The summer solstice in the Northern Hemisphere usually takes place between June 20 and June 22, and this year it’s expected on June 21 in the UK. Coincidentally, this date was also outlined as the potential day for easing all lockdown restrictions in England under the roadmap plan, although recent data has put paid to these plans. So, if you’re looking for something to cheer you up, then look no further. 

Our Future is Ancient is a multimedia piece of work inspired by Macclesfield Forest, and is by Salford-based artist Simon Buckley who works under the name of Not Quite Light. The project forms three parts: a performance of words and live music, an exhibition of film and images, and a walking tour of the ginnels in Macclesfield to bring the forest into the town. On June 19, Buckley will perform a spoken word piece in St Michael’s Church, against the backdrop of a film and visuals that he has created in response to visiting Macclesfield Forest.

Buckley began visiting Macclesfield Forest in December 2019 to coincide with the winter solstice. He documented his visits every month for one year to capture words and images around the dawn of the full moon. He has also written music to accompany the visuals. His visits have taken him on a journey no one expected, at the time of a global pandemic, when lockdowns saw him make visits, which were more like pilgrimages. 

Barnaby Bright is a collection of midsummer events that will take place in June around the summer solstice in the historic spaces of Macclesfield town centre, brought to you by the team at Barnaby Festival.

Event details: All events will be delivered with measures in place to comply with COVID-19 restrictions. Social distancing will be monitored carefully. Tickets can be bought on Barnaby Festival’s website.