The much-loved East Lancashire Railway (ELR) is reopening for 2022 next month, and there’s something for everyone in the calendar packed full of events.
Families looking for something exciting to keep the children entertained at during the Half Term can now book on one of the heritage railway’s children’s adventure days – including pirate, dinosaur-themed days – while love birds can enjoy a Valentine’s dinner aboard one of the iconic Pullman-style carriages.
But one of the standout experiences on the 2022 events lineup has to be the chance to go on a ‘wizarding adventure’ and ride a Harry Potter-themed train through Greater Manchester.
Aspiring witches and wizards can gather at the ELR for a day of sharing spells and magic-themed fun.
This interactive adventure will see visitors, both young and old, enjoy a range of performances from colourful characters and magical creatures – provided by performance company Funcast – all before boarding the ‘Wizard Express’ for a two-hour round trip journey through the Irwell Valley of wonders.
To help work on their magic, visitors will also receive some books to teach them the skills needed to defeat the evil wand-bearers.
During the return trip from Bury to Rawtenstall hauled by a genuine steam – and spell – powered train, there’ll be so many wizard-themed activities to get stuck into, as well as plenty of photo opportunities along the way.
Food and drink will be available to tuck into from the café on Platform 3/4 at Bury Bolton Street Station, and from the Rawtenstall Buffet too.
The Wizarding Adventure for February Half Term will take place on Wednesday 16 February, and then the magical event returns for a selection of dates later on in the year – 6 April, 13 April, and 1 June 2022, with tickets priced at £13 for children, and £18 for adults.
Pink at University of Bolton Stadium — stage times, setlist and more
Pop legend Pink is in Manchester as we speak ahead of her massive gigs at the University of Bolton Stadium this week, set to play not one but two shows at the Wanderers’ home ground.
Having been around since 1995 if you can believe that, the legendary Noughties singer recently released her ninth studio album, Trustfall, back in February and is now set to embark on a huge world tour entitled ‘Summer Carnival‘.
The UK leg, her first since 2019, consists of six big shows across Britain, but Manchester has the honour of not only hosting Pink for the first time in 10 years but being the one to kick off her world tour, which already consists of over 70 dates, nine different countries and runs all the way into 2024.
It might surprise a few to see that Pink’s playing at a football stadium in Bolton to get things started, but she’s played there multiple times before and while she might not have heard about the recent name change, it’s somewhere she’s more than familiar with. Here’s everything you need to know about it.
It’ll be no surprise to hear that tickets to see one of the biggest pop artists of the past 20+ years aren’t exactly abundant but, fear not, if you’re a big Pink fan there are still some available for both nights.
The bad news is, given they’re in such high demand and the gigs are literally around the corner, they’ll cost you a fair few quid, to say the least.
The cheapest seats remaining on Wednesday, 7 June will set you back £135 per person; as for the following Thursday, 8 June, not only are there still some seats available at the same price but there are even a handful of Gold Standing Tickets in The Circle that will cost you £162.
Even the VIP packages for these gigs are all sold out as there are literally hundreds of people set to raise their glass to the pop sensation’s return.
Pink support acts at Bolton Stadium
As if seeing Pink wasn’t enough, the Pennsylvania songstress will be accompanied by three different support across her double-header at the UniBol Stadium.
For those of you who do manage to get a ticket, she will be joined by fellow American singer-songwriter Gayle, rising DJ and producer KidCutUp who played her last tour, as well as fellow pop hit-makers, The Script.
Talk about a warm-up act — seeing The Script is a pricey ticket on its own, let alone a trio of exciting artists and then Pink!
Their appearances on Pink’s impending tour are also among the first the Irish group will play following the passing of their guitarist and co-founder Mark Sheehan back in April, having got back on stage in Blackpool earlier this week. It’ll no doubt be just as emotional an occasion for them on Wednesday.
Now, as for what Pink will be playing on her opening night in Bolton, we don’t really have any other gigs this year to go off, however, you can bet you’ll be hearing plenty of the new album as well as plenty of the classics from down the years.
We’re not going to lie, this setlist is adjusted from her last big show at Austin City Limits back in October 2022 and based on the stuff she’s played most this year according to Setlist.fm, so there’s a fair bit of guesswork here but here’s an idea of what you might get to hear:
Get The Party Started
What About Us
When I Get There
Just Give Me a Reason
Never Gonna Not Dance Again
Please Don’t Leave Me
Just Like a Pill
Me and Bobby McGee (Kris Kristofferson)
Nothing Compares 2 U (Prince cover)
Raise Your Glass
So What (encore)
So long as we hear ‘Get The Party Started’ we’ll be happy, to be honest — top-tier banger.
