Manchester’s popular Caribbean Carnival is adopting a whole new format for 2020 – with the festival moved entirely online due to complications surrounding mass gatherings.
Instead of parading the streets and filling Alexandra Park, the Carnival will be hosted via screens this year – broadcasting a mixture of live and pre-recorded displays of culture and heritage.
This will include dance and steel band performances, food demonstrations, community talks, and ‘island sounds’ of Soca, Reggae and Calypso.
The online Carnival will be available to view for free online on August 8 and 9, between midday and 8pm on Saturday and Sunday.
News of the Carnival’s initial cancellation was confirmed back in June, with the pandemic putting a temporary end to festivals and events all over the world.
Councillor Lutfhur Rahman, Executive Member for Culture, Skills and Leisure, said: “It is wonderful to see so many different ways people can get involved in this year’s carnival, all while staying safe at home.
“It would have been wonderful to see the streets lined with all the flair and carnival celebration the annual event brings. Unfortunately we have known for a while in advance that this would not be possible.”
The Councillor also said that it was “vitally important that everyone plays their part” in keeping the community safe, and that this “can only be ensured by not attending any mass gatherings.”
Despite the restrictions in place for 2020, Mr. Rahman explained he was still optimistic for the success of the festival.
“… I am confident that this year’s online carnival will not leave anyone wanting or feeling too disappointed,” he added.
“The amount of time and effort organisers have put into it guarantees that it will be a brilliant day for all.”
Visit the Caribbean Carnival website to watch online.
Blossoms fans are buzzing for Manchester dates after amazing surprise appearances in London
Stockport icons Blossoms return to Manchester for a four-leg run at the O2 Apollo on Thursday and fans who have managed to grab a ticket are in for some seriously special surprise appearances.
The SK band are coming toward the end of their most recent UK and Ireland tour for their 2022 album, Ribbon Around the Bomb, and those present for their London show were treated to guest appearances from three different artists on Saturday, 3 December.
Fans watching on at the O2 Academy Brixton were blown away as Miles Kane, Rick Astley and former Spice Girl Mel C took to the stage for the standout set.
While the trio of special guests have all collaborated with Blossoms in the past, getting all three of them on the stage in the same night is quite the triumph and, as you can see, it went down a storm.
Both Mel C and Astley have appeared alongside Blossoms before. The former joined the group at Glastonbury earlier this year and Astley previously took to the stage with them in Manchester for a number of performances last year.
The ‘Never Gonna Give You Up’ singer seems to have drummed a close bond with the Stopfordians in recent years, especially in their home county.
Here he is playing the Morrissey role as they played a number of The Smiths covers in 2021. Chances are, those going along this week will be in for a similar experience.
Blossoms had to add a fourth Manchester date to meet the demand from locals, with the promise of special guests no doubt helping drive ticket sales.
Though we’re sure Manc crowds would be more than happy to see the likes of Kane, Astley and Mel C pop up for yet another guest spot, the local lads could have a raft of entirely new surprise appearances in store.
It’s going to be a belting few nights at the Apollo.
Blossoms will be playing the legendary Manchester venue from Thursday, 8 December until Sunday, 11 December.
Featured Image — @agathe_boulous/@_Fonesk (via Twitter)
The best things to do in Greater Manchester this week | 5 – 11 December 2022
We’re into our second week of December now, and we just can’t get over how festive everything feels across Greater Manchester.
With Christmas cheer having now been firmly spread right across the region, and the big day itself just a matter of weeks away, everyone is getting suitably in the festive spirit and the events calendar is, once again, absolutely jam-packed with plenty to be getting up to, so 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.
Manchester Christmas Markets 2022
Manchester City Centre
Monday 5 – Thursday 22 December
Manchester Christmas Markets 2022 are in full swing.
The iconic annual event – which draws in visitors from all across the globe each year, and has been voted the best Christmas markets in the UK for 2022 – are here once again to spread some cheer right across the city centre.
Open every day until Thursday 22 December, the the main market hubs in will be in Exchange Square, St Ann’s Square, King Street, and Market Street.
Other zones, however, are set to open after Christmas Day and run into the New Year.
