A series of photographs is going on display at Electrik bar in Chorlton depicting Manchester’s time in lockdown.
Those lockdowns might feel a long way away now but, in reality, it hasn’t been that long since we’ve been able to enjoy life without restrictions – no matter how keen many are to sweep the memory under the carpet.
Not local artists Richard Kelly and Emma Evans, who are looking back on that transformative period through their new collaborative exhibit ‘My Utopia’ this month.
Exploring a positive outlook at Manchester’s time in lockdown and marking a turning point in the pandemic, the new work sees two creatives come together to compare and contrast their differing experiences of that time.
Kelly’s images, taken on his government-sanctioned daily walks, are a reflection of the city and its outskirts during a bleak time for Manchester.
His work spans themes around society, fashion and music – with a formidable portfolio that features The Arctic Monkeys, Amy Winehouse, Pete Doherty, Dr Martens and Fred Perry.
Evans, meanwhile, is an artist and illustrator who made a name for herself during lockdown with doodles on Monton High Street’s shop window.
Through an exploration of form and colour, she creates drawings of positivity and snippets of life as it was, and as it will be again.
Together, the pair combine mediums to construct one expression of two very different takes on the city – echoing a journey that has evolved from something desolate into something hopeful.
The free-to-attend exhibition will launch at Electrik on Thursday 4 of August at 7pm, with music from Manchester underground legend Chris Massey.
Massey has played an integral part of Manchester’s underground electronic music scene over the years and is most famed for his DJ genre-jumping sets that cover an eclectic mix of house, disco, boogie and techno.
As an independent café bar, Electrik is nestled in suburban Chorlton, offering high quality food, drink & service in intimate and down to earth surroundings.
With an impressive selection of beers and ales from across the globe on draught, cask and in bottles & cans, an extensive wine list, a perfectly formed spirit selection, plus an ever-changing cocktail menu including the classics.
The food menu is headed up Four Side Vegan Pizza and their mouth-watering take on a classic Detroit-style pizza with sides to match.
Feature image – Supplied
New stations appear across Manchester for city’s rentable ‘Burnham bike’ scheme
The roll-out of Greater Manchester’s Bee Bike cycle hire scheme has stepped up a gear, with new docking stations appearing across the city centre.
The scheme, nicknamed the ‘Burnham bikes’ as a nod to London’s ‘Boris bikes’, initially launched in Salford and along the Oxford Road corridor.
Several new yellow stations have appeared around Manchester now, with plenty more on the way.
The next phase of the roll-out of the Bee Bikes has seen stations installed around St Peter’s Square and Manchester Central.
By the time the scheme is complete, bike numbers will increase to 1,500, which will include 300 e-bikes.
It’s all part of the vision for a Bee Network – a joined-up, integrated public transport network across the region.
And it’s certainly off to a more successful start than Mobike, which famously withdrew from Manchester due to high levels of vandalism and theft.
The Bee Bikes are funded by TgGM and operated by Beryl, which runs similar schemes in London, Watford and Bournemouth.
Richard Nickson, programme director, Cycling and Walking at Transport for Greater Manchester, said: “The cycle hire scheme has really taken off in Greater Manchester since it was first introduced, and we are seeing significant numbers of riders and distances travelled by on the bikes- which is fantastic, particularly as we are still in the early days of the scheme’s roll out.
“The next phase of the roll-out has now started in Manchester city centre, with new stations installed at key locations including Manchester Central Library, Manchester Central Convention Centre and St Peter’s Square.
Manchester is OFFICIALLY in the running to host Eurovision
The potential host cities for Eurovision 2023 have been announced this morning – and Manchester is officially in with a chance.
The UK has stepped in to host the global singing contest in place of this year’s winners, Ukraine.
As our nation was runner-up this year with Sam Ryder’s Spaceman giving us our biggest success in years, it’s over to the UK to welcome all the countries taking part.
Cities have been announcing their bids for several weeks, with 20 expressions of interest to host sent in.
But it’s a complicated event, so those who wish to host need to actually have a suitable venue and the financial contribution too, and demonstrate that they will celebrate and honour Ukrainian culture and artists.
The shortlist of seven cities has just been announced live on BBC Radio Two, on Zoe Ball’s breakfast show.
The full shortlist for the cities that may host Eurovision in 2023:
If Manchester is successful, Eurovision will take place at the AO Arena in the city centre, Manchester City Council leader Bev Craig has announced.
She said: “We are thrilled to have made it through to the next stage to become the 2023 Eurovision host city.
“Manchester stands ready to put on the biggest party in the UK at the city’s AO Arena, taking our place in Eurovision’s unique history.
“We have a large and proud Ukrainian community in Manchester. It would be our privilege to host this iconic celebration on their behalf and we will do everything we can to honour them throughout.”
“We’re exceptionally grateful that the BBC has accepted to stage the Eurovision Song Contest in the UK in 2023,” said Martin Österdahl, the Eurovision Song Contest’s Executive Supervisor.
“The BBC has taken on hosting duties for other winning countries on four previous occasions. Continuing in this tradition of solidarity, we know that next year’s Contest will showcase the creativity and skill of one of Europe’s most experienced public broadcasters whilst ensuring this year’s winners, Ukraine, are celebrated and represented throughout the event.”
The final decision will be based on scoring criteria from the BBC and the EBU.
It’s expected that the host city will officially be announced in the autumn.