IT is the event that turns artists into rock stars, swapping gallery walls for a gig atmosphere.

Welcome to Art Battle where 10 artists go head-to-head with just 30 minutes to create their masterpieces before a live audience casts votes to find a winner.

John and Sophie Macaulay came up with the concept over a few beers six years ago.

Since then the couple have worked with 170 artists, of all disciplines from cartoonists to street artists, at 16 ‘battles’ and they have even featured on The One Show. But the unique event had humble beginnings as just a way for art lover Sophie to share her passion with John, who did not enjoy going to conventional exhibitions.

He said: “I always felt art wasn’t for people like me. I just felt like it was a different world and that you need knowledge of art to understand it.

“But Sophie slowly made me realise that art is subjective and anyone can appreciate it.

“We sat down and when we analysed why I was declining to go to art events it was because they were low energy and if you don’t know anything about what’s on the walls then you feel a bit ignorant. It felt a bit elitist.

“So what we set about doing is creating a night that is the opposite of elitist.

“It’s totally inclusive art for masses and you don’t need to have any understanding of the art world to have a good night.”

Just the couple’s friends took part in the first Art Battle but it has grown in size and reputation year on year and their biggest event was at Albert Hall in 2017.

John added: “Some of my most spine-tingling gigs have been at that venue and I never dreamed we’d get big enough to book that venue.

“Art Battle has got a wider appeal than a lot of art events and its grown in a completely organic way. People have been intrigued by what’s going on and have got involved.”

Among those who have been intrigued are the team at Culture Warrington who are bringing Art Battle to the Parr Hall – under the glow of Luke Jerram’s Museum of the Moon installation.

It is the first time Art Battle has taken place outside of Manchester.

John was drawn to the venue – where Stone Roses played their first reunion gig – because of his love of music.

The 43-year-old said: “I went to see Doves there recently – it was their first gig in nine years – so there is something about Parr Hall and rejuvenation.

“I love the Manchester music scene and the energy you get at gigs when the hairs on the back of your neck stand up. It’s a really special moment so we wanted to create a gig atmosphere but with art as the focal point.”

Then there is the aspect of artists painting under the Moon and this will be built into the ‘out of this world’ theme on the night, which takes place on October 12.

John added: “We always try and provide a bit of extra entertainment but of course the Warrington one has got the amazing Museum of the Moon.

“I know the guys at Culture Warrington are also working on some surprises for people on the night. I think it will just be a real spectacle to see artists in the round battling underneath the Moon. It was too good an opportunity to turn down. We tailor the event and we’ve never used the same venue twice so we’re always on the lookout for quirky, interesting venues.”

John and Sophie’s aims are to create a level playing field for artists and to bring art to the masses.

He said: “It’s great seeing all the connections that take place.

“We’ve had artists that have become really good friends because they’ve gone through that shared adrenaline rush together. It’s such a buzz and the crowd are so supportive. To be in a room of people admiring their work is a real boost.”