The Manchester Christmas Markets have listened to feedback and gone a bit more local overall, so you’d expect everyone would be pleased – but of course they’re not.
One scathing and lengthy review on Tripadvisor said: “Went on a day trip by coach to the Christmas Market, having been four years ago and LOVED it…sorry, but the difference between that experience and this year’s is like night and day.
“First of all, whose daft idea was it to have the market scattered across nine different locations? People who aren’t familiar with Manchester won’t know where all these locations are!
“The first part of the market I came across was a collection of food stalls, the bulk of them not displaying prices – is that legal? – and the entire set-up looked like a building site. No festive atmosphere at all, and sadly this continued the further I walked.
“Gone was the wonderful variety of Christmas ornaments and gifts, replaced by food and drink stalls and, strangely, a stall selling wooden garden furniture. There is nothing remotely Christmassy about an overpriced Kingdom of Sweets stall, and when I came across a second one several minutes later I gave up and killed time in a Wetherspoons until my coach left to take everyone home.
“I wasn’t the only person let down by the experience, either; when an elderly lady boarded the coach on its way home, she was heard to mutter, “Well, I’d have been ready to go home three hours ago.” I’m writing this trip off as a learning experience – and what I learned is that I won’t be going to this market again next year.”
A parent who visited said: “Where to start. This was my families first and last visit to Manchester, The Christmas Market felt very poorly planned with stalls not in one area. People kept knocking into my children manners seem to be missing in Manchester as a whole.”
Someone else wrote in a one-star review: “Ridiculous prices, paid £6 for a hot dog for my son & was then charges £1 extra for tomato sauce, sorry but that is taking the mick.. usual stores have gone and replaced with food, drink or overpriced large goods. The Christmas feeling just wasn’t there this year :(.”
Another person said: “I visited the Christmas Market at the weekend with a friend and it felt more like a food festival than a Market. No price lists displayed. Utter waste of time. Cheaper to go the ones abroad.”
One reviewer said: “Nothing at all Christmassy, pre-covid they was lovely stalls seeming Christmas ornaments ets, now it’s all good and drink mostly £15 for 2 mugs of hot chocolate, cocktails £9 for a snowball just pure greed, very disappointed, definitely won’t be back this year or in near future.”
Someone else wrote: “All about overpriced food and repetitive stalls. Nothing European about it and not what it once was. £10 for a sausage save your money and try a market in actual Europe.”
Featured image: The Manc Group
Manchester City Council confirm New Year’s Eve party at Piccadilly Gardens – but there’ll be no fireworks
Manchester WILL have a New Year’s Eve countdown party, but rising costs will mean there’s no fireworks again this year.
Manchester City Council has today confirmed its plans for New Year’s Eve in the city centre.
The platform splits into two areas, a bar space and a family-friendly, zero-alcohol viewing platform.
The evening will consist of DJ sets and a countdown to midnight displayed on a big screen.
In previous years, the Council has arranged a huge fireworks display, previously at the Town Hall but in more recent years at the Cathedral.
But this year they say they ‘simply cannot justify’ the expense when budgets are stretched so thin.
Instead, the council plans to use its limited resources for free community events year-round, like the recent Christmas Parade.
Cllr Pat Karney, Manchester’s Christmas spokesperson, said: “We know that New Year’s Eve is a special night – one that everyone looks forward to – and we are all disappointed that we can’t go ahead with our usual fireworks this year.
“Unfortunately, we simply cannot justify the increasing costs of putting on a big display while also worrying about funding essential Council services.
“We believe that we should use the limited funding we have to put on free events in communities throughout the year and we look forward to seeing more of this in the coming months.
And this year’s instalment was even more impressive, with a target of 16 (SIXTEEN!) cans in his sights.
Once again, what starts off as a fairly ordered and logical Twitter thread soon descends into madness, including dancing videos, puns, swearing, and plenty of typos.
Rob’s tradition, now coined ‘Boddmas’, has even drawn support from Ed Gamble this year.
And for 2022, he worked out how to set up a crowd-funded hangover recovery fund, with more than 100 people donating to get him through his Boddingtons hangover.
Highlights from this year included an impassioned rant about Declan Rice (‘a sound as f*ck geeza, heart of gold, wonderful sprit, we can’t get enough’), a break for hoisin duck pancakes, and a desperate bid for the attention of whoever manages Boddingtons’ social media channels.
The ‘official’ rules of Boddmas include sticking to a 12pm-12am window for the binge-drinking marathon, tweeting an update each time a can is opened, and ‘having fun’.
Reaching the halfway mark, Rob tweeted: “Number 8 is making me sentimental, how far we’ve come how far we have to go. It’s all the same when you’re rushing on Boddingtons.”
The typos really kicked up a notch after this, with him adding: “Feeling cockey about how fine I feel after 10… but then realised I’ve got 6 to go… Have a feeling I might be humbled in the final striaght.”
As things went on, he posted: “No13! Come at me! Like Ally McOist I’m mosit for it! I hope to have a face so red and booze bitten one day. One can only dream. We love you Ally!” – which is… definitely words.
The mental no-context celebrity mentions continued after that, including this: “Fifteen. Reckon I could beat 50 cent in a wrestling match at this point. He must be old by now no? Get rich for die wrestling the Boddingtons guy! What’s his name Curtis Jackson right? Bring it on Curtis!”
And then this morning? Rob says he ‘woke up sweating yellow’.
During the Boddmas celebrations, one person Photoshopped Rob’s head into a World Cup photo as a mark of encouragement, writing: “You are Messi and number 16 is your World Cup Final.”
Someone else said: “If you only do one thing this Boxing Day, make sure it’s watching @Robertdcopland drink a mountain of Boddington’s (16 cans). Last year’s 15 cans was utterly glorious. #BODDMAS2022”
Another person posted: “For the second year in a row i am fully emotionally invested in @Robertdcopland trying to drink 16 cans of boddingtons.”
Dozens more shared photos of themselves watching along with a can of their own in their hands.
Here’s hoping this is a tradition that never ends – and we’re looking forward to the 17 can mission in 2023.