AND Festival taking over the banks of the Mersey for innovative 2020 programme

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AND Festival 2020

Abandon Normal Devices (AND) returns with a series of events and installations spanning the River Mersey and Manchester Ship Canal, Getintothis’ Michael Maloney with all the news.

Abandon Normal Devices, the festival which celebrates new cinema, digital culture and art has announced plans for its festival to take place next year.

Running from May 14 – May 17 the ninth edition of the AND Festival will explore the global trade gateways of the River Mersey and Manchester Ship Canal.

Over the four days AND will take over unexpected locations across the waterfronts of Merseyside and Cheshire.

Although details of the festival programme are yet to be released, the AND team have promised unusual and unique experiences and installations taking place on boats, docks and ports.

It will be the first AND Festival in three years with the last edition taking place back in 2017 in the Peak District and marks a return to Merseyside after seven years when Liverpool hosted the festival back in 2013.

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For the uninitiated Abandon Normal Devices aims to push the boundaries of how art is experienced breaking out of art galleries and taking over streets and cinemas with public art, site-specific installations and merging art and new technologies.

First held in Liverpool back in 2009 AND Festival is a traveling biennial that has appeared all over the Northwest for the past ten years, popping up in locations as diverse as Preston city centre to Grizedale Forest.

It’s ability to take appear in unique and unexpected locations and it’s choice of engaging and interactive art pieces have helped the festival break out from the usual niche art audiences and attract the wider general public.

As we reviewed back in 2017, AND Festival‘s location in Castleton village drew in not just art lovers but also those who were visiting the area to hike and camp, it proves the old adage ‘build it and they will come’.

The Hive, Ikbal Simamora Lubys Tony Maryana AND Festival 2017 (Credit: AND Flickr)

AND’s unexpected choice of festival location isn’t it’s only selling point: it also hold serious pulling power bringing in some of the best artists across a diverse range of creative fields.

It’s 2017 edition included The Hive, a site-specific sound sculpture by Indonesian artists, Ikbal Simamora Lubys and Tony Maryana located in the mouth of a cave.

2015 saw Matthew Plumer-Fernandez’s Peak Simulator placed a computer-generated landscape into the natural environment of Grizedale Forest, and back in 2013 Liverpool collective Deep Hedonia took over Static Gallery for an immersive night of electronic sounds courtesy of Tomasu.

Peak Simulator, Matthew Plummer-Fernandez, AND Festival 2015 (Credit: AND Flickr)

Tomasu performing at Static Gallery, AND Festival 2013, (Credit: Deep Hedonia)

While we don’t yet know what AND has planned for its next edition we can be sure that it will make us intrigued, enchanted and question everything as it continues to push the boundaries of what art is and means in the 21st century.

  • AND Festival takes place May 14 – May 17 2020.

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