Hundreds of teddy bears and soft toys are set to be thrown onto the ice at the next Manchester Storm home game in a wonderful charity drive for local children.
Manchester‘s premier ice hockey team play the Belfast Giants in Altrincham this weekend and on top of the action inside the rink, supporters watching in the stands are being asked to bring plenty of plush toys for the iconic ‘Air the Bear’ ritual.
A popular tradition throughout hockey around the world during the festive period, Air the Bear is a pretty simple concept: fans bring along teddy bears and other soft toys and once the first point of the game is scored, the toys are thrown onto the ice and collected.
Once they are all gathered up, the mass of toys will then be donated to local charities and hospitals around the Greater Manchester area. You love to see it.
How did Air the Bear start?
The wholesome tradition began back in the ’90s by WHL team, the Kamloops Blazers. Historically called the ‘Teddy Bear Toss’, the first volley of soft toys was launched on 5 December 1993.
Organised by the Marketing Director, Don Larson, as a way of helping out families over Christmas, the first goal of the evening was scored by Brad Lukowich and the charitable trend has been carried out by countless teams every year ever since under various monikers.
The biggest-ever Teddy Bear Toss was carried out in 2019 by the appropriately named AHL side, the Hershey Bears, when a world record 45,650 stuffed toys were thrown onto the ice.
Just look at how mint this looks.
Here’s hoping the popular Manchester hockey team puts in a similarly good showing and managed a massive pile of teddies for Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital and more.
Most importantly, this unique and heartwarming international toy drive supplies millions of children every year and the Air the Bear is one of hundreds around the world.
Manchester Storm‘s Air the Bear event takes place at 7pm this Saturday, 17 December (doors at 6pm) at their home stadium, Planet Ice Altrincham.
If you want to come along and give the gift of a cuddly toy this holiday season, be sure to wrap your toys in clingfilm so they don’t get wet from the ice and while you can donate your old used teddies, just be sure to give them a clean before bringing them along.
More than 1,000 tickets have already been sold — you can grab yours HERE.
All the best Joshua Brooks gigs and events on this February-April
Now the January slump is finally behind us, we’re raring to get stuck into a new season of live music, club nights and more. Thanks to Joshua Brooks’ line-up, we’ve already got a fair few in our diary.
Since its revamp back in 2021, JBs has gone from strength to strength, not only welcoming back returning customers who’ve frequented the much-loved Princess Street venue for years but ushering in a whole new crowd. With plenty of food, booze, music and live events, it never disappoints.
With that in mind, Joshua Brooks has an absolutely jam-packed schedule of live music, club nights and more this month and leading right up until April, not to mention plenty more to come this year.
With the likes of Pola & Bryson, Monrroe, GLXY, DUSKEE and Kira headlining, legendary drum, bass and jungle label Shogun Audio is returning to Joshua Brooks this February. Expect a thumping sound system, cutting-edge visuals and a room packed full of ravers. Grab your tickets HERE.
2. Super Bowl LVII – 12 Feb
Although the majority of dates on the list are music-related, the Super Bowl is one of the biggest sporting events of the year, so of course these lot are showing the game. With sharing platters and £2 pints on offer, not to mention table packages, it’s going to be one of the best places to watch the Bowl.
3. Whippin Label Paty with Melé – 17 Feb
Whipping Records are bringing two of their most popular artists back to the Brooks with Mele and Toby Simpson set to rock up and play a mix of world music-influenced house, transatlantic hip hop, UK techno, classic Chicago grooves and more. There’s something for everyone. Find out more HERE.
Treating the basement to what’s bound to be a banging DJ set, Joshua Brooks is one of the next stops on TS7’s massive headline tour, kicking off hours of house beats and basslines from 10pm onwards. You’ll want to grab a ticket for this one.
5. Luuk Van Dijk – 24 Feb
Amsterdam DJ Luuk Van Dijk is one of the most diverse we’ve come across in recent years and he’ll be greeting this beloved Princess Street venue with his unique sound once again just before the end of the month. Secure your tickets now and you’ll get to listen to him all night long.
6. Yousef – 25 Feb
Yousef is one of our absolute favourites, playing a variety of deep and tech house to all-round floor-filling dance music and everything in between. With support from Powda and the Dunmore Brothers, he’ll be playing for three whole hours — what a way to close out February. Get your ticket HERE.
Heading into March, we all know how great Thursday nights at Joshua Brooks are, even more so when they tea up with Tribal to bring you resident trick label DJ Ammara, as well as Nick Spencer, Max Rottier and Mcminn. Now that’s value for money. You can book in for any phase or all of them (why not?) HERE.
8. Moxy Muzik with Darius Syrossian – 3 March
The following day, you have JBs second night of Moxy Muzik for 2023 with Iranian DJ Darius Syrossian, who’s set to put on a three-hour set of house, UK garage and minimal techno. Moxy is one of the best up-and-coming local labels and definitely know how to put on a hometown show. Don’t miss it.
A pioneer of modern progressive house, London-based producer Ilan Bluestone has shot to fame on the international dance music scene. With some big singles and remixes over the past few years, not to mention his sophomore album Impulse, this master of synths is a good reason to stay up. Tickets HERE.
