A new month is here, summer is in full swing, schools across the region are now out for the six-week holidays, and the events calendar is packed with plenty to be getting up to once again, 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.
The Manchester City Stadium Tour
Monday 8 August – onwards
Families can kick-off the summer by going behind the scenes at Manchester City’s Stadium to “experience the magic”.
Expertly-guided by City’s Tour Guides and filled with interesting stories, facts, and anecdotes from throughout the club’s history, Manchester City’s ever-popular immersive tours of the Etihad Stadium are running throughout the summer, and they have recently been rated in the top 1% of Tripadvisor experiences in 2022.
Tickets are now on sale, and will set adults back just £25 each, while it’s £15 for those under 18, and anyone under the age of five can go for free.
Manchester‘s New York-inspired ‘sky park’ at Castlefield Viaduct has finally opened to the public for the first time ever.
After the National Trust announced its ambitious vision to create an urban green space in the heart of the city centre by tackling the challenge of “greening” the Grade II-listed Castlefield Viaduct and celebrate the history of this well-known landmark over half a year ago, visitors are now able to enjoy the park in all its glory.
Thousands of plants, shrubs, trees, and more have been planted to transform the giant 330-metre steel viaduct into an elevated park.
100 people a day are able to visit the Castlefield Viaduct, and entry onto the structure will be free, but a booking system will be in place to help manage numbers.
Remarkable Neighbourhood Cocktails & Events by Maker’s Mark
Manchester City Centre
Monday 8 August – onwards
A handful of Manchester’s most-popular hospitality names are joining forces to bring a series of entertainment events to neighbourhoods across the city this month.
To celebrate the launch of its ‘Remarkable Neighbourhood’ summer incentive, Kentucky handmade bourbon brand Maker’s Mark has rallied together some of Manchester’s best-loved bars and restaurants to head across the city and serve up their take on the brand’s signature Gold Rush Cocktail.
Cocktail masterclasses, live music nights, quiz nights, Kentucky food pairing events, and bar takeovers will also be on their way to the city’s residential hotspots over the next few weeks.
Box on the Docks has returned to the banks of Salford Quays for the summer, and there’s flowing beers, freshly-baked bagels, and boozy ice cream.
Back for its third year in a row, MediaCity’s popular outdoor dining concept, Box on the Docks, is set for another busy summer on the waterside piazza – but for the first time, it has taken on a brand-new format, as this year’s event is in partnership with SEVEN BRO7HERS.
The Salford-based brewing company has been put in charge of operating a rotating residency of the region’s emerging and established independent food and drink pop ups.
There’s also an exciting lineup of live music and events for all ages.
A new photography exhibition that captures life in Stockport during the 1970s has now opened at a local museum.
After a successful run at one of the town’s most prestigious restaurants, Where The Light Gets In, back in June 2021, the exhibition – which is titled The Stockport Collection, and features the work of local photographer Heidi Alexander – has now opened to the public at Stockport Museum, and it’s free for everyone to visit.
The Stockport Collection documents the social history of a particular time, place, and way of life.
The exhibition illustrates the human need for a sense of identity, and of belonging to a working community with a common purpose.
Looking for some new restaurants and bars to try out that have just opened in Manchester city centre this month?
As ever, there are a host of exciting new restaurants and bars opening in Manchester this August.
From a brand new Withington venue from the team behind Cottonopolis and The Edinburgh Castle, to the first bricks-and-mortar site in six years for supper club favourite Stretford Canteen, we’ve got plenty of good things to shout about.
Think kitchen residents, new street food stalls, and all-you-can-eat steak and sushi restaurant and loads more.
You can read our round-up to find out where to put on your list this month here.
The Dino Adventure
East Lancashire Railway
Wednesday 10 August
One of the standout experiences on the 2022 East Lancashire Railway (ELR) events lineup has to be the chance to go on a “roarsome adventure” through the Greater Manchester countryside this summer holidays, where you can “get your teeth into some Jurassic Lark” and go on a prehistoric expedition on “a time-travelling steam train” to meet with a herd of adorable baby dinosaurs.
The Dino Adventure returns on Wednesday 10 August, and it means you can get up close with the cute cretaceous critters, and maybe even give the T-Rex a tickle under the chin.
Tickets are priced at £13.50 for children and £18 for adults – and you can grab yours here.
Late Night Ancoats Pop-Up Markets
Thursday 11 August
A late-night market is returning to Manchester city centre’s new waterside neighbourhood KAMPUS this week, and it’s bringing with it a host of indie street food traders.
