Some of the UK’s “most exciting” comedians are bringing their shows to a new mini comedy festival in Manchester city centre this summer.
Taking over Manchester’s home of cult cinema, video games, and “cool nerdy events”, Cultplex – which is tucked away within the award-winning venue GRUB in Cheetham Hill – for one-day only next month, A Lovely Day is a brand-new mini comedy festival that’s set to bring all the laughs.
A handful of the funniest and upcoming names on the comedy circuit will take to the stage to perform their new work-in-progress shows.
The new festival is the brainchild of Manchester’s hotly-tipped comedy production power couple, John Stansfield and Chris Cantrill – who together created A Lovely Time, which brings tour shows to audiences right here in Manchester, and is known and loved for developing a range of unique comedy concepts.
Those making their way down to GRUB on Saturday 3 June will be able to see new shows from Spencer Jones (Upstart Crow), Rachel Fairburn (All Killa No Filla), and Vittorio Angelone (Edinburgh Comedy Award nominee).
William Stone (Moth Club), and Erika Ehler (Comedians Giving Lectures) are some of the other exciting names on the lineup.
“We’re so thrilled to be launching Manchester’s first day-long comedy festival bringing together our favourite comics,” said organiser Chris Cantrill.
“It’s a unique opportunity for comedy fans, rarely seen outside the capital.”
Organisers hope A Lovely Day will provide Mancs with an alternative to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
As the world’s largest performance arts festival, the Edinburgh Fringe Festival is enduringly popular and is known to take over the Scottish capital city for a month of eclectic shows every August – but as the years go on, the event is becoming increasingly more expensive, which sadly means many comedy fans miss out on the action due to finances.
“Edinburgh is getting quite expensive for outside punters, so we thought we’d bring some of our favourites to Manchester so we can all have a lovely day without having to pay through the nose for accommodation,” organiser John Stansfield added.
A Lovely Day is taking over Cultplex at GRUB from 1pm onwards on Saturday 3 June, and tickets are now available to get your hands on – with individual shows priced from £6.
You can also buy a day pass for £20, which gets you into all five shows on the day.
Pixies to play three Manchester gigs as part of major European tour in 2024
Pixies are heading out on a European tour in 2024, and they’re stopping off here in Manchester for three nights.
After recently playing to intimate Manchester crowds at the relaunch of iconic music venue, Band on the Wall, and to thousands at Castlefield Bowl as part of 2023’s Sounds of the City concert series, Pixies have announced they’ll be making a return to our city once again next year, and they’ve got three gigs lined-up.
The influential and pioneering US alt rock band are set to head out on a tour of some of the biggest cities in Europe tour in 2024, and will be performing a selection of tracks from their hugely-acclaimed albums, Bossanova and Trompe Le Monde – which were released in 1990 and 1991 respectively.
Black Francis and co will be taking over Manchester’s iconic Albert Hall for three major gigs on Tuesday 12, Wednesday 13, and Thursday 14 March 2024.
Bossanova was the band’s third studio album, and was praised by critics for showing their less primal side, with a recurring sci-fi theme running throughout, and surf and space rock influences at the forefront.
‘Alison’, ‘Dig For Fire’, ‘Velouria’, and ‘Cecilia Ann’ were just some of the notable tracks from the album.
Trompe Le Monde, on the other hand, was known for having bookended a run of landmark records for the band, and although it was their fourth album, it’s arguably the most playful in their catalogue – with singles ‘Planet of Sound’, ‘Alec Eiffel’, and ‘Letter to Memphis’ featuring lyrics on UFOs, conspiracy theories, and more to prove Black Francis and co were still restless to push their sound forward.
Both albums are described by critics as sounding just as fresh and relevant today in 2023 as they did when they were released over 30 years ago.
Pixies’ celebration of these two iconic albums will see them perform across major European cites such as London, Dublin, Paris, and Amsterdam, as well as Manchester for three nights.
