We’re out of Europe, out of the Euros, the sun’s done a runner and we’re in the middle of the Manchester monsoon season. So if you’re fed up with the referendum result, the football, the weather or just plain fed up, here are nine reasons to be cheerful this month. Whether it’s liquid refreshment, a spot of exercise to get the old endorphins going, or just a good old fashioned laugh that works best for you, find the right one and give it a try. If by any chance none of them do the trick, just remember the most important reason to be cheerful. You live in Manchester, one of the greatest cities on earth.
Greater Manchester Fringe
The Greater Manchester Fringe is in full swing. With over 100 events taking place at 23 venues across the region throughout July from the serious to the surreal via the downright wacky and wonderful, there’s bound to be something to make you smile or even laugh out loud. If The Scottish Falsetto Sock Theatre performing Shakespeare, the entire history of the north west told in under an hour, or Minge on the Fringe performed by the Lipstick Thespians don’t rock your boat, there’s no hope for you. Go straight to the gin festival (below).
Art Battle Manchester 7
Watch 10 artists fight it out to finish a masterpiece on canvas in 30 minutes, umpired by Manchester’s Radio X DJ Hattie Pearson. Over the course of 3 rounds the audience will be invited to cast their vote for who they think should be crowned champion artist. DJs, a licensed bar, food trucks and lots of art. Saturday 9th July, Mantra Warehouse from 7pm
The Sky Ride’s the limit
Discover why two wheels are better than four on the traffic-free streets of the city centre for the 7th Sky Ride on Sunday, July 10, a whole day celebration of cycling. It’s a gentle 10km ride between Albert Square and Media City, so you don’t have to be Chris Froome or Mark Cavendish to take part – which is lucky because they’re taking part in another bike ride in France. All abilities welcome. Bike essential.
UKFast We Love Manchester 10k
If you prefer to get the endorphins flowing without the help of a bicycle, why not take part in the UKFast We Love Manchester 10k which is known for its fast route and friendly atmosphere. It’s the perfect 10k running event to beat your personal best, meet other runners and raise money for a charity of your choice. With over 3,000 entrants in 2015, the UKFast We Love Manchester continues to grow in popularity and is fast becoming one of the most popular 10k events in the North West. All abilities welcome. Online entries close at midnight on the 6th July!
Nicholson’s Gin Festival
If gin is the tonic you need, The Bank, The Old Wellington and The Sawyer’s Arms in town are celebrating the glorious spirit of gin with a showcase of 31 different premium versions of the tipple, together with unique gin infused cocktails, master-classes, gin parties, and a raft of free daily giveaways. Gin aficionados will have an excuse to visit their local time and time again as a total of 31 high-end gins will be on offer broken down into categories to best match each tipple: Floral & Modern; Light & Citrusy Savoury & Dry; Juniper Heavy & Robust; and Something a Bit Different. Look out for gin master-classes, delicious gin infusion cocktails, loads of giveaways, and a Secret Gin Party. Collect stamps every time you enjoy a drink, for a chance to win prizes including a VIP trip to the Plymouth Gin Distillery. 7th July – 20th August #GinFest2016
Home goes Brazilian
Home celebrates the launch of its Brazilian season and summer exhibition on Friday 22 July with a fiesta complete with live music, DJs, food and cocktails. Manchester-based nine-piece band Riot Jazz start proceedings with their twisted mix of funk, soul, hip-hop and aggressive jazz in Tony Wilson Place. The party continues into the night with DJs, caipirinhas and BBQ. Introductory talks and a free language taster event will complete the Brazilian Weekender line-up on Sunday 24 July. Led by staff from the University of Manchester, this free and relaxed introduction to the language invites Portuguese speakers and learners of all levels to pop in and pick up some useful holiday phrases or study the language and culture in more depth. Join them for some film-related conversaçã!
Give the Nuffield Health Salford Triathlon a try
Whether you are an experienced triathlete or a first timer making your debut in this fantastic sport, the iconic Nuffield Health Salford triathlon on Sunday 31st July 2016 is the race for you. The event offers triathletes of all abilities great racing on fast flat courses around MediaCityUK. With distances ranging from sprint to standard including the standard team relay option, there is definitely something for everybody. Places are limited for this event with many people having pre registered.
Sounds of the City at Castlefield Bowl
First the bad news. You’ve missed Guy Garvey. Now the good news. It’s not too late to see James Bay on Wednesday 6th July. The 24 year old British musician is fast becoming a worldwide star with sold out tours in the UK, Europe, Australia and the U.S along with his No 1 debut album ‘Chaos And The Calm’. Currently on of a massive 10 date UK arena tour, one of the UK’s best live bands Stereophonics will be playing a very special outdoor show on Thursday 7th July. Taking to the stage on Friday 8th July is Llandudno four-piece Catfish And The Bottlemen.
If none of the above work for you, The Happy Newspaper is a platform to spread positive news and celebrate the uplifting, inspirational stories of ordinary people – something often overlooked by the mainstream media. Set up by Manchester Art School graduate Emily Coxhead in 2015 supported by a Kickstarter campaign, it now publishes a paper edition four times a year and has a packed website, too. It opens your eyes to all that is good out there, with a section dedicated to Everyday Heroes and some great graphics. Put together in a tiny Lancashire village, it’s a real inspiration.