03 Dec 2020

Radio DJ Katie Thistleton and Hacker The Dog launch MediaCityUK’s festive season

MediaCityUK is set to launch its festive season at 6.30pm on Thursday, 3 December with a virtual light switch on event hosted by BBC Radio 1 DJ Katie Thistleton and CBBC sensation Hacker The Dog, which will be broadcast from the MediaCityUK Facebook page @MediaCityUKOfficial.

This year’s array of magical Christmas lights will transform the MediaCityUK gardens and piazza into a twinkling wonderland and includes the UK’s first digital Christmas tree, the insta worthy shimmer wall and the newly created elf and fairy garden.

The virtual switch-on marks the beginning of a series of safe festive activities including the Winter edition of Box on the Docks, delivered in partnership with Hemingway Design, which brings a striking open-air art gallery and immersive art trail to MediaCityUK opening on Saturday, 5 December.

The uplifting and colourful display of 30 art adorned sheds and greenhouses features Manchester School of Art graduate, Daniel Waggett’s LS Lowry inspired artwork ‘A Crowded Place’, while, graphic artist and illustrator Nick Chaffe has used his signature style combining colourful icon illustrations to construct the 'Love Chapel'. Salford University student, Helena Worthington, who also features in Channel 4’s Gogglebox, has created a striking mural symbolising what her home city of Salford means to her.

Those unable to visit in person will be able to enjoy a visual online gallery of the Box on the Docks artworks from the comfort of their home: www.boxonthedocks.co.uk

This year, more than ever it’s important to give back and MediaCityUK based Carbon Creative has created a striking Salford Food Bank collection box to support local families in need and visitors are urged to drop in an appropriate food item as they pass-by, such as instant coffee, jarred sauces, jam as well as boil in a bag rice and pasta.

For families looking for festive activity, Blue Peter and CBeebies have both created bespoke boxes and children will love exploring the nearby Elf and Fairy garden, discovering the twinkling lights of their mystical fairy friends. Finally, head to the sparkling shimmer wall to capture a selfie and enter MediaCityUK’s ‘Shimmer til you’re a winner!’ competition for a chance to win a number of prizes.

As well as the public art display and trail, the ambition is to reopen in January as a location for local hospitality to run socially-distanced dining within the comfort and safety of the self-contained sheds and greenhouses. Until then, restaurants and cafes including; Penelope’s Deli, Prezzo, Pret a Manger, Wagamama, Vertigo, Grindsmith and Costa are offering takeaway services.

Over the water at the Quayside shopping mall, visitors can park for free and visit the popular Makers’ Markets which will take place on The Lowry Plaza every weekend from 5 – 20th December.

Josie Cahill, Director of Place for MediaCityUK said: “Everyone, from the artists to the light installers as well as our special guests Katie Thistleton and Hacker the Dog have pulled together to bring the magic back to MediaCityUK this Christmas.

“Families have the space to safely enjoy everything we have on offer and will also get the opportunity to support our local artists and traders as well as the local community through the Salford Foodbank gift box.”

For further information about Box on the Docks or to explore the virtual gallery of all artworks, please visit: https://www.boxonthedocks.co.uk/