The queerupnorth Video Archive
Since its inception in 1992 to it's unfortunate closure in 2011 queerupnorth had been redefining queer culture.
Challenging stereotypical notions of ‘queer’, the festival embraced every
conceivable artform from hip hop to puppetry and everything in between, pushing at the
frontiers of creativity and sexuality.
The festival brought dozens of major international artists to
Manchester, and helped establish the North West as a major hub of queer and alternative culture.
The History of queerupnorth
queerupnorth began life as 'It's Queer Up North' in 1992, when it was founded by two of the
staff at Manchester's Green Room, Tanja Farman and Gavin Barlow. The name, a play on the well
known phrase 'it's grim up north', was an idea borrowed from 'Flesh', a gay club night held at
Manchester's famous Hacienda club. In 1998 the first word was dropped from the organisation's
title making it simply queerupnorth. The idea was to provide a platform for gay, lesbian,
bisexual and transgender art, including drama, cabaret, club nights, comedy, film, fine art
and performance art. In 1992 it was not conceived of either as a festival or a sustainable event,
but was rather one small element of that year's Manchester Festival. When it did prove possible
to have another season in 1993, it was branded as 'The National Festival of Lesbian and Gay Arts
The format of the queerupnorth's programming changed from year to year. From 1992-1994 there
was a concentrated season, or festival, of work but between 1995-2000 there were festivals
presented only in 1996, 1998 and 2000. There were, however, a handful of queerupnorth events
presented in 1995 and 1997. There were little or no events explicitly connected with queerupnorth
either in 1999 or 2001. In 2002 however, the format of queerupnorth's programming changed again and
between 2002-2005 individual events and small seasons of work were presented throughout the year.
In 2005 queerupnorth returned to an annual festival format where it remained in 2006 and 2007.
By 2005 queerupnorth had become Europe's biggest gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender arts
(information taken from Manchester Archives and Local Studies office record for queerupnorth)
The queerupnorth Archive
The definitive queerupnorth Archive is held at the
Manchester Archive and Local Studies office. In addition to printed material, the Archive
holds DVD viewing copies of the queerupnorth Video Archive in its collection.
The Live Art Archives is pleased to hold the master queerupnorth Video Archive.
We have both the analogue and digital master copies for preservation, plus DVD viewing copies
which are available for research purposes on request.
The material includes:
- videos submitted by artists along with other materials promoting their work
- videos recorded by, or on behalf of queerupnorth, mostly within venues in Manchester
during the festival
- videos relating to LGBT issues and produced by interested groups