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The Embassy of Utopia

Announcing: The Embassy of Utopia!

*** UPDATE! ***

You can now sign up to one of our 120 5-minute performance slots. Just fill out this Expression of Interest form and we'll assign you to a time:

The event is also live on the Festival of Libraries website:


14th & 15th June, Manchester Central Library, in partnership with Manchester UNESCO City of Literature for the Festival of Libraries 2024.

A two-day free-to-attend open forum for speeches, spoken word, acoustic music, creative expression, show-and-tell, craft demos, guided meditation, rap monologues, mime, magic, soliloquies, interpretative dance, and whatever else that might be feasible, all on the theme of Utopia. We're looking to showcase at least 100 people over the two days in the performance space at Central Library to create a buzzing and eclectic vision of brighter futures.

This concept is gratefully borrowed from the original Embassy of Utopia which took place in Tartu, Estonia in the spring of 2023 for the Prima Vista festival. I visited many times while resident in the city, witnessing weird poetry, a debate about rewilding, an accordion duet, a history lesson, and a deeply moving presentation about Ukraine. I even snapped up a performance slot myself, delivering a daft little piece about the coronation of our latest king, and how literally nobody in England particularly cared. Suffice to say, The Embassy of Utopia in Tartu was a transformative experience quite unlike anything I've seen before, and I've been desperate to bring the concept to Manchester. And now, here it is. And what better place to stage it than the Central Library during the Festival of Libraries?

But we need you, dear reader! We need as many of you as possible to sign up to a performance slot. Here is the form to do just that. Remember, we're looking for everything and anyone - you don't have to be a performer, you just have to have something interesting to say or do! Let us know when you'd be available, and the kind of thing you'd like to do in within the 5 minute time-slot:

The Embassy of Utopia concept was conceived by Jan Teevet and Oliver Issak who have very graciously allowed me to borrow the idea for dear old Manchester. Perhaps I can then pass it on to another city, and the Embassy will roll on and on, spreading Utopian thoughts to the whole world. Here are some pictures from the Estonian event:


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