Much-loved artisan brands will packing out the garden and Little David Street for the perfect laid-back summer evening of food, drink, and music.
Open from 6-10pm on Thursday 11 August, you can expect Portuguese custard tard purveyors Just Natas, Japanese street food traders Osaka Local, and Afro-British fusion chefs Bon St Local, and there’ll also be art on display from local print artists, and a selection of drinks from local distillery Witch Kings Rum.
City centre bar, restaurant, nightlife destination, and live music venue Joshua Brooks is welcoming acclaimed house and techno DJ waFF – who has become one of the most engaging artists on the international circuit over the last two years – for an all-night-long set this Saturday 13 August.
Tickets are now available to buy online, setting you back just £14, and you must be 18 or over to gain entry to the venue.
Did you know this week is national Afternoon Tea week?
To properly celebrate, King Street Townhouse is inviting you to spoil yourself from the outside in with an afternoon tea event – sponsored by beauty and skincare specialists, Perricone MD – that’s served up in style among Manchester’s skyline on the luxury hotel’s rooftop South Terrace.
All for just £27.54, you’ll get to indulge in plates of sweet treats all while sipping on a cocktail inspired by one of Perricone MD’s bestselling products, and you’ll get a goody bag to take home too.
Two of the most popular foodie favourite events are back at Manchester’s largest street food fair GRUB – which is currently based at the Red Bank Project just outside of the city centre in Cheetham Hill.
The GRUB Food Fair this week will see the likes of Rack MCR, Korean Club Club, Nina’s Taco Truck, Stardust Bakery, and Pud Club serve a wide range of mouthwatering delights for you to try, while on Sunday, whether you’re plant based or just curious, there’ll be big handful of the finest vegan food traders there for Plant Powered Sundays to show you what it’s all about.
Both events are free to attend, and you can find more information here.
Manchester Carnival 2022
Saturday 13 & Sunday 14 August
All roads lead to Alexandra Park this weekend, as one of the biggest events in the city’s cultural calendar gears up to celebrate its 50th anniversary.
Promising a star-studded musical line-up, tasty street food vendors and a host of family-friendly activities, Manchester Carnival 2022 will return to Moss Side in full this August to celebrate 50 years of parades in the city and 60 years of Jamaican Independence.
The parade will be an array of music colour dance and heritage in tribute to the years of carnival history and all are welcome to join the procession that will begin its journey from the park.
Find out more about Manchester Carnival 2022 here.
Salford Red Devils v Huddersfield Giants
AJ Bell Stadium
Saturday 13 August
Salford Red Devils is gearing up to bring an end to a successful season with an unmissable ticket offer.
As one of the oldest teams in the Rugby Football League, and having been representing Greater Manchester for nearly 150 years now, the team has won several trophies and major titles over the years, including six Championships and one Challenge Cup, and has also got themselves a loyal fanbase too, who have been with them every step of the way.
Now, the team is giving locals the chance to take the kids to see one of their final home games in the 2022 rugby league Betfred Super League on Saturday 13 August at the AJ Bell Stadium for free when they grab an adult ticket for just £10 each.
Manchester Originals and The Hundred is back at Emirates Old Trafford this weekend.
Sports fans will get the chance to see some of the world’s best cricketers, watch a handful of the hottest music acts, and tuck into some amazing local street food, as the city’s 100-ball cricket franchise, Manchester Originals competes in another home game v Trent Rockets at Emirates Old Trafford in The Hundred tournament on Saturday.
The Hundred’s is one of the best sporting and entertainment events this summer, and it gives people the chance to watch the city’s very-own Manchester Originals live in action throughout the season.
Find out more about the return of The Hundred and Manchester Originals here.
Featured Image – KAMPUS | The Manc Group
Chatting with DJ Fabio ahead of ‘A History of Jungle, Drum and Bass’ with Grooverider and The Outlook Orchestra
Ahead of their upcoming tour next year, we got the chance to one-half of legendary DJing duo, Fabio and Grooverider, who’ll be coming to Manchester early next year.
‘The Godfathers of Drum and Bass’ were there at the very start of it all and have been able to see how the genre, along with offshoots like jungle, has evolved over the years — so it’s only right that they be the ones to deliver a real education to ravers and newcomers this January.
Bringing their ‘History of Jungle and Drum & Bass’ to the Manchester Academy on Saturday, 13 January, 0161 is just one of three places that have been chosen for the limited run of shows and, as Fabio told us on the call, it because this city has a rich relationship with the genre and pioneering underground music in general.
