Queerupnorth sound walk

About the Queerupnorth sound walk

Using interviews from the archive of one of the world’s first LGBT arts festivals, Queer Up North, this sound walk explores Manchester’s place in the past 30 years of queer history. Using the city streets as a starting point it explores current and historic issues for the LGBT community through the eyes of prominent queer artists like Patrick Gale, Maureen Duffy, QBoy and Del LaGrace Volcano. The sound walk is built on Sonic Maps.

Initially the idea of the walk had been to explore the history of buildings in Manchester’s gay village, however after exploring the archives further it was clear that both geographically and thematically it would be beneficial to travel slightly further afield. This sound walk will lead you from HOME, through Oxford Road, Sackville Gardens and Canal Street; exploring ideas of liberation, allyship, intersectionality and representation.

Map of sound walk route
Map of sound walk route

Queer Up North ran in from 1992 – 2009. All the clips in this walk come from interviews with people involved in organising and performing at QUN in 2006-2007. The clips in this sound walk are only snippets of the fascinating and prescient interviews, many of which are scheduled to be published in full at British Library Sounds in 2023.

This sound walk has been made by University of Manchester MA student intern Hannah Mackinlay. If you are interested in this topic you may like to read blog posts by other team members such as Pride, Protest, Action, Art! , or Lgbt+ Activism And Legislation In Cumbrian Oral Histories. And if you enjoy sound walks of the area you may like to explore our other offerings in Chorlton, and Heaton Park.

Manchester Pride
Manchester Pride

About sound walks

Sound walks use the GPS capabilities of your phone or device to activate audio tracks as you explore a map. You don’t need to download any software to go on the walk – any browser on your phone will be able to play content based on your location. If you can’t make it to the centre of Manchester, you can listen to the tour from a computer or device at home and instructions on how to do this are bellow.
If doing the walk in-person we advise using headphones and walking at a gentle and leisurely pace. When you walk into one of the circles on your map a new audio clip begins, it does not end if you walk out of the circle but may be interrupted by walking into a new circle before the last is finished. There are 13 stops on this tour. You may of course walk any way you wish but we have mapped out a rough geographical and thematic route.

Content Warning: This is not a family walk – there is discussion of some sensitive topics and use of colourful language!

Sonic Maps screengrab
Sonic Maps screengrab

Instructions for Listening Remotely

– We advise using a web browser other than safari as unfortunately it has been known to have glitches
– go to https://sonicmaps.xyz/player/?p=898
– click Open
– click Go when it’s loaded
– click on the icon of the person at the bottom left
– put the icon in a blue circle to start listening to an audio clip
– when the clip plays an accompanying image and transcript of the voiceover will appear
– drag and drop the icon around the map to explore further

Test our sound walks and get a free OBSOLETE SOUND ARCHIVE CD!

Pretty exciting, huh? If you have completed our sound walk in person or remotely in your browser at home we would really appreciate some feedback.

Following your walk please complete the ten questions in this survey and leave your address at the end if you’d like your very own sound archive CD in the post.

QUN aerial route
QUN aerial route

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