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.”
Popular I’m A Celeb-themed ‘Jungle Beats’ challenge for students returns to Manchester
Daredevil students are invited to take on an epic late-night jungle challenge inspired by reality competition show I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! this week.
Returning to Manchester following huge success and demand for tickets earlier this year, I’m a Celebrity… Jungle Challenge has announced that its popular ‘Jungle Beats’ series is back once again this week, and it’s giving students arriving to study at universities across our city-region exclusive access to the Salford-based blockbuster attraction.
Students and those over 18 will take on a series of challenges that are said to put nerves and agility to the ultimate test.
Unfamiliar with what I’m a Celebrity… Jungle Challenge is all about?
The new action-packed experience opened in MediaCityUK back in July 2021, and it sees ‘campmates’ race against each other to collect stars through a series of different physical and mental challenges all in an epic jungle setting complete with Main Camp, The Throne, and Winner’s Bridge.
Just like in the popular ITV reality competition show, those who come out on top will be crowned ‘King or Queen of the Jungle’.
What makes Jungle Beats: Volume II a little different to normal though is that resident house DJ Sam Pratt will be providing the ultimate backing track as campmates race around and tackle the trials and challenges in a bid to bank stars and take the glory of a win home to the halls before darkness descends on the jungle each night.
And for those looking for something a little more refreshing after taking on a challenge, the venue’s on-site Outback Shack will be dishing up a cocktail of themed alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks.
Jungle Beats: Volume ll kicks off for freshers with the first of six events on Friday 23 September, followed by Saturday 24 September, Friday 30 September, and Saturday 1, Friday 7, and Saturday 8 October.
Tickets are available to book at just £25 per person, and you can grab yours here.
Featured Image – I’m A Celebrity… Jungle Challenge
A huge Banksy art exhibit is coming to Media City next month
Following several months of speculation, organisers behind touring exhibit The Art of Banksy have announced it will open at MediaCity this October.
Previously, reports had speculated that the exhibit would appear at First Street inside a purpose-built exhibition space, but now it appears the art show is heading to an entirely different location altogether.
Landing in Manchester on 21 October 2022, the exhibit will showcase 145 iconic Banksy pieces all amassed from private collections across the globe to create the world’s largest touring collection of Banksy artworks.
Having travelled to Melbourne, Chicago, San Francisco, Sydney, Washington DC, Boston, Tel Aviv, Auckland, Toronto, Miami, Gothenburg and London, The Art of Banksy will soon arrive in the north of England.
Visitors will have the chance to experience the infamous artist’s most well-known works alongside those rarely seen by the public, all on loan from private collectors.
The Art of Banksy, presented in association with Manchester theatre HOME, will feature a vast number authenticated Banksy works ranging from prints, canvases, limited-edition pieces, unique works and fascinating ephemera.
It represents a rare opportunity to see an overview of Banksy’s work from 2002 to 2017 in a purpose-built 1,200 square metre temporary structure in the heart of MediaCity, offering visitors the chance to view the artist’s work in a way not possible on the street or in any museum or gallery.
Visitors can see the iconic artworks that brought the anonymous artist international acclaim, including Girl With Balloon (2002) in three different colour variations, Flower Thrower (2003), Rude Copper (2002), and Brace Yourself (2010) – a work which made headlines when Banksy gifted the painting to the band formerly known as ‘Exit Through the Gift Shop’ in exchange for the rights to their name.
A recent poll ranked Girl with Balloon as the United Kingdom’s favourite piece of artwork while Time Magazine has previously included Banksy in its list of the world’s 100 most influential people alongside Barack Obama, Stella McCartney and Steve Jobs.
The iconoclastic artist’s history of pranks has also contributed to this reputation; they have performed powerful statement acts such as the secret installation of a shredder into Girl With Balloon to make the work self-destruct just moments after it was sold at auction for nearly $1.4 million 2018, transforming the work into Love in the Bin.
The Art of Banksy is an exhibition for all ages – an unmissable show for culture lovers and indeed anyone who wants to learn more about the artist and what their work reveals today; the power of art to affect social change, inspire the public and lay bare the undercurrents of social issues with understated wit.
Please note that the exhibition is not curated or authorized by Banksy. Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased via the website here.