So you’ve got the tour starting in the New Year and it’s a very limited run of shows — what can you tell us about what you’ve got in store?
What we’ve got in store is the best of live drum and bass and something very unique thing. It’s a great show and honestly, even if I wasn’t involved in this I’d go along and definitely enjoy it.
It’s everything that we expected and with a project like this, it’s not something that’s not really been done before, especially not with an orchestra of this size, anyway.
We want it to sound authentic and that’s what’s happened with the band; The [Outlook] Orchestra’s amazing, the musicians are great and it’s a very entertaining two hours.
How have you found building this as a full production with the Orchestra and fine-tuning everyone’s performances on stage?
Well, over the course of our careers in general, it’s just got a lot tighter and we’ve all got a lot more confident. You’ve got to remember when this all started we’d never done anything like it before, you know — we’re DJs and we were on BBC Radio 1 for 14 years and then Kiss for seven.
Public speaking is a completely different thing than speaking in front of a mic, so that was really daunting at first, I’ve got to say; the first one we did I was really nervous and we still get that sense of anticipation, but where it was a bit around the edge at the start, the audience didn’t know that and now I’d say it’s almost 100% the way we want it.
We’ve been doing it two years now and, yeah, it’s just a process of tweaking those fine margins and getting your timings right — when you’ve got 40 musicians, even if you’re a millisecond off it can kind of throw everything.
Sounds like you’ve really nailed it. The idea of a ‘History of Jungle and Drum & Bass’ — how far back are you going into the genre and how do you think it’s changed over the years?
So we go back to 1992. It’s crazy for us to think that was 31 years ago, but yeah, we’re going right back to the beginning and we literally break up the set into years: ’92-93, 94-96 and so on into the 2000s.
I think it has changed over time and you can certainly hear it when you compare the likes of the first track we do, Johnny L’s ‘Hurt You So’, which is kind of like jungle techno, to the modern-day stuff which gets on the radio now, it’s different. But that’s the great thing about both genres, they move on real quick.
Say if you’re a drum and bass head now and took a year off and then came back, you’d be like, ‘What is this?’ but drum and bass is always like that, every single year.
It’s going through a great time at the moment, probably the best in three decades. It’s bigger now than I think that it’s ever been and I think it’s because it’s been accepted by the public get it; they understand it more and it’s less of a niche.
People have always known about house music but now people actually recognise the big names like Chase and Status, Pendulum and so on. It’s in a very healthy place and I know some of the real purists are a little bit p*ssed and feel it’s gone a bit commercial but the underground scene is still there and I don’t think that will ever die.
Yeah, and I suppose that’s what the beauty of events like these is you can play to both of those crowds. Do you find the audience has that mix?
Well, that’s why we’ve tried to get that fine balance between big tunes that your everyday, casual listener will recognise as well as keep some underground stuff in so the real ‘heads’ can come and dive into it.
It’s been very deliberate and we’ve sat down to really think about how to strike that combination and it’s another thing that’s been done really well.
And, obviously, you guys are London kings but how big a role do you think Manchester has played in the scene and how it’s progressed?
Oh man, it’s always been really important. Going back to A Guy Called Gerald who was one of the first truly big English producers, when people listened to ‘Voodoo Ray’, even the Americans thought was a guy from New York and he’s a bit of an unsung hero really.
He made some of the first jungle tunes as well, so we’ve always felt the influence and link with Manchester, especially over the last 10 to 15 years when it’s been really, really strong here.
You know, you’ve got DRS and, of course, had Marcus Intellect, God bless his soul, who always flew the flag for Manchester, you know what I’m saying? And, um, you know, there’s a really healthy, uh, seed in Manchester.
Strategy, Dogger, Mindstate: a lot of those guys are very important to drum and Bass and a lot of them grew up knowing each other as well, which is cool. We’ve also got Jenna G in the show and not only is she from Manchester but she’s one of the real highlights of the show, she’s absolutely amazing.
Also, it’s really important that we put on a good show because the Manchester crowd know their sh*t as well — you can’t really con them.
Absolutely, and in terms of artists right now, whether they’re from Manchester or elsewhere, who’s really exciting you at the minute?
I mean, the staple is obviously Chase and Status who have helped get [the genre] some radio play to the point where there were four drum and bass tracks in the top 40 just last year. Absolutely insane.
