Thu 18 Feb 2021

We are thrilled to announce that AND Festival will resurface from 27 May – 11 July 2020.

Abandon Normal Devices Festival, the UK’s only roaming digital festival, resurfaces in 2021 with a new hybrid format, exploring the post-industrial landscapes of the Manchester Ship Canal and River Mersey. The nomadic festival of digital culture, art and film returns for an expanded summer edition over seven weeks from 27 May – 11 July 2021, online and at sites in Merseyside and Cheshire (UK).

AND Festival 2021 will bring you on an extraordinary journey responding to the Manchester Ship Canal and River Mersey, streaming via waterways and cables lying deep beneath the waves. Following the flows of shipping, energy and political power structures, from container ports on our doorsteps to the depths of the ocean floor; through ecosystems bound up with industrial chemicals, minerals and micro-plastics, to their effects on our planet, human and non-human bodies.

Ever migrating, adapting and evolving, AND Festival will take place online, on docklands and on the water in 2021. This ambitious programme will feature in-real life field trips via augmented reality seascapes, immersive voyages and floating laboratories, expanded through an online programme of radical and disruptive artworks, film screenings, performances, talks and workshops. AND Festival returns in a renewed experimental, cross-platform format from 27 May 2021 for seven weeks.

AND Festival 2021 invites radical artists, critical thinkers and curious audiences to renavigate the industrial landscape from physical and virtual perspectives. Exploring the global trade gateway of the Manchester Ship Canal and River Mersey, the programme will bring into focus the oceanic scale of networked industries and infrastructures – largely hidden from sight – that form part of our daily contemporary consumption. Audiences local and remote are invited to trace the entangled flows of shipping routes, oil refineries, chemical industries, recycling plants and energy systems from these ports, and unearth the impact on our ways of living.   

In a unique year when the Covid-19 pandemic swept the globe, we have witnessed far-reaching adaptations to our lives; the 9th edition of AND Festival is reimagined for a world beyond this stasis, adapted from the postponed 2020 festival into an experimental programme traversing physical and digital worlds.

Artists presenting work in the festival include: Hakeem Adam (GH), Assembly (UK), Marija Bozinovska Jones (MK), Kate Davies (UK), Anita Fontaine (AU), Mary Maggic (CN/US)
, Maxwell Mutanda (ZW)New Emergences (NL), Ignatia Nilam Agusta (ID), public works (UK) and  Sissel Marie Tonn (DK), plus more to be announced.

Abandon your normal devices and join us on this journey. 

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AND Festival 2021 is supported using public funding by Arts Council England with additional support from British Council, Culture Warrington, Creative Industries Fund Netherlands, The Space, Film Hub North (National Lottery funding from BFI Film Audience Network) and in collaboration with Wirral Borough Council.

Programme partners British Library, Canal & River Trust, Culture Liverpool, Maritime Digital Hub, Merseytravel, The Daniel Adamson Preservation Society, Portico: Portsmouth’s Cargo Terminal, Super Slow Way, Wigan Council and York Mediale.

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