Emergency 23

A day out for the curious.

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Updated 29 February 2024

Presented by Word of Warning + Contact

Manchester’s 23rd micro-marathon of the bizarre, the bold, and the beautiful takes over Contact on Saturday 30 September, from Noon to 10pm:
— with an Afternoon of installations, interventions, and limited capacity works
— followed by an Evening full of short shows from 4pm…
Look at some of our artists’ images — now it’s over, see images from the event.

My body is a temple, my body is a latrine.
Body meeting material, a pincushion archive, raw with SALT: will we ever heal?
Boxed in and neglected, immersed in a small world.
She’s hysterical, she’s insane.
A space to pause. A place to reflect. A place you shouldn’t neglect.
Slowness and tension with a siren’s call.
Swimming across the border of the Rio Grande…
That was the kind of wind it was: the anglers’ apotheosis.
Real life with the glitchy nuances of the internet, electronic soundscaping traditional Persian song.
Chance, mystery, and human perception, two crisp packets racing for the line.
A movement to narrate and connect.
Painting becomes music, music becomes theatre, people become performers.
A real no-hander!


Afternoon, Noon-4pm.
Chris Brown · E.M. Parry · GOWD · Hot Storm Productions · ITZATNA · Kelvin Atmadibrata · Lauren Greer · Louise Ward Morris · Luisa Amorim · Porcelain Delaney · Theresa Bradbury · Victoria Bone
Evening, 4pm-10pm.
Alex Billingham · Chris Brown · Egan & Pinchbeck · Gillian Dyson · Gisou Golshani · Heather Alice · Jana Aizupe & Company · Kellie Colbert · Laurie Bayley-Higgins · new func · Orla Collier · Raz & Khan
Participating artists subject to change; unfortunately Sweætshops® unable to perform.


Entry: no need to book, just turn up and Pay What You Decide by cash or card.

Times: Saturday 30 September 2023, Noon-10pm (last show starts ~9.30pm).
Location: Contact, Oxford Rd, Manchester, M15 6JA
NB with artists located in multiple spaces, and some works having a short duration and/or limited capacity on a first-come first-served basis, you may not get a chance to see everything.


Age Advisory: 16+ (aimed at adults, parent/guardian/carer discretion).
Content Warnings: some works may disturb, please click here.
Features: Live Art and contemporary performance works with varied content.
Queries: please contact Contact, 0161 274 0600 or BoxOffice@contactmcr.com


Our annual platform for Live Art and contemporary performance, Emergency offers a sneak preview of new live work over a single day in Manchester every autumn — this 23rd edition will present 23 short works from lunchtime till late throughout Contact’s spaces.

Probably England’s longest-running Live Art event, Emergency aims to be:
— a free to access public micro-festival and open submission platform;
— an opportunity for artists to meet, show, and peer review work;
— a selection event for a number of small Works Ahead commissions.

First held at greenroom in 2000, Emergency also took place at International Anthony Burgess Foundation, BLANKSPACE, Castlefield Gallery, Z-arts & STUN Studio, NIAMOS, before finding a new home at Contact from 2020

Get a feel for it with 2022’s programme & gallery of images, 2021’s programme/gallery, 2019’s programme/gallery, 2018’s programme/gallery.


Emergency 23 produced by hÅb; supported by Contact and using public funding by Arts Council England.


EmergencyMcr.org · #EmergencyMcr
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Performance Programme 2023

Fri 10 Mar, 7pm. PWYD | Contact
Turn 2023
Wed 3 May, 8pm. PWYD | The Lowry
Unnatural Cycles
— A Ghost Story
Thu 18 + Fri 19 May, 7.30pm. PWYD | Contact
Works Ahead 2023
Sat 22 Jul, Noon-3pm. FREE | Z-arts
Haphazard 2023
Sat 30 Sep, Noon-10pm. PWYD | Contact
Emergency 23