Hedex and all those guys are also helping grow the underground scene but, honestly, there’s too many names to mention that lifting up others so we’re in a real good spot at the minute.
Are there any favourite Manchester venues that come to mind?
Band on the Wall — I LOVE it in there and, of course, Warehouse Project which is basically flying the flag for drum and bass across Britain right now. It’s possibly the hottest venue in the UK so, yeah, Manchester was always a no-brainer and we’re really looking forward to coming there.
Nice, and lastly, if you could describe the upcoming shows in three words what would they be?
Featured Images — Supplied/@matthiggs (via Instagram)
The best Christmas light trails in Greater Manchester and beyond
Greater Manchester has been invaded, with so many light trails taking place this year it feels like you’ve been swarmed by fireflies.
There are light trails in parks, light trails in the city, light trails in zoos and light trails in gardens.
There’s a style to suit every taste too, whether you’re into a colourful, nostalgic Christmas, or ultra-tasteful festivities that take your breath away.
There’s even a light trail that will hit the brief if you’re particularly interested in blending winter light trails with disco music…
So we’ve travelled the length and breadth of the north west to pick out the best light trails that are worth your time and money this Christmas.
Know of one we’ve missed? Reach out to us through our socials.
Christmas at Heaton Park, Manchester
A brand new festive light trail has opened in Manchester this winter, filling Heaton Park with glowing orbs, neon trees, and fairylit tunnels.
The spectacular new festive event loops around the park’s lake, where installations on the water include colourful ships and light beams.
And down in the woods you’ll find a laser garden, a flurry of bubbles, larger-than-life glowing flowers, and twinkling pink trees.
You can stop off at a festive teepee for a mulled wine, toast your marshmallows on an open fire, and whizz around the fairground rides at the end too. Did we mention the whole trail is dog-friendly, too?
Adult standard tickets £18 | Running until 31 December | Tickets here
Manchester’s newest city centre park, Mayfield Park, has been transformed into a festive ‘Twilight Trail’ for the first time ever this Christmas.
This brand-new immersive experience is made up of several spectacular light displays, unique lantern installations, and a captivation sound-scape dotted around the pristine new park – with each circuit estimated to take around half an hour.
And at the end you can dive into Winter Island, Freight Island’s Christmas season, and grab yourself some food and drink, from a build-your-own boozy hot chocolate bar from Cocoa Cabana, to the Smoking Coal German BBQ, serving a whole bratwurst menu, Schweinshaxe in a bun, and a classic hog roast butty.
Adult tickets £10 | Running until 31 December | Tickets here
The Twilight Trail is now open, and running right through until the new year, and you can find out more and grab tickets here.
Put Big Light On Bolton, Bolton
Easily the light trail with the best name in Greater Manchester is Put Big Light On Bolton, which has a range of light installations installed in the town centre.
There’s everything from a giant moon by Luke Jerram to a Dan Archer creation that brings the Northern Lights to our hometown.
There are special events taking place around the light festival too – but most of it wraps up this weekend, so you’ll have to move fast.
The completely free Lightwaves Festival is back at Salford Quays this week for its 10th instalment, this time with 15 artworks – three of which are brand new commissions.
Highlights include a luminescent artwork in the shape of a six-metre-long whale shark, complete with transparent fish scales, and a tunnel of giant mirrored rings across the piazza that people can walk through.
Then there are giant glowing flowers and a fire garden you can roam around too.
7-10 December | Free, no tickets needed
Castlefield Viaduct, Manchester city centre
Castlefield Viaduct in Manchester, the lush National Trust site built up on a disused railway viaduct, is inviting visitors to see the urban green space by nightfall.
There’ll be a free Lantern Lates series where the park will transform into a ‘magical, sparkling grotto’.
Visitors can climb up to Castlefield Viaduct , the huge industrial landmark that has views right across Manchester city centre, and savour the winter wonderland created for the coming season.
It’s before the National Trust project closes for a few weeks in the new year for work to refresh the gardens for spring and summer.
A brand-new immersive experience has opened at Chester Zoo for the festive season this week.
Lanterns and Light gives visitors the chance to explore captivating light installations and be transported into enchanting lands filled with colour and festivity, all while meeting orangutans, lions, dolphins, and woolly mammoths as they make their way along the trail.
There’s also colour changing displays stretching as far as the eye can see, birds and stars adorning the zoo’s winding paths and trees, and a spectacular Winter Cathedral tunnel of lights.
Until 31 December | Adult tickets £22 | Buy tickets here.