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The best things to do in Greater Manchester this week | 20 – 26 September 2021, The Manc

The best things to do in Greater Manchester this week | 20 – 26 September 2021

There’s plenty happening in Manchester and beyond this week.

It’s been a busy month so far, but September’s not stopping yet.

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We may have waved the summer goodbye and the temperatures are dropping by the day, but there’s still plenty happening in our region, so we’ve put together a fresh edition of our ‘what’s on’ guide for the city of Manchester and beyond this week, and we’ve cherry-picked a few of the best bits you could be getting up to.

Some of the events we’re going to mention here are completely free, others will set you back a few pounds, and many will need to be booked in advance.

Plenty are still taking COVID-safety measures to give you peace of mind though.

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Here are our top picks.

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Manchester Food & Drink Festival

Manchester City Centre

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Monday 20 – 27 September

Manchester Food and Drink Festival (MFDF) is “back in the flesh” this year after a year of postponement amid the COVID-19 pandemic saw the city’s flagship food and drink festival move online for 2020.

Taking place down at Cathedral Gardens, highlights of this year’s MFDF programme include a mammoth chippy tea feast, an Oktoberfest takeover from Albert’s Schloss, a wine and fizz festival at Halle St Peters, and an ultimate night of pub grub feasting from The Bull and Bear’s Tom Kerridge – the only UK chef to ever win two Michelin stars at a pub.

An artisan food market is featuring some of Manchester’s finest local producers, hosting two separate line-ups across each weekend, and there will also be an amazing range of street food traders popping up at intervals throughout the duration of the festival.

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You can find more information about everything happening at MFDF here.

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Freshers Week

Manchester City Centre

Monday 20 – Sunday 26 September

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The best things to do in Greater Manchester this week | 20 – 26 September 2021, The Manc
Discopia

It’s safe to say that last year’s new intake of university students were robbed of a decent freshers week in 2020.

This year though, is a whole different story.

Manchester’s music scene is unrivalled, and being a student here means you’re spoilt for choice with club nights. So if you’re heading to the city for the first time, or are returning for the new academic year, you’ll be pleased to know that the city’s clubs are throwing some serious parties this time around – and we’ve put together our very own guide to Manchester club nights in and around freshers week.

These aren’t your typical ‘freshers’ events – there’ll be no foam, UV paint and £1 Jagerbombs, but there will, however, be some decent music and even more decent vibes to kick off your time in Manchester properly.

Find out more here.

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Summer Social

Trafford Centre

Monday 20 – Sunday 26 September

If you’re looking to cling on to that last bit of summer, the Trafford Centre has extended its popular ‘Summer Social’ event – and this is your last week to make the most of it.

Featuring an 8,000 sq ft beach, retro rides, entertainment, and independent food and drink brands, ‘Summer Social’ is a vast outdoor area that brings together all the fun of the fair, alongside live music, exciting pop-ups, and selfie-ready backdrops.

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As well as several covered events spaces where people can safely relax, a number of independent food and drink brands will be popping up in the coming weeks, including Boujee Bar – the renowned, all-pink Instagrammer’s dream founded by Real Housewives of Cheshire star Lystra Adams – Epic Pizza, Snowflakes, and Clean Traits.

Live musicians, street artists, and buskers have also been taking to the stage.

You can find more information, and grab tickets here.

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The Alice – An Immersive Cocktail Experience

Manchester City Centre

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Monday 20 September – 22 October

The best things to do in Greater Manchester this week | 20 – 26 September 2021, The Manc
Hidden Events

Did you know that Manchester is currently hosting a series of Alice in Wonderland-themed immersive cocktail experiences?

Taking place right until the end of October, each 90-minute “tea party to end all tea parties” – hosted by the interactive team behind the already-successful and popular events, The Wizard’s Den, Beyond Cinema and The Art of Murder – invites you on an “adventure” to a secret location in the city centre.

Tea partygoers are taken on a “topsy-turvy journey” into the magical realm of Wonderland.

You can find more information, and grab tickets here.

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OT Art Trail

Old Trafford

Monday 20 September – onwards

The OT Art Trail – which has been organised by OT Creative Space and is funded by Arts Council England – sees a number of local artists work together with members of the Manchester community to create six individual large scale murals which have been painted onto walls and building gable ends around the area, including in Seymour Park and Ayres Road.

The new murals have been added to the murals and artwork already seen around Old Trafford.

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The several new street art sites are linked together via a downloadable audio tour, which is suitable for people of all ages.

Each mural centres around the theme ‘community togetherness and diversity’.

You can find more information on The OT Art Trail here.

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Sixes

Corn Exchange

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Monday 20 September – onwards

Sixes has now opened in Manchester, bringing the “world’s first immersive cricket experience with hospitality” to the Corn Exchange.

A social cricket sports bar kitted out with three state-of-the-art cricket nets available to hire for 30, 60 or 90 minutes, as well as a champagne bar, a 70-seater dining space and an open kitchen, Sixes offers the chance to swing for the boundaries whilst enjoying a wide selection of high-quality food and drink.

The opening of this new Manchester venue coincides with an exclusive game at Sixes called ‘The Hundred’ – which is named after the 100-ball cricket tournament which took place for the first time this summer.

You can find more information about Sixes Manchester here.

