It looks like we’re set for another busy week in Greater Manchester.
Not only is there a whole host of exciting activities lined up in the events calendar this month, but there’s plenty to be getting up to across the region this week, and we’ve cherry-picked a few of the best bits for another edition of our ‘what’s on‘ guide for the city and beyond.
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.
mjf Piano Trail
Manchester City Centre
Monday 16 – Sunday 29 May
13 street pianos have been dotted around popular Manchester locations, and they’re free for the public to play all month.
The annual Manchester Jazz Festival (mjf) is arriving in our city on Friday 20 – Sunday 29 May, and to properly celebrate the 2022 edition in style, festival organisers have teamed up with the beloved Forsyth Music Shop to place over a dozen pianos at well-known sites in the hunt for Manchester’s most entertaining street pianist.
You don’t even need any technical talent or formal training either, as the competition is open to everyone, and there’s some brilliant prizes to be won.
Flashback Festival is finally upon us, transporting Mancs back to the 90s and 00s.
The gloriously nostalgic festival will be headlined by the likes of Example, Tinchy Stryder, Tulisa, Judge Jules, Dave Pearce, Ultrabeat, and many more.
The four stages will be hosted by brands such as Clubland, Hed Kandi, Back by Dope Demand, and Trance Anthems.
The blasts from the past will continue – quite literally – in the food and drink side of things, with a stand dedicated to Tango Ice Blasts, as well as appearances from Porky Pig, shisha and some vegan food.
Northern kids of the 80s, 90s, and 00s will truly be able to revisit their youth, as the abandoned Camelot Theme Park in Chorley goes back to its days of Arthurian legend for the new Summer Knights drive-in cinema and entertainment attraction this summer.
Kicking off on Friday 20 May with the absolute 70s classic that is Grease, some of the other film highlights in the genre-diverse lineup include Insidious, Superbad, The Greatest Showman, Anchorman, Dirty Dancing, and Disney’s newest smash-hit, Encanto, just to name a few.
There’ll also be a fully-licensed bar and a number of street food vendors on site to choose from to make it a truly magical night.
A three-day outdoor festival full of food, drink, and live music is set to return to a hidden street in Manchester city centre this weekend.
Back by popular demand after what was a successful run in 2021, city centre dining and leisure destination, The Great Northern Warehouse, has announced that it’s hosting its three-day outdoor festival, Deansgate Mews Festival, once again in 2022 – with live music, market traders, Al Fresco dining, and so much more on the lineup.
The festival is completely free to attend, and will celebrate all the eclectic independent food and drink businesses on the street.
Over 40 different music acts are also on the lineup this year.
Legendary Manchester club The Hacienda is turning 40 this month, and to celebrate there will be a huge party in the car park beneath the apartments where the original club once stood this weekend.
Whitworth Street West might now be home to a series of neat magnolia two beds, but – if its walls could talk – they would still speak of hazy all-nighters, sweatbox dancefloors, and the thumping basslines of the early acid house scene where it all began.
Planned to mark 40 years to the day the club first opened its doors, the 40th anniversary event sees a host of the Hacienda’s finest residents return to the building with Graeme Park, DJ Paulette, Jon Dasilva, Tom Wainwright, Hewan Clarke, Aaron Mellor. K Klass live and surprise guests all coming along for the anniversary party.
Great Manchester Run 2022 / Credit: Great Manchester Run
The Great Manchester Run 2022 is returning this Sunday 22 May.
With exciting new features added for 2022, runners will be treated to loads more entertainment as they make their way around either a 10km or a half-marathon course, with everything from water pistol breaks to a live DJ, as organisers pull out all the stops to make it the best Great Manchester Run yet.
The action will begin before the race even starts and continue long after it ends too, with a live DJ at the start line to get the energy levels up, and then a new on-course entertainment area, and even an apres-run zone across the finish line for runners to celebrate with food and drink stalls, and music.
You can find out more about everything happening on the day here.
Stockport is hosting a Town of Culture Weekender with 50+ events – and it’s all FREE
Stockport will be marking its current Town of Culture title later this month, and it’s set to see the town come together for a huge celebration.
In case you missed it, Stockport was named Greater Manchester’s ‘Town of Culture’ for 2023 back in May of last year, so what better way to celebrate the coveted title than hosting a weekend packed full of cultural festivities for all the family, with access to some of the town’s must-visit venues? We can’t think of one.
And the Stockport Town of Culture Weekender is setting out to do just that.
With over 50 events and activities taking place over the weekend of Saturday 23 and Sunday 24 March, the Town of Culture Weekender will shine a light on the impressive variety of culture and creativity happening in the Greater Manchester town, as well as the work and projects that’ve been delivered during the duration of the ‘Town of Culture’ year so far.