Pixies – Bossanova x Trompe Le Monde Tour 2024
8, 9 & 10 March – Olympia Theatre Dublin
12, 13 & 14 March – Albert Hall Manchester
16, 17 & 18 March – O2 Forum Kentish Town (London)
20, 21 & 22 March – Paradiso Amsterdam
25, 26 & 27 March – L’Olympia Theatre Paris
Tickets to the Bossanova x Trompe Le Monde Tour 2024 are officially set to go on general sale this Friday 9 June from 9am.
The biggest gigs and festivals coming to Manchester in June 2023 – and how to get tickets
June is shaping up to be the biggest month of music Manchester has had this year, with the return of festivals like Parklife, Outbreak and Sounds Of The City at Castlefield Bowl plus some massive gigs.
We’ve got huge stadium shows by the likes of Coldplay and Arctic Monkeys, who’ll be performing on the same night.
Elton John will finally make his arrival on the live stage after his Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour was delayed many, many times.
And then there are the smaller acts ready to take over stages like YES, New Century, and the Albert Hall.
Below we’ve selected some of our favourite Manchester gigs this June, which will be coming to a venue near you.
Coldplay – 31 May, 1 June, 3 June, 4 June
What: Coldplay will finally touch down in Manchester this month for their long-awaited Music of the Spheres World Tour. The group, fronted by Chris Martin, will be performing a whopping four nights at the 60,000-capacity Etihad Stadium, home ground of Manchester City.
What: Elton John’s Goodbye Yellow Brick Road tour is finally set to arrive in Manchester this June after being rescheduled for health reasons, with three gigs at the AO Arena. It’s set to be his last-ever tour and has around 300 dates – so you can imagine what the demand for tickets has been like…
Where: AO Arena, Hunts Bank, M3 1AR
Tickets: Priced between £51 and £899 (that is not a typo), tickets are very much sold out, but you might be able to get some resale tickets. Keep an eye on Ticketmaster here.
What: Alex Turner and co will be back in Manchester this month for two massive shows. It’s part of their biggest-ever UK and Irish tour in support of their seventh studio album, The Car. You can expect to hear all their record-breaking hits like ‘I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor’ and ‘When the Sun Goes Down’, as well as newer material from their 20-year music career.
Where: Emirates Old Trafford Cricket Ground, M16 0PX
Support act: The Hives and The Mysterines.
Tickets: There are still a few tickets available for Arctic Monkeys – check See Tickets for the latest.
What: It just wouldn’t be summer without the absolute scenes that occur every time Courteeners play a hometown gig, so their Heaton Park show is right on schedule. The concert will celebrate the 15th anniversary of the band’s seminal debut album St Jude (which they’ll play in full), back in the city where it all began.
Where: Heaton Park, Middleton Road, Higher Blackley M25 2SW
What: Every year we say the same thing – it’s bigger and better than ever before. This year is no different, with a huge line-up spanning two days and headline performances from The 1975, Fred Again, and local lad Aitch. It’s easy to see why Parklife is one of the biggest festivals in the North, at a capacity of 82,500.
Where: Heaton Park, M25 2SW
Tickets: Only Sunday tickets remain – check See Tickets for the latest.
Roger Waters – 10 June
What: He’s better known for being, as he would put it, the creative genius behind Pink Floyd, but 57 years after the band’s formation, Roger Waters is still going strong with his ‘This Is Not A Drill Tour’ sending him all over the world. Now he’s arriving in Manchester on Saturday 10 June and after his recent appearances in the news, we’re interested to see what he’s got up his sleeve…
Where: AO Arena, M3 1AR
Tickets: It’s very close to all sold out – check See Tickets for the latest.
The Weeknd – 10 June
What: After completely selling out his After Hours til Dawn tour in the USA, The Weeknd announced a new leg across Europe and Latin America. We’ll have him for one night only.
Where: Etihad Stadium, Ashton New Road, M11 3FF
Support act: Kaytranada and Mike Dean
Tickets: There are actually still some tickets available, as well as resale tickets – but with prices starting from £247.35, they ain’t cheap.
