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.”
This tiny hole in a wall is home to Greater Manchester’s best smashed burgers
Bob over Salford way, and any burger fan worth their salt will tell you that there’s only one place to go for a smashed burger in this neck of the woods. Yes, we’re talking about Burgerism.
First founded in 2018, Burgerism has been quietly setting the standard for dark kitchens way before the pandemic made them so popular.
For years, it has been delivery only – drawing regular queues outside its Salford site and churning out thousands of its popular smashed patty burgers a day. More recently, the kitchen has gone exclusive on Deliveroo and is slowly expanding its empire across the UK with further sites in Liverpool and Leeds.
This year, the team also opened a second site on the other side of Manchester in Gatley.
As a result, Stockport locals can now enjoy their smashed patties, perfect potato buns and crunchy fried chicken without having to make the drive across town (once a regular occurrence, or so we’re told).
Serving up a range of stacked burgers, chicken wings and others sides, alongside Burgerism’s award-winning mains takeaway fans will find a whole host of other treats including lemon pepper, BBQ and buffalo wings.
Fries come with the skin on, tossed in a signature house spice mix, whilst burgers are pressed down onto a hot grill using a super-secret smashing tool that the team will not reveal on camera for love nor money.
As for the main event, smashed burgers can be ordered as singles or doubles with optional extras like cheese and bacon.
There’s also the slawed-up Freebird chicken burger, which is deep fried and then dipped back into spicy oil for an extra kick.
Non-meat eaters are also well catered for, with ‘Veggied’ and ‘Veganed’ options both made using Moving Mountains ‘bleeding’ plant-based patties.
Last but not least, we have to give a shout out to Burgerism’s new dessert offering which sees the team partner with Leeds favourite Get Baked to serve up some of the fudgiest, gooey brownies we’ve had the pleasure of tasting.
Oh, and to save on your next Deliveroo order from Bundobust make sure to use our code 5OFFBURGERISM when you check out.
Featured image – Burgerism
Rio Ferdinand is helping change young lives with community programmes in Oldham and Salford
Ex-Manchester United and England defender Rio Ferdinand and his foundation’s wonderful work is helping better the lives of young people in Oldham, Salford and across Manchester as a whole.
Over the past year, the Rio Ferdinand Foundation and The Guinness Partnership have been putting together a vital social initiative aimed at providing opportunities and resources to young people across Greater Manchester, helping them develop their skills and aspirations for future working life.
Now, after a hugely successful 12-month campaign, their skills and progression community programme, participants are well and truly starting to feel the impact, with 90% of those taking part now stating that they are enjoying a clear idea and focus on what they want to do for a career.
It may have be thriving in Salford and Oldham at the moment, but given the benefit the scheme has already had — not to mention the ambition the Rio Ferdinand Foundation has shown around various areas of the UK since being set up in 2012 — we can only see this spreading further across the region.
The skills-based initiative engages young people aged under 25 years old and living in Guinness homes in a six-month skills-based programme which has been up and running in the two Manc boroughs, as well as the London boroughs of Southwark and Lambeth, since March 2022.
Young people from both Oldham and Salford take part in a weekly schedule of activities designed to tackle youth unemployment, including digital media training (photography, product design, filmmaking, podcasting), building and construction, CV workshops, mock interviews and more.
Not only do these shadowing opportunities garner confidence and raise aspirations among other young people in the local community, but they also help directly develop their employability skills via mentoring.
For instance, Matthew, 19 from Royton in Oldham, completed the programme and then was supported to apply to the Guinness Aspire Awards to request funding to purchase camera and lighting equipment to help him start a small local photography business. Quality stuff.
Matt says that the scheme “has been an amazing opportunity and has given [him] a chance to get back on the right path… I know what I want to do now and can’t wait to start… I would recommend that other people in my position get involved with it in the future.”
As well as markedly increasing participants health and well-being, all 100% of those involved across Salford and Oldham reported feeling more confident, with many now enjoying opportunities with the Rio Ferdinand Foundation’s partners such as Warner Music, Kiss FM, The Jockey Club and the Gym Group.
Speaking on the programme’s success, Rio himself said in a statement: “The Foundation is committed to working with young people at the heart of their communities to offer support, training, and opportunities to those that need it… engaging with the Guinness Partnership has provided a great boost to our reach and our work”.
Well in, Rio. Thankfully, he isn’t the only ex-Manchester-based footballer still trying to make a difference in the local community either: