Macclesfield Potato Riot Street Theatre Re-enactment And Feast 2017

Macclesfield Potato Riots -

The Macclesfield Potato Riot Street Theatre Re-enactment And Feast 2017 will be held at Market Square on Thursday 13th April 2017, Easter Bank Holiday weekend. The free public event starts at 6.30pm on Market Square and the ticketed feast and band event start from 7.30pm.


The Riot!

Macclesfield has a rich and varied history, one interesting fact that most people aren’t aware of, is in 1812 the town was involved in a full on riot, a potato riot!

In 2017, Macclesfield is revisiting this forgotten page in it’s history with a fantastic festival to be held on the cobbles of Market Square. Taking us back over 200 years with a street theatre re-enactment of a riot that took place in our streets on April 13th 1812, followed by a family feast and entertainment provided by the fantastic ‘Sheelanagig’.

The Feast

The best traditional outdoor feasts are all about sharing a table to enjoy a meal and entertainment with family and friends and with people that you may have not met before. The feast will be held on long tables, seats are not numbered so it’s a matter of fitting yourselves in on arrival. Who knows? negotiating for seats with those around you may even open up new and interesting conversations!

If you wish to seated as a group, parties of 8 or more where the tickets are purchased en bloc, can requested reserve seating. The position of seating reserved for such a group will be at the discretion of the Feast Site Manager and will not be negotiable.

Once seated at long tables, you will be served with jacket potatoes, bowls of chilli and side dishes. Both meat and veggie versions will be available on all tables. There will be licensed bars to purchase quality beer and wine or non alcoholic beverages


You’ll be entertained by the Sheelanagig’s, who will be playing intricate, groove heavy arrangements of original and traditional tunes drawing influence from the folk music of Europe and beyond. This high-octane five-piece play a wide variety of instruments with reckless abandon, forcing you to dance your socks off and have a good time!

Sheelanagig have performed extensively across the UK and Europe playing all sorts of venues from music clubs to theatres and from free street carnivals to major festivals like Beautiful Days, Glastonbury and Womad to name a few. With a pleasantly unconventional line up including guitar, violin, flute, banjo drum kit and double bass, the band over the years have earned a reputation for their exhilarating and intense live performances, incorporating aspects of street theatre, elements of storytelling and even acrobatics. In short, expect mayhem, a lot of laughs and some great music.


Tickets are now on sale visit – for more information.


Our rioters are local people who will be playing the many characters that appear in the colourful record of the original riot and to carefully act out the events of the day. If you fancy taking part, visit the official event website for information about how to volunteer.

Of course, the crowds will be encouraged to get in the spirit too by dressing up in costumes of the day and cheering or jeering the rioters as they proceed through the town. The local militia will be there to make sure that the crowds don’t get too carried away with themselves and turn it into a copy of the real event by the end of which some 5,000 rioters we’re involved.

If acting out the riot isn’t your thing but you’d still like to get involved, you’ll find lots of things that need to be done from making costumes and building false shop fronts to baking potatoes and setting up gazebos. You can visit , you can also get in touch with John Hartshorn on 07522 019454 or or drop in to Macclesfield Community Artspace.