The DaDaFest International Festival makes its much-anticipated return this month, with a packed programme which will showcase the talents of disabled, deaf and neurodivergent artists and performers. 

This year’s festival, with the theme and title ‘Hybrid’, starts on October 26 and will run for six weeks at various venues across the Merseyside region, including the Museum of Liverpool, Bluecoat, Unity Theatre and St Helens Library as well as online.  

Past Life Image - Bill Elms
Past Life

Joe Strickland, the event’s executive producer, said: “This year’s festival celebrates the work of our first cohort of DaDa ‘fellows’ and brings together a range of new digital and in person work by North West and national artists. 

“We are aiming to support artists to experiment with new approaches to inclusive and integrated access and develop their own skills and style of inclusive practice.” 

DaDa, founded in 1984, aims to develop and present disability and deaf arts through a multi-art form artistic programme, including festivals, interventions, and events. This is supported by a year-round programme of engagement work with developing and established artists, young disabled, deaf and neurodivergent people, their families, and the wider community. 

The festival will feature national collaborations including joint commissions, organisational development covering both disabled and non-disabled artists, and local partnerships working collaboratively to increase artistic excellence and support local established an emerging performers. 

Trash Salad Artist - Bill Elms
Trash Salad Artist

Previous festival participants have included actor and comedian Liz Carr, comedians Laurance Clark, Francesca Martinez and Simon Weston, as well as musician Dame Evelyn Glennie. 

Joe Strickland also explained the title and theme of this year’s event: “Hybrid highlights our continued approach to presenting work post lockdown. We are always working to find ways of making work more widely accessible without compromising on quality and we strive to share in person and digital projects and experiences alongside each other.” 

DaDaFest International Festival is operating a ‘pay what you decide’ pricing on tickets for individual events and week tickets, which you can find out more about at their website. 

Featured Image Courtesy Bill Elms


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