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Snorkel with Sharks

SEA LIFE Manchester

Tuesday 21 & Thursday 23 September

The best things to do in Greater Manchester this week | 20 – 26 September 2021, The Manc
SEA LIFE Manchester

SEA LIFE Manchester has launched a new snorkel cage experience that’s letting people get closer than ever have before to more than 1,000 creatures of the deep at the Trafford Centre-based marine life aquarium.

Snorkel with Sharks is a one-hour surface snorkelling adventure, suitable for swimmers age 10+ and includes a full briefing, introduction to the incredible creatures you can expect to see, and 20 minutes snorkelling in the purpose-built shark cage. 

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Tickets cost £120 and sessions can be booked for up to four people.

You can find more information and book your tickets here.

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Sounds of the City

Castlefield Bowl

Tuesday 21 – Sunday 26 September

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The best things to do in Greater Manchester this week | 20 – 26 September 2021, The Manc
Sounds of the City

Sounds of the City is back.

Since 2013, Sounds of the City has been bringing some of the best UK bands and artists to the city. We’ve seen Manchester bands New Order, Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, Elbow and Courteeners have all been invited to perform in their hometown, along with the likes of Arcade Fire, The Kooks and Catfish And The Bottlemen over the years.  

But finally, after a year away, the series returns and bringing even more of the UK and Ireland’s finest to Castlefield Bowl this September in celebration of the 2021 edition.  

BRIT Award-nominated Irish singer songwriter Dermot Kennedy will take to the stage on Tuesday 21, the indie bands Kaiser Chiefs and Razorlight on Wednesday 22, Northern legends Paul Heaton & Jacqui Abbott on Thursday 23, Birmingham’s finest The Streets on Friday 24, the return of Haçienda Classiçal on Saturday 25, and Snow Patrol will round out the festival on Sunday 26.

A handful of other up-and-coming names will also be performing as special guests and support acts too.

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You can find more information about what’s on, and grab tickets here.

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Film & Food Fest

Heaton Park

Wednesday 22 – Sunday 26 September

Heaton Park is playing host a huge new open-air cinema and street food festival this week.

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Kicking off on 23rd September, Film & Food Fest will bring an opening night focused on screening short films by local filmmakers, followed by the Saturday and Sunday afternoons reserved for family-friendly experiences and screenings of classic hits like The Lion King, The Goonies, The Greatest Showman and more, and each evening set to provide a mix of live-stand up comedy by local comics.

And to help support local film organisations, a total of £2 from the sales of each Thursday night ticket will go towards this cause.

The gates to the festival will open three hours before each film starts to allow ticket-holders to explore the street food market – with traders curated by Street Food Warehouse – and enjoy the on-site bar serving everything from beers to bespoke cocktails.

You can find more information here.

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Use Hearing Protection

Science and Industry Museum

Wednesday 22 September – onwards

The best things to do in Greater Manchester this week | 20 – 26 September 2021, The Manc
Science and Industry Museum

A special exhibition documenting the formation and early years of the iconic Factory Records has officially opened at Manchester’s Science and Industry Museum.

Use Hearing Protection: The early years of Factory Records shines a light on the formative period for the Manchester label, disclosing lesser-told stories from family members, alternative voices and international collaborators.

The exhibition also examines the period 1978 to 1982, revealing how the label grew and thrived to give the city an authentic voice and distinctive identity, and visitors will be guided through the pre-Haçienda years to uncover the history of the label and how it earned its status as a catalyst for innovation through rarely or never-before-seen objects.

The first 50 artefacts from the official Factory Records catalogue are on display, including creations from Joy Division, New Order, The Durutti Column, and so much more.

You can find more information here.

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The Warehouse Project 2021

Depot Mayfield

Friday 24 September 2021 – 1 January 2022

The best things to do in Greater Manchester this week | 20 – 26 September 2021, The Manc
WHP21

The Warehouse Project 2021 season has officially begun at Depot Mayfield.

After the party kicked off with mega stars Megan Thee Stallion, and Nile Rodgers & Chic last week, a star-studded selection of shows that run right up until New Year’s Day are all set to rock the city – with electronic pioneers Four Tet, DJ EZ, and Jamie XX due to make appearances.

Mayfield Depot will also welcome back favourites such as Jon Hopkins, Disclosure, Rudimental, Adam Beyer, Chase & Status and Bicep during the autumn.

Other acts include Hacienda, Classical, FISHER, Gorgon City, Basement Jaxx, Marco Carola, Loco Dice, Eats Everything, and Annie Mac.

You can find more information about WHP21 here.

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Great Manchester Run

Manchester City Centre

Sunday 26 September

The Great Manchester Run is back this Sunday.

Returning to the city after a 16-month absence, organisers of the Great Manchester Run are preparing to welcome thousands to the tarmac for 10Ks and half marathons this Sunday 26 September on what is promised to be a “special day”.

Famous for its central route weaving around the city’s iconic landmarks, the Great Manchester Run 2021 will feature live music, entertainment zones that celebrate local character and culture, and a boisterous crowd roaring on the participants.

There’ll be non-stop entertainment from start to finish for everyone to get involved with, and all the action from the day will be televised live on BBC too even if you can’t make it down.

You can find out more about what to expect from the 2021 Great Manchester Run here.

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Featured Image – MFDF

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