Dope Lemon – 13 June
What: Angus Stone has been making indie-surf-rock music under the pseudonym of Dope Lemon since his debut album ‘Honey Bones’ in 2016. He played at the O2 Ritz last year after the release of his previous album ‘Rose Pink Cadilac’ but now he’s returned, this time to the beautiful Albert Hall for a Tuesday night show on 13 June.
Where: Albert Hall, M2 5QR
Tickets: Tickets still remain and are only £27.40 – check See Tickets for the latest.
Unknown Mortal Orchestra – 15 June
What: The New Zealand psychedelic rock band last played gigs in Manchester way back in 2018, a hefty FIVE years ago. Since, Unknown Mortal Orchestra have released their fifth studio album ‘V’ back in March, with them teasing it in 2021 with the release of the single ‘That Life’. It’s good to have them back in the music capital of the UK, it’s been a long time coming.
Where: Albert Hall, M2 5QR
Support act: Makeness
Tickets: Some tickets still remain – check See Tickets for the latest.
What: Manchester post-punk band Soup! are making a storm in the underground music scene and are slowly but surely creating a name for themselves. They play their headline show in the basement of YES, Friday 16 June and if you’re looking for a new, young and exciting band to follow, these are definitely your guys (we’ve linked their latest single below).
Where: YES (The Basement), M1 7DB
Support act: Divorce Fiance and Vincents Lasts Summer.
Tickets: Priced at only a tenner, it’d be hard to say no – check See Tickets for the latest.
Circa Waves – 17 June
What: They’re only from down the road and yet they haven’t had a headline show here in Manchester for three years. They released their latest album ‘Never Going Under’ at the start of the year and have been gearing up for this massive gig at the O2 Victoria Warehouse since.
Where: O2 Victoria Warehouse, M17 1AB
Support act: Courting
Tickets: You can still buy tickets, with the CD bundle also still available – check See Tickets for the latest.
Kurt Vile & The Violators – 19 June
What: Indie-folk singer Kurt Vile returns with his band The Violators to the newly refurbished and recently opened New Century. It’s bound to be one of the coolest gigs in Manchester this June.
Where: New Century, M4 4AH
Support act: King Hannah
Tickets: There’s still a bunch of tickets left costing £30 – check See Tickets for the latest.
Kelis – 21 June
What: Kelis fans new and old rejoice, as the international chart-dominating artist, best known for her songs Milkshake and Millionaire, returns to headline Manchester after a long nine years since her last show here.
Where: Albert Hall, M2 5QR
Tickets: Tickets are still available – check See Tickets for the latest.
Goo Goo Dolls – 23 June
What: They formed in the 80s but found massive commercial success in the 90s as an alt-rock band, with their most popular song ‘Iris’ at one billion streams on Spotify. They’re still making music with their latest album dropping last year and they’re new tour finding them at the Academy on Friday 23 June.
Where: Manchester Academy, M13 9PR
Support acts: Those Damn Crows
Tickets: Tickets remain but will cost you £43 – check See Tickets for the latest.
Outbreak Festival 2023 – 23, 24 and 25 June
What: Originating in Sheffield but finding its home in Manchester last year, Outbreak is a hardcore punk and alternative music festival taking place at Depot Mayfield where Warehouse Project is usually hosted. Massive acts will be headlining like Death Grips, Denzel Curry, Converge, and more.
Where: Depot Mayfield, M1 2PY
Tickets: Day and weekend tickets are still available – check See Tickets for the latest.
The Lathums (Sound Of The City) – 30 June
What: The Wigan lads recently released their latest album ‘From Nothing To A Little Bit More’ and will be celebrating in the best way ever, by headlining the outdoor venue Castlefield Bowl for Sound Of The City 2023.
Where: Castlfield Bowl, M3 4JR
Support act: Sundara Karma and The Royston Club
Tickets: There are still tickets left but wheelchair and accessible seating have sold out – check See Tickets for the latest.