🎉Get ready to celebrate with Stockport as we host the ultimate cultural extravaganza this month!🎉
Join us for the Stockport Town of Culture Weekender on March 23rd and 24th, where the town centre will be buzzing with over 50 FREE events and activities for all ages!🎨🎶 pic.twitter.com/nSYMdtUNkj
Marking the end of the town’s ‘Town of Culture’ status with a bang, activities will be taking place at 25 locations across the Stockport borough.
Over the two days, visitors will be given the opportunity to explore some exciting new spaces, all while enjoying an event programme packed with live music, art, comedy, and history.
So, what are some of the dozens of free events you can get stuck into over the two days then?
Well, for starters, the newly-opened town centre park – which is the first green space in the UK to be built on top of a transport interchange, in case you didn’t know – will play host to many of the activities across the weekend.
Stockport is hosting a Town of Culture Weekender later this month / Credit: One Stockport (Supplied)
A ‘Carnival of the Animals’ parade, which is curated by carnival arts organisation, Global Grooves, and features giant animal puppets, is one of the stand-out events on the lineup, but some of the other highlights have to include a grandpa comedy duo, live music with Pandemonium Steel Band, Tai Chi and Yoga taster classes, and a Stockport Sculpture Trail too.
Music and dance will be showcased at venues including Merseyway Shopping Centre, AMP, Petersgate Tap, Magnet, Spinning Top and the Market Place, while Stockport Library will be bringing fun to little ones with a Bluey Day full of games and crafts based on the popular animation series.
There’ll be more than 50 FREE events across 25 town centre locations / Credit: One Stockport (Supplied)
A series of Stockport-themed walks, tours, and activities will also take place across the weekend, while The War Memorial Gallery will also be hosting the Stockport Rising Exhibition showcasing the works of five local celebrated artists.
And, for those interested in exploring the town’s many attractions, there’s set to be free entry for all over the weekend – including the newly re-opened Hat Works Musuem, the Stockport Air Raid Shelters, and Stockport Museum.
Stockport Town of Culture Weekender is taking place on Saturday 23 and Sunday 25 March, and you can find more information ahead of the event here.
Featured Image – One Stockport (Supplied)
A pug cafe with a ball pit and themed cakes is opening in Salford today
A cafe where you can hang out with pugs while you tuck into your coffee and cake is opening in Salford today – and this time it’s permanent.
There’ve been plenty of pop-up dog cafes in Greater Manchester over the years, but CuppaPug will be putting down roots on Chapel Street for good.
Inside the bright pink space – described as a pug playground – there’ll be a ball pit and a pug wall, as well as 10 resident pugs.
And on the menu there’ll be smoothies, milkshakes, coffees, teas and cakes all inspired by the adorable squashy-faced pooches.
This Salford cafe will be the second location for CuppaPug, which launched in London in 2022.
The business was launched by owners Aaron Carty and Matt Pieterse, with the aim to create a safe and nurturing pug community.
They’ve been working with charities and organisations that rescue and rehome the popular breed, while educating owners. Those charity partners include National Pug Protection Trust, Manchester Pug Thing and Pug Life Rescue, where £1 from each booking is donated towards the rescue and rehoming of pugs.
Aaron is an ex-police officer turned digital media producer, as well as a successful drag queen performer as part of the Beyonce Experience that was seen on Britain’s Got Talent and UK Black Pride.
Guests can hang out with pugs at the new CuppaPug cafe in SalfordThere are pink interiors and 10 resident pugs at the CuppaPug cafe in Salford
Meanwhile Matt is a professional actor known for his roles on Channel 4’s Bleach, plus short film Mild Thing.
And completing the CuppaPug family are the pair’s resident pugs, Gaston, Bruce, Bowser, Beau, Gizmo, Bebe, and Baloo.
Speaking about where the idea of CuppaPug came from, Aaron said: “Our inspiration was to create an environment, a pug playground where the pugs can play and people can safely engage with the pugs.
“We want our customers to have an instant smile on their faces as they enter CuppaPug, we want them to feel the warmth and joy that pugs can bring and feel that spike in pleasure from hugging a pug.
CuppaPug founders Aaron Carty and Matt Pieterse. Credit: SuppliedCuppaPug founders Aaron Carty and Matt Pieterse. Credit: Supplied
“We are so excited to be opening in Manchester, it’s a fantastic city. We are so humbled by the families from the North travelling to London for a day trip just to spend an hour with our pugs. We thought we owed it to those pug lovers to open a second site up here.”
Matt said: “CuppaPug’s vision is to firstly amplify the education of owning a dog, the responsibility and commitment it takes, continuing to share our pugs with people to bring them joy, help with mind wellness and mental health and rescue pugs.
“Manchester has an amazing pug community as well as its own non-profit organisation ‘Manchester Pug Thing’ that we wanted to help, not only with regular donations but to amplify the organisation and the work they do.”
The 10 resident dogs for the new Salford pug cafe have been chosen through a six-week application and rehearsal process, with 60 dogs whittled down to the final 10.
CuppaPug opens on Chapel Street in Salford today (Friday 1 March). You can book one-hour slots to visit at £15 per person here.