10. Horse Meat Disco – 10 March
Not just one of the best-named dance nights: it’s simply one of the best dance nights full stop. The London stallions are bringing the likes of Supernature, Scott Forrest and Rhod Parry to set the night off on a four-horse race to fill the floor and take the roof of 106 Princess Street. We’ll see you there.
That’s right, Mason Maynard is making a special appearance at Joshua Brooks along with guests Calvin Clarke and Ervs. The set will run from 10pm until 4am and tickets are bound to go quickly. Grab yours now while you still can.
12. What Hannah Wants – 17 March
Let’s. Effin. Go. What Hannah Wants is to be heard and with a dedicated fan base already behind after some unforgettable nights at Warehouse Project, she certainly will be. Give us that hard-hitting house or give us death. Tickets will go on sale soon, so keep your eyes peeled.
A true raver born on the underground scene, Seb Zito sets are legendary. The owner of Seven Dials Records and Fuse London, not to mention a resident at Infuse Ibiza, the Joshua Brooks crowd will be treated to a full night of techno and deep house until 4am. Say no more — tickets HERE.
14. Hannah Laing – 24 March
Dundee’s Queen of House, Hannah Laing is making her way down to Manchester as part of her North Headline Tour and we can’t wait — her ‘Murder On The Dancefloor’ edit alone is worth coming along for. Tickets aren’t yet live but you can join the waiting list now.
Next up is Max Dean, who after absolutely killing it at JBs back in December has been invited back to the basement once again. The house and minimal tech DJ is only 21 but is already making a splash on the electronic scene. He’s also got a few unreleased tracks just raring to go — maybe you’ll get to hear them.
16. Toman – 31 March
To close out Joshua Brook’s March offerings, Manchester is being treated to another rising Dutch DJ in Toman, as well as support from Pirate Copy. He’ll be playing what’s sure to be a lively three-hour set from 10pm and the student discount tickets have already sold out, so grab yours while you still can.
Joshua Brooks is kicking off April in style with a throwback for the ages. It’s been seven whole years since the last Just Skank event anywhere in Manchester and it just so happens that JBs has been selected for the night garage, D&B, dub and bassline. You simply cannot miss this one.
18. Fleur Shore – 14 April
As we hit the middle of the month, Birmingham’s very own Fleur Shore is back at JBs and playing all night long, from start to finish — this girl doesn’t need support. After a huge year playing all over the globe, she’ll be making the basement her own. Tickets HERE.
With festival season on the horizon, JBM Music and Retro Events are doing their bit to get you in the mood by hosting a warm-up party for this year’s Retro In The Park. The massive weekend line-up of DJs, worldwide acts and local artists might be over in Burnley but you can get in the mood a month in advance right here in 0161. Might as well get started early.
20. Full Circle – 21 April
Last but not least, our final pick from Joshua Brooks’ events this April is their Full Circle night which will take you back to what they call ‘the golden era of deep house’. With the likes of Route 94, Infinity Ink, No Artificial Colours, Brian Murphy and more on the playlist, we tend to agree. Get in booked in HERE.
The best things to do in Greater Manchester this week | 6 – 12 February 2023
February is already off to a great start in Greater Manchester, and it’s set to get even better this week.
As a new month gets underway, the events calendar soon becomes filled with all sorts of different activities to be getting up to this week, so once again, we’ve cherry-picked a few of the best bits for another edition of our ‘what’s on‘ guide.
As always, some of the events we’re going to mention are completely free, while others will set you back a few pounds, and many will need to be booked in advance.
Here’s our top picks.
Fancy catching all the February deals, discounts, and offers in Manchester’s cafes, bars, and restaurants?
Quite a few of the city’s bars and cafes have decided to extend their 50% off food deals from January into February, and we’re absolutely chuffed to see it.
Beyond that, there are some awesome set menus, lunch deals and general discounts going around – not to mention quite a lot of Valentine’s deals to take up if you’re looking to celebrate Cupid’s holiday with someone special this month.
If you’re looking for somewhere to grab a bite this week, we’ve rounded up some of the best Manchester February restaurant deals to take advantage of in 2023.
Never-before-seen portraits of local Holocaust survivors have gone on display at the Imperial War Museum (IWM) North in Manchester.
The new photography exhibition has opened to mark Holocaust Memorial Day 2023.
Following its successful inaugural run at IWM London back in 2021, the exhibition – which is titled Generations: Portraits of Holocaust Survivors – features 60 contemporary portraits of Holocaust survivors and their families, alongside four new photographs taken by The Royal Photographic Society (RPS) President and Chair of Trustees, Simon Hill.
Mamma Mia! has taken over the Opera House Manchester until this Saturday 11 February.
Fancy grabbing tickets to see the world’s sunniest and most exhilarating smash-hit musical? Making a much-anticipated return to our city, fans of the popular films will know Mamma Mia! is set on a Greek island paradise, and cleverly tells a story of love, friendship, and identity through the timeless songs of Swedish pop group ABBA.
