Everything you need to know about Play Expo – Manchester’s biggest gaming event


Calling all gaming enthusiasts! The north’s biggest ever video games event is returning for the seventh year and this time it’s taking place at a much larger venue – Manchester Central.

The event will welcome in excess of 25,000 gamers to the building over its two days of computer gaming madness.

Boasting over 1,000 screens so you can try out some of the best – and very latest – blockbuster games on the market, the event is perfect for all ages and will cover a range of gaming genres to suit everyone’s tastes.

Take part in gaming tournaments, listen to talks from industry professionals and celebrities, get gaming career advice, and experience everything from blockbuster game previews to indie releases, retro classics, eSports, cosplay, escape rooms, live shows and guest panels.

And if that wasn’t enough, at Play Expo you will also have the chance to meet and snap a selfie with some of the internet’s biggest gaming Youtube sensations with exclusive meet and greet opportunities.

The event will house in excess of 1,000 free-to-play gaming consoles, handhelds, PCs, arcades and pinball machines, with both new and classic games on display throughout the two days.

And it doesn’t matter whether you’re just starting out in the gaming world or you’re a bit of seasoned pro because there will be plenty of gaming opportunities for everyone.

Featuring huge Minecraft and Fortnite zones and an exclusive VR area, it’s every gamer’s dream to meet like-minded people and play against the best that the north has to offer.

There will be eSports championships throughout the weekend, with big cash prizes up for grabs for competitive gamers looking to show off their skills.

And on the Expo’s main stages will be talks from gaming celebs, unrivalled cosplay displays and other gaming tournaments for gamers of all skill levels to sink their teeth into.

Plus John Roberson’s critically acclaimed immersive live experiences, the celebrated stage adaptation of the 80s/90s TV show Knightmare which include The Dark Room and Knightmare Live. Access to these experiences comes at an additional price to standard tickets, but is well worth the cost as a truly one-of-a-kind experience.

Twitch users can also witness the gaming magic live on the Streamers Connected channel which will be broadcasting live from the two day event, showcasing the very best content, interviews, panels and gaming action.

And recognising the last 30 years of games that have helped to shape and inform the gaming industry, UKIE will host 30 Years of Play  which includes a retro gaming championship of classic British games from years gone by. Where do we sign up?

It takes place at Manchester Central Exhibition Centre on 4th/5th May. The venue is easily accessible via public transport, with direct links to the Metrolink tram stop, nearby train stations and bus routes with plenty of city centre car parks for those who are driving.

Tickets cost £20 for adults, £14 for children and you can also purchase a family pass for two adults and two children for £58 per day. Or get full weekend tickets at a discounted rate of £34 for adults, £24 for children and £96 for a family pass. Entrance to Knightmare Live costs £10 and The Dark Room costs £5 per person.



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