some of them turning what used to be a side passion into a full-time job – it has been magical to see them grow.”

Sophie Macaulay, co-founder of Art Battle MCR, adds: “One of our artists described the concept as ‘Art for the people, by the people,’ and I don’t think I could have put it any better. We love bringing local talent together and always have a few extra ‘tricks’ up our sleeve too – think fire breathers, skateboarders, live bands… so it’s not to be missed.”

Josie Cahill, MediaCity Place Director, adds: “It’s an exciting time for us at MediaCity with lots of new events, such as We Invented the Weekend, a huge new festival for MediaCity and Salford Quays, as well as the evolution of activations such as Box on the Docks with a summer programme of events. We also have new businesses opening, such as the ambitious new food hall at Central Bay so it’s a brilliant to have Art Battle MCR on board too.”

Salford’s brand-new free festival, We Invented the Weekend, which will be hosted at MediaCity on Saturday 3rd and Sunday 4th June, will also see some action from Art Battle – as the first ever Junior Art Battle MCR takes place at the Lowry Theatre. Local residents and those who have come for the weekend will get to witness young artists compete in live painting competitions on the Sunday afternoon of the festival.

Recently announced, We Invented the Weekend is a bold and imaginative free festival for the UK, which will be taking place on Saturday 3rd and Sunday 4th June 2023. The brand-new two-day culture-led event in Salford will see festivalgoers getting involved in all sorts of free activities and at its core, celebrate differences in how people spend their leisure time, situated where the weekend was originally invented in Greater Manchester, 1843.

Art Battle MCR will take place at The Open Centre, dock10 studios, M50 2NT, 7-11pm on 5th May 2023.

For tickets please head to

We invented the Weekend will take place across MediaCity on 3rd and 4th June 2023, for more information please visit .

For more information please email or call the team on 0161 302 0206.

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