Now entering its second year, the Festival of Manchester celebrates the many diverse cultures that make Manchester the wonderful city that it is.
After all, life would be so boring if we were all the same.
Created by Manchester people for Manchester people, it’s all free and will return to Platt Fields Park next weekend on Saturday 31st August with pop-up performances, quirky installations and a globe-spanning programme of live music.
And there’s more. Visitors can explore live walkabout theatre performances, mouth-watering street food, poetry slams and debates, and even try their hands at BMXing, African drumming and circus skills over the course of the day.
The Festival of Manchester will welcome a total of 100 groups from across the city to celebrate the rich diversity of Manchester’s many different communities – a huge growth already on last year’s inaugural event, which hosted just 25 local community groups at the festival in 2018.
It is expected to draw more than 10,000 people to the park between midday and 9.30pm.
Performances will span everything from Ri Ri’s Dance Academy’s Guinness World Record-holding energetic Bollywood-inspired routines to Manchester’s very own Morris Men, who have been dancing traditional North-west Clog Morris and Cotswold Dances here since 1930, don’t you know.
People heading down can certainly expect to experience a melting pot of cultural traditions, with offerings set to include a non-stop programme of live music, have-a-go workshops in dance, design, crafts, and sports, plus an area for local community organisations to set up stalls to let Manchester find out more about what they do.
Oh, and the Space Shed – the spectacular mobile HQ of the Unlimited Space Agency – will be there too to bring inspirational stories about space and science to life. This year they’ll also be hosting a show called How to Save the Planet in partnership with HOME.
As dusk falls, outdoor arts company Walk the Plank, who wowed the crowds last year with their giant illuminated Swan and Peacock, will return with a new contraption designed to celebrate the magic of pre-digital mechanics.
Perhaps in a nod to Manchester’s industrial past, this will only work once its various cogs and moving pieces have been correctly put in place.
Throughout the day, festival-goers will be invited to create and build their own cogs help the music box spring back to life in time for what promises to be a spectacular finale across the lake.
“The Festival of Manchester is the chance for every different community in the city to shine and show off the very best of themselves and their traditions, whether that’s music or dancing, or arts and crafts, different sports, or even food,” said Councillor Luthfur Rahman from Manchester City Council.
“The range of things to do, see and try is truly incredible – far more than anyone could do in just one day, with more than 26 hours of performances and 80 hours of arts and crafts on offer.
“It’s an unmissable opportunity for people to celebrate all the many different cultures that make up our city, and to experience the world in one day, right here in Manchester.
“Get involved! We look forward to seeing you there.”