Giant monsters with hanging tentacles, fanged teeth, and bloodshot eyes will begin to take over the rooftops of Manchester this week, as the city readies itself for the start of the spooky season.
The monsters will return for their fifth year, looming down from their towers at us and bringing a distinctly ghostly flair to the city centre as part of the annual Halloween in the City celebrations.
Going on display at eleven different locations around Manchester, the giant monsters will start to appear from this week – with more due to pop up on the ground over the Halloween weekend itself.
Dotted across the city, you’ll be able to find them at various spots like KAMPUS, Selfridges, the Manchester Arndale, Great Northern Warehouse, Printworks and The Royal Exchange Manchester.
There’ll also be more appearing in Spinningfields and at the ‘spooktacular’ Cathedral Gardens Ice Rink, with two more popping up on the ground outside Zara and on Exchange Square on 30 and 31 October.
After half a decade in the city, Halloween in the City festival has firmly established itself as one of the biggest in the country.
Organised by Manchester Business Improvement Distict (BID), the monsters are just the tip of the iceberg as the festival prepares to bring a host of events together over the Halloween weekend.
Think a welcome procession of roaming monsters, a monster carnival, top monster bands, monster DJs, a monstrous photo trail across the city and even some looming monsters at Cathedral Gardens’ Halloween outdoor ice skating rink.
Read on for a full breakdown of everything that’s taking place over the Halloween in the City weekender this year.
A ‘monsters welcome’ procession
Walk The Plank, who also create the annual Manchester Day parade, are putting on a crazy procession of monster puppets, stilt walkers and a five-piece band across the Halloween weekend – and everyone is invited.
Visit the home of Manchester’s mad-for-it scientist, Dr. Mancenstein, encountering dragons, giant marauding crows, Mr Arsenic the castle butler and eerie groundskeepers along the way whilst dodging the man-eating plants.
Free to attend, her garden and cemetery is also home to a menagerie of creepy characters.
Get up close and personal with giant monster Scary Gary at this year’s Monster Lab, located in Exchange Square. You can also make your own slime at the Monster Slime School and create your own mini monsters to take home.
Dr Mancenstein’s radioactive lab assistant will be on hand to help with all your weird and wonderful experiments.
A carnival of monsters ‘freakshow’
Billed as a ‘family-friendly freakshow’, New Cathedral street will be transformed for spooky season with roaming circus monsters, sideshow stalls, a kids’ carousel and a traditional helter-skelter.
You can also get up close and personal with the inflatable monster, Creepy Annie.
A trail of spooky photo opportunities across the city
Discover eight different spooky backdrops scattered across the city, ranging from a ‘monster invasion’ Manchester skyline, to depictions of the Grimm Reaper, aliens, zombies, the marshmallow man, dragons and creepy castle gates.
There will also be backdrops featuring Cbeebies and CBBC characters – perfect for the little ones.
Known as ‘The Keeper’s Nests’ these giant magpie puppets draw inspiration from the rhyme “One for sorrow, two for joy, three for a girl and four for a boy, five for silver, six for gold, seven for a secret never to be told…”.
The pair will stalk the streets at a height, looking down from their rickety nests in search of secrets.
DJ Ghostman isn’t the first selector to hide his identity, but he might be the first to do so with a bed sheet. Find him playing a host of Halloween hits and monster bops from the Monster DJ Truck on Market Street across Halloween weekend.
Peter Kay adds MORE dates to his massive UK tour – including extra Manchester shows
Peter Kay has added even more dates to his already-massive UK after teasing a “big announcement” was on its way.
In case you somehow missed it, Greater Manchester – and much of the UK, to be honest – went into a bit of a meltdown last month when the legendary Bolton-born comedian and actor announced that he is to play a whole slew of huge Manchester shows from this month as he makes a return to live comedy on his first stand-up tour in 12 years.
Rumours began circulating that the 49-year-old was preparing for a 2023 comeback tour earlier this year, but it was first confirmed that Kay was to first kick things off by doing two massive shows at the AO Arena on Friday 2 & Saturday 3 December 2022.
After that, the comic announced he would head on over to Birmingham to close out 2022, before making his way across the rest of the UK and Ireland in 2023.
Due to the absolutely overwhelming demand to see the comedy legend take to the stage for the first time in over a decade, with hundreds of thousands of people in online queues and tickets being snapped-up almost instantly when they went on sale, Kay decided to keep adding extra dates to the tour schedule to give all fans the chance to catch his comeback moment.
It may have just started out as two humble shows, but now, Kay is set to play a total of 42 gigs just at the AO Arena alone – running from December 2022 until May 2025.
Sales for this tour have also significantly surpassed the record Kay back in 2010 too, where he played to more than 1.2 million in a single tour.
The comedian said he was “absolutely blown away” by ticket sales.
His return to the stage after 12 years last weekend not only visibly moved Kay to tears, with heartwarming footage of the moment going viral on social media, but it also proved to be such a success with audiences that he took to Twitter on Wednesday to tease that more could be on its way – but didn’t reveal what exactly.
In a heartfelt message to fans, Kay said: “I’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone who came to the first shows in Manchester. It was incredible to be part of such a happy experience. Everybody deserves a bit of joy.
“Here’s to a lot more in the shows to come.”
He then added that a “big announcement” was coming on the Sara Cox Drivetime Show on BBC Radio 2, and urged fans to tune in after 6pm.
While many were speculating, given the fact he had chosen to reveal the news on a Drivetime radio show, that Kay would be announcing more episodes of his beloved smash-hit TV series Peter Kay’s Careshare, but while that was a pretty educated guess, it wasn’t the announcement lined up.
Instead, Kay confirmed that, yet again, he would be adding more dates to his tour schedule.
Telling the also Bolton-born radio DJ, Kay said: “First of all, I want to say thanks to everyone who’s bought tickets to my tour, and I really do appreciate it.
“We’ve finally managed to book some more extra dates.”
Promising to keep prices as low as they were for his last tour, tickets for Peter Kay shows this time round start from £35 and go all the way up to £50, £65 and £135.
Tickets will go on sale this Sunday from 10am for shows in cities including Manchester at the AO Arena, as well as in Newcastle, Leeds, Manchester, Sheffield, Birmingham, Glasgow, and a whopping record-breaking 28th night at London’s O2 Arena as part of his residency.
Find out more and grab yours from See Tickets here when they go on sale.
Featured Image – BBC
Music from hit Christmas films to be brought to life by orchestra in festive concert
The same argument will happen every year like clockwork – what truly is the greatest Christmas film?
But one thing we can all agree on is that some of the best and most-loved movie soundtracks have stemmed from festive films.
And now all those movie greats will be brought to life on stage at The Bridgewater Hall, with a huge Christmas at the Movies event.
Taking place on Thursday 15 December at the beautiful theatre in Manchester city centre, a live orchestra will be performing songs from festive classics.
The Manchester Concert Orchestra, along with singers Laura Tebbutt and Patrick Smyth, plus the Canzonetta choir, will perform songs from films both new and old.
Family favourites like The Polar Express, The Chronicles of Narnia, Gremlins and Home Alone are all on the bill.
There’ll also be songs from all-time greats like White Christmas, The Snowman, and It’s a Wonderful Life.