As for set times, the University of Bolton Stadium’s doors are set to open at 4.30pm, with the first of the warm-ups, KidCutUp, beginning an hour later — one of three occasions he’ll be keeping the crowd entertained over the course of the evening.
Then at 6.45pm Gayle will play a roughly half-an-hour set before KidCutUp returns for the interval. As for the big support, The Script will be taking to the stage for an hour from 7:30-8:30pm.
Making a final appearance for 20 minutes as the main event, KidCutUp will once again get the crowd ready and raring to go before Pink arrives at around 8:50pm, will the show set to end no later than 11pm.
With such an early start time and so much music to enjoy on Wednesday and Thursday, it’s going to be a brilliant couple of nights in Bolton.
Travel and parking
As for how you’re going to get to Pink’s Bolton gigs, one of the best parts about Greater Manchester is our brilliant public transport networks mean you can always get around.
With a shuttle bus running from Bolton Interchange, Chorley Railway Station and Wigan Robin Park to the stadium on both nights between 2-8pm, Big Green Coaches available from various locations, as well as Horwich Parkway as your nearest train station, there are several options for travelling to the gig.
As for if you’re driving in, there are plenty of places to drop gig-goers around the stadium and if you’re looking for parking, there are around 1800 spaces available at the stadium per night.
Parking spots, including 120 blue badge disability spaces, will be first-come-first-serve and bookable via the Evology app for £25. You can find out more information about pricing and how to book, as well as plenty of other travel information down below.
Pink was one of the first big musical artists to ever play at Bolton Wanderer’s home stadium and helped usher the likes of The Killers, Little Mix, Coldplay, Elton John and more to join her.
With that in mind, it’s only fitting that she’s returned to the venue that she’s remained so fond of, declaring, “Manchester, I am so in love with you” after arriving in Manchester at the start of this week.
Writing in a statement on the University Bolton Stadium Hotel website, Pink said: “It’s been a long three years and I’ve missed live music so so much… So it’s finally time! I am so excited to get back to the UK and Europe to sing, cry, sweat and make new memories with my friends. It’s going to be magical!”
The mum of two even took her daughter Willow out in Trafford Park to celebrate her 12th birthday. Even hearing her name next to random Manc boroughs still sounds a bit surreal but we’re absolutely here for it — roll on Wednesday night!
This time, the industrial space will be transformed into Miami Beach, using 30 tonnes of sand and signature palm tree cocktails to create the UK’s largest pop-up beach.
Ian Brown may have famously said that ‘Manchester has everything but a beach’, but all that’s about to change from 5 July.
The summer-long series will include cinematic parties and screenings of major summer blockbusters, plus sing-alongs and loads more, all with sand between your toes and ultra-comfy seats.
To fit with the theme, the unforgettable cinematic experience will include 1980s-era classics like Dirty Dancing, Grease, and Back to the Future, plus other hits like Top Gun: Maverick and Pulp Fiction.
Then some of the summer’s most hotly-anticipated releases, including Barbie, The Little Mermaid remake, and Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny will all be on the bill.
Every Friday night, there will be recurring Dirty Dancing Beach Parties where guests can dance along to the iconic soundtrack, with special surprises designed to fully immerse everyone into the world of the 1987 film.
Super Sing-alongs will actively encourage audience participation, singing your heart out inhibition-free to feel-good film soundtracks, featuring Grease, Mamma Mia and The Greatest Showman.
Backyard Cinema’s Miami Beach will whisk ticket-holders away to the sunshine state, where you’re greeted by staff in the art deco Miami Beach Hotel and palm tree cocktails at the Flamingo Beach Bar.
It’s all taking place at Broadwick Live’s landmark Depot Mayfield, the former railway dating back to 1910, with original railway tracks, platforms, ticket office, waiting room and cast iron roof structure transformed into a spectacular summer cinema experience.
Backyard Cinema, which first began in founder Dominic Davies’ own backyard, has already enjoyed huge success and garnered a fan following in London as well as in Manchester last winter.
Dominic, founder and creative director said: “After the huge success of our Winter season we are super excited to bring our smash-hit Miami Beach to the roof of Depot Mayfield. We are going to take people back to a retro 80s Miami full of glitz and glamour and create the closest thing to a Summer Holiday in Mayfield.”
Backyard Cinema Miami Beach will open at Depot Mayfield, M1 2PY, on 5 July. Tickets are available on Fever with prices starting from £9.50.