You can find out everything you need to know here.
Monday 5 December – onwards
Lightopia has made a return to Heaton Park this year.
Once again lighting up Manchester and captivating audiences for the fourth year in a row, award-winning illuminations event Lightopia is promising to bring the magic of Christmas back to the grounds of Heaton Park from this Thursday – with a brand-new immersive experience set to take over the park until January.
Through brand-new and unseen audiovisual displays, this year’s festival is a “once-in-a-lifetime adventure” for the all the family to enjoy.
Find out more about Lightopia 2022 and grab tickets here.
Monday 5 December – onwards
Did you see that Manchester’s newest cinema on the roof of Depot Mayfield has a whole host of Christmas films on the agenda over the next few weeks?
Backyard Cinema brings its immersive movie going experience to the north for the ever first time, and features way more than a cosy purpose-built cinema room, as it comes complete with an Enchanted Forest, two bars, street food trucks, and a live music stage to boot.
The highly-anticipated and long-awaited exhibit is currently showcasing 145 iconic Banksy pieces all amassed from private collections across the globe to create the world’s largest touring collection of Banksy artworks.
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.
Proper festive fun for all the family, the Christmas with Paddington grotto experience – which is curated by award-winning experiential events company Bakehouse Factory – includes fun photo opportunities for all ages, the chance to travel through snowy festive trees and scenic street scenes, and so much more.
The FIFA World Cup 2022 is well underway, and Mancs are right to be wondering where to watch the World Cup in Manchester.
International tournaments are always a special occasion we eagerly await to come around and while we’re sure you could walk into any old pub and enjoy yourself, there are some seriously good venues showing Qatar 2022 this winter – so, with that in mind, we thought we’d put together a list of the best places to watch in our city.
Read our round-up list here, and browse for Love Factory tickets here.
Skate Manchester 2022
Monday 5 December- onwards
What’s a festive season in the city without Skate Manchester?
Back once again for 2022 with twinkling lights, the smell of gingerbread, and Christmas songs playing on repeat, Skate Manchester’s stunning outdoor ice rink is in the heart of the city at Cathedral Gardens until 2 January 2023.
With covered rink having a roof to allow everyone to enjoy the ice, whatever the weather, this year, there’s also a brand-new ice path allowing you to skate around the beautiful Christmas tree centre.
Escape to Freight Island has brought its highly-popular Winter Island back to Manchester, just in time to get you in the mood for the festive season.
Having landed at Depot Mayfield‘s premier event space and cargo park, this year’s Winter Island is promising visitors everything from DJs, live entertainment, and Massaoke, to Christmas workshops, pop-up markets, and all the festive food you could hope for.
Food and drink to be scoffed from some of the best local and independent traders.
From Manchester favourites like Northern Soul grilled cheese and the award-winning Great North Pie Co. to Ancoats chocolatiers Cocoa Cabana, who will be letting you create your own boozy hot chocolate (the best kind), there’s so much to tickle your festive fancies.
Popular après-ski village Bar Hütte is officially back in the city centre.
After what was an undeniably successful run in 2021 and the plenty of years prior, Bar Hütte is better than ever this year, with 15 cosy Alpine cabins dotted across the Great Northern square courtyard to bring a lively, festive, and vibrant atmosphere.
Inspired by some of the coolest après ski bars in Europe, there’s everything from live music and free-flowing festive drinks, to the chance to try out the bar’s legendary ‘shot skis’, as well sing-along to all of your favourite tunes inside a private wooden karaoke cabin that’s festooned with twinkling tights.
Cheshire Oaks’ beloved grotto looks a little different to usual as Santa and his trusty elves are taking to the skies and inviting you on a fantastical festive adventure on the outlet’s all-new Big Wheel.
The Santa in the Sky experience is the perfect way to celebrate Christmas as a family this winter, and make memories to last a lifetime.
Open every weekend throughout December, with 10-minutes flights taking place from 10am-1pm, included in the ticket price is four spaces on the Big Wheel flight with Santa and his elves, and you’ll also get to sip on a mulled wine or hot chocolate and enjoy a festive cookie, as well as get a little gift to take home with you from Santa.