Okay, so a few alert readers let me know I left some festivals out of my last schpiel. Yes, there are more festivals in Manchester this spring. There are so many, in fact, that I ran out of steam and decided to do the update in two parts. But I didn't tell you that, did I? No, I wanted it to be a surprise. So, holy cats, look over there, there are some extra bonus festivals you didn't even expect queueing up on the calendar. It's like finding a freshly-baked strawberry rhubarb pie on your doorstep.
13-16 May, venues around the city
Next year it's going to become the scarily-named FutureEverything, but first we have one more year of old school Futuresonic. And the sonic element of this year's fest is especially interesting. I knows some of y'all are going to be thrilled at the chance to see Phillip Glass perform at RNCM, the joint with the best acoustics in town. He's by far the biggest name. The delights of the festival's music programme are definitely esoteric; unless you're a trendhunting digital ambient anorak with £300 headphones you may not have heard of them, but who cares? Pick one that looks interesting (and they pretty much all do) roll up, and more likely than not get your mind blown.
I'm especially excited about Soap&Skin at Cross Street Chapel, and can't decide between the two great-looking opening night gigs. Music aside, there's the usual programme of arty hijinks around town, and the excellent social technologies summit too.
Bury Text Festival
30 April - exhibitions run into June, venues around Bury
The Text Festival is a biennial programme of exhibitions and events that span the overlapping ground between poetry and text-based art, based at the wonderful Bury Art Gallery. Director Tony Trehy's energy and curatorial nous help make this a gallery that punches way above its weight... and I'm not just saying that because I live in Bury.
This year's Textfest features artists including the American visual poet Geof Huth, Poet Ron Silliman (who has been working on a single poem since 1974) and artist Jenny Holzer among many others. The Bury Poems features poets Tony Lopez, Carol Watts and Phil Davenport responding to their stay in Bury with poems.
1-4 May, venues around the Northern Quarter
Note: this date has been changed (had the wrong one, thanks Diana.)
Wait a min... what? Last week I told you about Hungry Pigeon, which is meant to be the reinvention of last year's MAPS festival. Well, turns out there's been a mysterious schism between the organisers of that event last year. Some of them splintered off under the flag of the Hungry Pigeon, while others stayed on to organise the second MAPS festival - and both camps are claiming to be the real thing. Hmmm. Curious. Aaanyway, we get two festivals in the N. Quarter this year instead of one. So we're the winners here, no?
And the MAPS festival is looking like a grand old time. Check out that clever map on their website - it's a tree and a map at the same time. Very cool. As Chris has already pointed out, MAPS is strong with local promoters who look set to put on a good show. As for the bands playing at a spate of traditional and not-so venues around the nabe, well, again, I haven't heard of many of them. But I'm sure that's pretty much entirely down to the fact that I don't get out enough anymore. Go, enjoy, and maybe next year we'll get three NQ festivals in May.