One of Manchester’s best kept secrets will be staging its biggest event to date later this year at the historic Albert Hall.

Creatives from across the country including painters, illustrators and street artists will go head-to-head as they show off their skills at Art Battle Royal.

They each have just 30 minutes to create a masterpiece in front of a live audience who will decide the winner of each round and – ultimately – the artist who will be crowned Champion of Champions.

Art Battle Manchester has delivered 10 sold out battles across the city in iconic locations such as mills, warehouses, music venues, theatres, a skate park and even London Road Fire Station.

But the Albert Hall may be the most unique location yet. After being hidden for over 40 years, the Grade II listed Wesleyan Chapel on Peter Street is now an iconic cultural venue  – and an ideal location for the audience to watch battle commence.

Artists to go head to head in front of live audience in Battle Royal I Love Manchester

Previous winners have included David Goodwin at the first ever Battle, Sarah Lynn Mayhew, known for her portrait of Kermit Leveridge which has been used in Black Grape videos, and Adam Gillbertson, the first illustrator to scoop the title.

The most recent winner was Michael Browne who created a portrait of Anthony Joshua in just 30 minutes to win Art Battle 10 at Projekts Mcr Skatepark.

Art Battle confronts the assumption that art is only suitable for certain audiences and locations and, most importantly, makes it fun.

Founder John Macaulay has a background of putting on live music but wanted to create an art-focused event with a gig atmosphere, making it accessible to everyone.

“Art has always provided so much in society for so many – from health to social benefits,” says John.

“When it is hidden behind gallery walls, too many miss out on the opportunity to explore and appreciate it. Art should be as accessible to the masses as music. Each week there are hundreds of music gigs in Manchester, but only a handful of art events. You get the energy levels of a gig at Art Battle Manchester, so it’s the best of both worlds.”

Hosted by broadcaster/DJ, Hattie Pearson, Art Battle Royal will mix up artists with DJs, art exhibitions, street food, a licensed bar and plenty of surprises, for an evening out you won’t forget.

“It’s Manchester’s most energetic art event,” says John. “We help turn artists into ‘art stars’ and the huge crowd – many of whom have never set foot in an art gallery – really play their part too.

“It’s high energy and tremendous fun. Nobody quite knows what’s going to happen next on the night – not even the artists. Nowadays, people are looking for more interactive experiences and, at Art Battle Manchester, the crowd are an integral part of the night. If you’re going on a date or with a group of people, there’s never any awkward silences and you might even end up on stage!”

Art Battle Manchester recently raised over £75,000 for the #WeStandTogether fund when Scarlet Nieschmidt, one of the artists involved in battle number 8, arranged for artists from Manchester and beyond to each donate a piece of work for an auction, with all proceeds going to those affected by the 22 May terror attack on Manchester Arena.

Tickets for Art Battle sell out fast so be sure to get yours and be part of something special.

Albert Hall, Saturday 30 September, 7-11pm. Tickets are on sale via Skiddle.

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