A brand new, totally free festival will spill into venues in Salford later this year.
The We Invented the Weekend festival will bring together class acts from the worlds of sports, music, comedy, theatre, dance, workshops, talks, food, charity, wellness, crafts and more.
There’ll be everything from water sports on the canal, to community feasts, to workshops, to vintage markets, to live music, right across MediaCity and Salford Quays.
The event has been created in partnership with some cultural heavyweights from the city, including the BBC, The Lowry, the University of Salford, the Royal Horticultural Society, Eat Well MCR, Science and Industry Museum, The Open University’s Business School, HOST, Salford Community Leisure, Salford CVS, Sounds from the Other City and hundreds of community organisations.
The inaugural festival is set to take place across the weekend of 10 and 11 September. It promises to be ‘a festival by the people, for the people’.
The inspiration for We Invented the Weekend goes all the way back to 1843, when the actual concept of a weekend was invented right here in Greater Manchester.
Robert Lowes (Salford Lyceum director, workers’ rights activist, and also Sir Ian McKellen’s great grandfather) campaigned to win workers the right to leisure time on Saturday afternoons.
A full programme for We Invented the Weekend will be announced in the coming months, but already confirmed is CBeebies Live Bedtime Stories, the BBC Philharmonic, events at The Lowry, activities at the Science and Industry Museum, and gardening activity from RHS Bridgewater.
Sounds from the Other city will also pull together a music partnership, expanding from their Chapel Street base to the Quays for the first time.
The Salford Weekend Orchestra with the BBC Philharmonic will invite people across the city to join a mass community performance, with all instruments and abilities welcome. The piece will be composed by Michael Betteridge (artistic director of The Sunday Boys – Manchester’s LBTQ+ low voice choir), and performed in the MediaCity Piazza during the festival.
Hundreds of community organisations, including cheerleaders, bakers and disco dancers, have been invited to take part.
Key people and organisations involved in developing the festival are Wayne Hemingway MBE who is creative director; Salford’s City Mayor Paul Dennett; Tom Stannard, chief executive of Salford City Council; Julia Fawcett OBE, chief executive of The Lowry; Gwen Oakden, development director at The Lowry; Controller of BBC Radio 5 Live Heidi Dawson; Marketing Manchester’s international marketing director Victoria Braddock and MediaCity place director, Josie Cahill.
Wayne Hemingway MBE said: “The weekend is an intrinsic part of the rhythm of life. It’s hard to imagine life without the weekend, yet less than 180 years ago it didn’t exist. Happily, Sir Ian McKellen’s great grandad put an end to life without it.
“Greater Manchester can rightly claim to have invented the weekend and is a place that knows how to celebrate it. Whatever your bag, be it boxing or box sets, crafts or cricket, dancing or digging, reading or raving, swimming or samba, kicking back or letting loose, whatever free time means to you, MediaCity and Salford Quays is the place to be on September 10th and 11th for what has all the ingredients to become THE national celebration of free time.”
Paul Dennett added: “The City of Salford’s motto and the name of our strategy for culture, creativity and the arts is ‘Suprema Lex’, which means ‘The Welfare of the People is the Highest Law’. The welfare of the people of Salford is paramount, and as the cost of living rises, We Invented the Weekend is set to deliver a programme of essential free cultural and creative activity that is open to every community across our city.
“We Invented the Weekend will be a great spectacle, reflecting our proud social history, whilst also animating the fantastic public realm at Salford Quays in true Spirit of Salford style.”
Police arrest four men and shut down ‘incredibly dangerous’ cannabis farm in Salford
Police have shut down a suspected cannabis farm in Salford today, arresting four men.
Officers swooped on the property on Arthur Street in Swinton after finding evidence that the house was being used to grow cannabis plants.
The farm has been described as ‘incredibly dangerous’ to other occupants in the area.
Three rooms in the house were full of plants growing, with a huge amount of wiring surrounding them that posed a fire hazard.
The four men detained by Greater Manchester Police (GMP) Salford Neighbourhood Team were subsequently arrested on suspicion of involvement in the production and supply of cannabis and remain in police custody for questioning.
Sergeant Peter MacFarlane said: “Locating a cannabis farm is a great result for the team who are gathering intelligence and working hard to crackdown on drug-related crime across Salford.
“Farms of this nature are also incredibly dangerous to other occupants in the area. The building itself is still being made safe due to the amount of wiring around the plants. Criminals running these types of enterprises have no regard for public safety and in these conditions, an electrical fault from bad wiring could easily start a fire and endanger lives.
“The arrests and seizures then go someway towards disrupting the supply of illegal drugs and the criminality that comes with it, and will also make our communities safer.
“This operation was intelligence led and a huge part of our intelligence comes from members of the public sharing information with us. If you have suspicions about a crime taking place please report it so we can take positive action and bring those responsible to justice.”
You can make a report by calling 101 or 999 in an emergency. You can also report via the LiveChat function on GMP’s website: www.gmp.police.uk
Alternatively you can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
Featured image: GMP
Urgent appeal to find man who ‘exposed himself’ and tried to grab stranger in Salford park
An urgent appeal for witnesses has been made after police received reports of a man exposing himself and “making sexual advances” to a stranger in a Salford park.
Greater Manchester Police (GMP) explained that officers received a call at approximately 4:15pm on Tuesday afternoon (14 March) to reports of a woman being grabbed by an unknown man in Buile Hill Park, near to the Lower Seedley Road side of the park.
While police confirmed the victim was able to get free, they were understandably left “very distressed” by the encounter.
Then, just a short time later, a further report of a man exposing himself on Eccles New Road was received – which led GMP to reveal they believe the two incidents are “linked”.
Now GMP is urgently appealing to the public to help identify the man.
According to GMP, the man is described as being white, in his late teens to early twenties, and between 5ft 5 and 5ft 8 inches tall.
He was dressed in a dark-coloured beanie hat, dark-coloured top, tracksuit bottoms, and dark trainers, at the time of the incidents in question, and it’s also believed that he spoke with a local Salford / Greater Manchester accent.
GMP says investigations are currently ongoing, but no arrests have been made as of yet.
“We need to speak to this man as soon as possible,” Detective Inspector Gareth Humphreys of the Salford district explained.
“We are asking for homes, businesses and vehicles in the area to check their CCTV and doorbell/dashcam footage around the time of the incidents.”
In response to the distressing incident, a large number of police officers have been deployed to the Salford area in an effort to “locate and apprehend the suspect”, GMP has confirmed.
“It’s important that residents and other members of the public in the area feel safe and reassured and as such, we have increased our patrols, particularly in and around Buile Hill Park,” DI Humphreys assured the public.
Anyone with any information is asked to contact Salford CID on 0161 856 5261, or dial 101 and quote log number 232 of 14 March 2023, or alternatively, you can pass information over anonymously to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.