Sophie’s quest to discover the father she’s never known brings her mother face to face with three men from her distant romantic past on the eve of a wedding they’ll never forget.
Exhibitions that explore the power of music, and give you the chance to try out an interactive “hands on” gaming experience are just some of the activities on offer at the Science and Industry Museum this winter.
The award-winning museum is invites people to discover 250 years of innovations and ideas that started life in Manchester and went on to change the world. Standout exhibition, Turn It Up: The power of music, is a world-first event giving those curious the chance to explore the science of music’s mysterious hold over us through a series of “immersive musical experiences and interactive activities” at a specially-commissioned ‘musical playground’.
There’s also still time to head on down and check out the stand-out interactive gaming experience, Power UP, and so much more.
Find out more about what’s on at the Science and Industry Museum here.
PUSH Festival 2023
Monday 6 – Saturday 18 February
PUSH Festival has returned for HOME MCR’s annual celebration of North West creative talent.
HOME’s stages, screens, and spaces are being dedicated to showcasing fantastic works from around the region, as well as offering opportunities for creatives to meet industry professionals, share ideas and inspiration, and develop their skills.
This year’s festival is showcasing newly-commissioned works across a range of art forms, including theatre, digital work, visual arts, and cinema.
The festival also includes a series of workshops and other artist development opportunities.
From Moss Side to Marseille: The Art of Michael Browne and Eric Cantona
National Football Museum
Monday 6 February – onwards
Manchester United legend Eric Cantona has set up a special sport-based art exhibition in the National Football Museum.
Spotlighting work by fine artist Michael Browne, who created a series of pieces exploring the relationship between sport, art and modern society, the new exhibition titled ‘From Moss Side to Marseille’ covers everything from “human rights, equality, injustice, the impact of power and elevations to a godlike status.”
The exhibition was commissioned by the Frenchman with the aim of celebrating influenced sporting heroes who used their positions to advocate for social change, even in the face of great personal cost.
RuPaul’s Drag Race UK star Cheddar Gorgeous’ iconic Pink Triangle outfit is on show at Refuge throughout LGBTQIA+ History Month.
Cheddar Gorgeous was applauded for the powerful HIV conversation in the werkroom of Drag Race UK and used the runway to showcase their activism with the bodysuit embellished with pink triangles.
Kimpton Clocktower Hotel and Refuge is also raising funds for its charity partner George House Trust throughout February with an outfit-inspired special cocktail called the ‘Pink Triangle’ – with a donation of 50% from each drink purchased going to the charity.
Cocktails ‘n’ Canvas is hosting a painting party at Vapiano in the Corn Exchange Manchester this week.
Don’t worry if you aren’t too artistic, as the artist will guide you step-by-step through painting your very own Oscar the Ostrich.
An ideal event for beginners and artists alike, and led by the amazing Cocktails ‘n’ Canvas team who will give you as much or as little guidance as needed, he aim is to have fun and leave with your very own piece of art to gift or keep for yourself.
It’s National Pizza Day this Thursday, so the amazing Gatto Pizza will be leading an informative workshop to show you how to make a beautiful authentic Neapolitan pizza in a relaxed and fun environment down at GRUB.
In this session, Gatto Pizza will guide groups through their ingredients and processes for making the perfect Neapolitan pizza, and you’ll learn to stretch and top your own pizza, and will be given a recipe card to take home.
Each ticket includes all the ingredients to make a pizza to stay and eat at GRUB.
Manchester 360º: The Shapeshifters, Kirollus & Supernature Disco
Friday 10 February
Ever wondered what it’s like to dance the night away inside one of Manchester city centre’s most historic buildings?
Well, there’s no need to wonder any longer, as the latest event in JBM Music – the team behind popular city centre venue, Joshua Brooks – and Fever’s newly-launched Manchester 360º series sees the “epic electronic disco” return to Manchester Cathedral once again by popular demand for one night only this Friday.
Top global DJs The Shapeshifters are headlining the event, with both Kirollus and Supernature Disco also gracing the decks on the night as support.
The Hip Hop Orchestra will serve up a mouth-watering combination of hip hop nostalgia, chart-topping R&B goodness, badass BBQ, and luscious liquor at the ultimate bottomless brunch party.
Running every Saturday at The Blues Kitchen in Manchester, you can expect live versions of your favourite tracks.
A range of tasty dishes will be served up, including burgers, fried chicken, and a handful of veggie and vegan options, and then for those really looking to get the party started, there’s an option to add bottomless booze to your ticket – with rum and prosecco for 90-minutes.
One of the biggest Guinness Fan Zones in the UK has arrived in Manchester city centre for the Six Nations, and the best part of all is, it’s absolutely free.
With the beloved rugby union tournament having kicked off on Saturday 4 February and running up until Saturday 18 March, Guinness have brought their popular fan zone to our lovely city – which is the biggest one outside of London – and have popped up at Escape to Freight Island just round the corner from Piccadilly Station.
The space has been transformed into a dedicated area for rugby lovers to watch the match, enjoy a fresh pint of ice-cold Guinness, and get involved with a whole host of other festivities.