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Fair History

The history of Buy Art Fair in photos, from 2008 to 2016, including the launch of The Manchester Contemporary, Frank Cohen In Conversation, works by internationally renowned artists Damien Hirst, JJ Adams, Grayson Perry and Tracy Emin, celebrity visitors including the Happy Mondays' Shaun Ryder and Coronation Street's Anthony Cotton and Mikey North, fantastic food, eclectic venues and much more.


The North's favourite art fair celebrates it's tenth edition.
Buy Art Fair and The Manchester Contemporary move to Manchester Central.
Director Paul Stephenson hosts a private screening of his film 'After Warhol'. Posthumous Warhols are available at the fair.
Heart & Sold feature on BBC North West Tonight talking about exhibiting work by artists with Down Syndrome at the fair.


One of the World's Top 200 Art Collectors Frank Cohen 'In Conversation' with Thom Hetherington.

Visitor numbers break 7,000 and sales reach £591,000.
The fair cafe previewed award-winning Bangers & Bacon's new Beastro concept and art-inspired cakes from MilkJam.
Work by Damien Hirst, Grayson Perry and Tracy Emin sell at the fair.


Cloud Gallery give away 50 limited edition JJ Adams prints each day of the fair from their stand in Buy Art Fair.
Crowds queue in the hope of being one of the lucky ones to get a free limited edition JJ Adams print.
Print workshops take place in Buy Art Fair for the first time in association with Hotbed Press.
One of the 'Top 200 Collectors in the World', Frank Cohen voices his support for the fair on BBC Radio 4 after attending.


Buy Art Fair moves to Old Granada Studios for the next three years. Sales reach half a million pounds.
The Manchester Contemporary moves into the Old Construction Workshop at Old Granada Studios.
JJ Adams reveals his latest piece which sells out within minutes of the fair opening.
Artist, musician, writer and record producer Bill Drummond exhibits work at The Manchester Contemporary.


Pure Evil paints live at the fair and sells the piece for charity.

Bauer Millett sponsor the fair and bring the latest Alfa Romeo and Jeep models.
The Manchester Contemporary moves into the former Shimla Pinks restaurant site on Leftbank.
Visitor numbers and sales grow again year on year.


Visitor numbers rise by a massive 43% year on year.
Coronation Street stars Anthony Cotton and Mikey North buy from the fair.
Buy Art Fair moves to a large marquee in Hardman Square, Spinningfields.
Actor and photographer Bill Ward exhibits and sells his work at the fair.


Buy Art Fair takes place in Spinningfields' Quay House.
Bluefin and Axa sponsor the fair for a second year.
Launch of The Manchester Contemporary VIP collector programme.
Jaguar sponsor the fair for a second year.


The fair moves to Spinningfields for the next 4 years.
Comedian Vic Reeves exhibits and sells his work at the fair.
Jaguar sponsor Buy Art Fair and The Manchester Contemporary.
The fair takes place in a marquee for the first time.


The Manchester Contemporary launches with the support of Arts Council England.
The Manchester Contemporary commissions a piece of work by Nathaniel Mellor, in partnership with Ceri Hand.
The second edition of Buy Art Fair takes place at Urbis.
The 'red dot' logo is used to create the fair's own tape and the design is used across this year's creative design.


Buy Art Fair launches! 9th - 12th October 2008 at Urbis, Manchester.

Damien Hirst donates three doodles to be auctioned for charity.

The fair raises over £13,000 for charity by auctioning celebrity doodles.
Happy Mondays front man Shaun Ryder visits the fair launch event.

Supported in 2017 by


Jack Arts

Manchester Evening News

Principal Manchester

Manchester City Council

Manchester School of Art

Cheadle Hulme School

Landmark Investments Group

5plus architects


Farrow & Ball

J W Lees

Cass Art

Own Art