Lightopia is officially returning to Heaton Park for a new, socially-distanced edition of adventures, lights, lanterns, sculptures and shows this December.
Following the UK government’s announcement that England’s national lockdown will end on 2nd December, Lightopia – which was originally due to open on 20th November – is now to open its award-winning and visually spectacular lantern and light festival at Heaton Park on Thursday 3rd December, and extend its run all the way through until Sunday 10th January.
The event will be also now be open every day, except Christmas Day.
With Christmas very much the theme for this year’s light and lantern festival, Lightopia will use the stunning Grade I-listed Heaton Hall as its sparkling backdrop for all its festive merriment, and will feature a 10-metre illuminated Christmas tree.
Ticket holders whose booking has already been affected by lockdown restrictions have been informed directly and advised on all their options – including moving their booking to another date in December, or being offered a refund – and Lightopia is currently working with local authorities in accordance with government guidelines to create its socially-distanced festive spectacular.
This year’s event showcases unique interactive and immersive lights and lanterns, with new installations and a brand-new route for guests to explore for 2020.
The new route has been designed to create a safe environment where visitors are able to see the sights safely with friends and family, and there will be wider footpaths to maintain social distancing, a one-way system, three entry points to reduce queuing, and direct access to two car parks.
Lightopia has also implemented a series of further measures to ensure all steps are taken to keep visitors safe, and these include:
NHS Test and Trace: QR codes will be displayed at multiple locations on the trail.
Social Distancing: This shall be mandatory at the event at all times.
One Way System: The Lightopia trail is one direction only.
Pre-booked Tickets Only: Trail tickets are only available to prebook online.
Contactless Ticket Scanning: All ticket scanning will be contactless on entry to the event.
Card Payments Only: Vendors and car parks will only accept card payments.
No Alcohol: Following latest government guidance no alcohol is permitted onsite.
Quick Food and Drink: All food & drink on the trail will be takeaway only.
Hand Hygiene: Hand sanitising stations will be located throughout the trail.
Increased Cleansing: All facilities, surfaces and touch points will be cleaned regularly.
Increased Stewards: Increased number of stewards on our route to manage social distancing and assist with any visitor queries onsite.
Lightopia will be open to the public from Thursday 3rd December – Sunday 10th January (except for Christmas Day) and opening times are between 5pm to 10pm, and last entry is 8.30pm daily.
Advance pre-booked tickets are priced at £20 for adults (or £22 on the day), £13 for children (or £15 on the day), and £60 for families of two adults and two children (£68 on the day).
Children under three can go free.
Essential carers of disabled visitors can also attend the event for free, with the disabled visitor paying the normal admission fee.
There are also a limited number of tickets available for key workers – with a 20% discount off the standard ticket price when using code KEY20 – plus, the 20% discount is applied to all tickets in the online basket.
One essential worker ID is required for entry, per party.
The festival will also launch a Wheel of Light for Black Friday with special prizes to be won from Wednesday 25th November – Sunday 29th November, and you can head to the Lightopia website to spin the Wheel of Light and be in with a chance of winning 25% off tickets, a VIP tour for two, and many more prizes (T&Cs apply).
You can book your tickets and find more information via the Lightopia website here.
Pixies to play three Manchester gigs as part of major European tour in 2024
Pixies are heading out on a European tour in 2024, and they’re stopping off here in Manchester for three nights.
After recently playing to intimate Manchester crowds at the relaunch of iconic music venue, Band on the Wall, and to thousands at Castlefield Bowl as part of 2023’s Sounds of the City concert series, Pixies have announced they’ll be making a return to our city once again next year, and they’ve got three gigs lined-up.
The influential and pioneering US alt rock band are set to head out on a tour of some of the biggest cities in Europe tour in 2024, and will be performing a selection of tracks from their hugely-acclaimed albums, Bossanova and Trompe Le Monde – which were released in 1990 and 1991 respectively.
Black Francis and co will be taking over Manchester’s iconic Albert Hall for three major gigs on Tuesday 12, Wednesday 13, and Thursday 14 March 2024.
Bossanova was the band’s third studio album, and was praised by critics for showing their less primal side, with a recurring sci-fi theme running throughout, and surf and space rock influences at the forefront.
‘Alison’, ‘Dig For Fire’, ‘Velouria’, and ‘Cecilia Ann’ were just some of the notable tracks from the album.
Trompe Le Monde, on the other hand, was known for having bookended a run of landmark records for the band, and although it was their fourth album, it’s arguably the most playful in their catalogue – with singles ‘Planet of Sound’, ‘Alec Eiffel’, and ‘Letter to Memphis’ featuring lyrics on UFOs, conspiracy theories, and more to prove Black Francis and co were still restless to push their sound forward.
Both albums are described by critics as sounding just as fresh and relevant today in 2023 as they did when they were released over 30 years ago.
Pixies’ celebration of these two iconic albums will see them perform across major European cites such as London, Dublin, Paris, and Amsterdam, as well as Manchester for three nights.
Pixies – Bossanova x Trompe Le Monde Tour 2024
8, 9 & 10 March – Olympia Theatre Dublin
12, 13 & 14 March – Albert Hall Manchester
16, 17 & 18 March – O2 Forum Kentish Town (London)
20, 21 & 22 March – Paradiso Amsterdam
25, 26 & 27 March – L’Olympia Theatre Paris
Tickets to the Bossanova x Trompe Le Monde Tour 2024 are officially set to go on general sale this Friday 9 June from 9am.
Hit Stockport sandwich shop Rack is opening a second cafe in Sale
Stockport’s favourite sandwich shop is coming to Sale, it has been revealed this week.
The small but mighty butty shop is expanding, as owners unveiled plans to open a new cafe and brunch spot inside a former barber’s shop in Sale.
Set to open on School Road later this year, the team will move into a characterful and quirky space in M33 following a full refurbishment.
With a hidden entrance down a side alley and then up a flight of exterior stairs, it might not be the easiest to find but – based on the calibre of butties coming out of their original shop – we know with certainty this will be worth seeking out.
Promising to keep it ‘all things sandwich’, just as they do at the original Stockport shop, on the Sale menu fans of things in bread will be as well catered to as ever with a dedicated grilled sandwich menu, plus staple breakfast butties and regular specials.
That’s not all, though. Given the increased size of the new space, the Rack team is also planning on introducing a new brunch menu – although details are currently being kept under wraps.
Sharing the news with fans online in a post that has been liked over 500 times, the Rack team wrote: “Huge Sandwich & Brunch Announcement.
“We’re opening a brand new sandwich and brunch spot on School Road in Sale M33! Taking over the space that once was a quirky first floor barber shop on the high street – The entrance is down the side alley and up the stairs, it’s got bags of character.
“Swipe to see how buzzing we were to start smashing walls down and see some of the progress. Keep your eyes peeled for progress pics and the menu drop – opening soon!