A free festival is coming to MediaCity with interactive light sculptures and a jaw-dropping high wire act


The 2019 Quays Culture Summer Festival is a free four day event promising an array of multi-sensory activities from a walk-in light sculpture to the chance to try your hand at circus acts.

The festival opens with Arboria, described as ”a sculpture people enter to be moved to a sense of wonder at the beauty of light and colour,” and culminates in a spectacular 200 metre high wire walk from the Alchemist across the docks to MediaCityUK by world famous performer Chris Bulzini.

Dedicated to the theme of ‘trees’, Arboria, a spectacular luminarium on the MediaCityUK Piazza, has three main domes, each eight metres high and dominated by a single colour: red, green and blue. 

Visitors enter via the green dome and then arrive at the first three-dimensional tree – a combination of cones and spheres assembled to form a brightly luminous tree trunk with branches extending above your head.

Designed by Architects of Air who have been creating giant, magical experiential spaces that have toured the world since 1992, Arboria covers a space of almost 1,000 square metres filled with images and sounds for a total immersion experience. 

There will also be performances by Igor Urzelai and Moreno Solinas, two London-based dance artists, as well as circus workshops allowing visitors to get involved and learn something new.   

Providing an enthralling finale to the festival is high wire performer Chris Bullzini. At 5.30pm on Sunday 2 June, Chris will set off on a two hundred metre long journey across the water from a tower near The Alchemist restaurant to the safety of Media City.

Using only a pole for balance, Bullzini will amaze audiences with a stunning journey of daring performance upon a single wire suspended high across the dock.

“I need to be ready for all and every possible danger or distraction,” said Chris, who has recently returned from India where he practiced yoga and meditation as part of his preparation.

”We spend a huge amount of time researching each venue. This is a very big event and I need to be totally focussed.

“Being a high wire walker is a life choice. It is what I am as well as what I do.”

The professional ropewalker has been in his trade for over 20 years, and formed the company The Bullzini Family upon marrying his wife – on a high wire, naturally.

“We’ve pushed the limits to find artists to make Quays Festival something that visitors will never forget,” says programme producer Jennifer Taylor.

“The extraordinary talent involved is what makes it so special – they are awe-inspiring. Each day is different.”

Quays Culture Summer Festival will run from Thursday 30th May until Monday 2nd June, and is free to attend.



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