Manchester is known for its widespread and diverse culture, its music scene and of course the drinking. Here are our picks of some of the best upcoming events this year! Don’t miss out, get tickets early, and make 2015 the year you get involved!
1. Manchester Beer and Cider Festival
21-24 January 2015
The Manchester Beer and Cider Festival is organised by the Greater Manchester Branches of The Campaign For Real Ale (CAMRA). It will feature over 500 beers, ciders and perries. As well as a massive selection of cask conditioned craft ales and traditional ciders & perries there will bottled and draught beers from around the world and the return of our real ale in a bottle bar to drink at the festival or take home.
2. Chinese New Year
19-22 February 2015
February, 2015 sees the biggest Chinese New Year celebrations in the UK outside London, hosting its largest party yet to welcome the Year or the Ram. The district will be decorated with thousands of red lanterns; a food fair in St. Anne’s Square will showcase the city’s best Chinese eateries alongside live music, performances and light shows. Cai Guo-Qiang’s installation ‘Unmanned Nature’ will be on display at the newly reopened Whitworth Art Gallery as well as a lineup of family craft events at Manchester Art Gallery. The famous dragon parade returns as the finale to the festival!
3. FutureEverything Festival
25-28 February 2015
In 2015, FutureEverything celebrates its 20th anniversary. For the last two decades the festival has brought people together to imagine, shape and question the vision of a truly participatory society. A belief in the emancipatory and creative potential of new technologies runs throughout digital culture. It is found both in the open source community, and in the rhetoric Silicon Valley startups. Today the contradictions in this vision have come to the surface.
4. Manchester Irish Festival
6-19 March 2015
From Fri 6 March – Thu 19 March, live music, dance, comedy, sport and drinking events hit the streets of Manchester. There’s an arts based programme too which includes exhibitions, cookery and more. The emphasis is on a party atmosphere but it’s very inclusive and families can enjoy the festival as much as the hardened pub-crawlers.
5. ¡Viva! Spanish and Latin American Film Festival
5-9 March 2015
With a 20-year record of audience and critical acclaim, ¡Viva!, Manchester’s annual, internationally celebrated Spanish & Latin American Film Festival, returns to Cornerhouse and HOME in three parts, with a carefully honed and lovingly curated programme presenting the best in new Hispanic cinema.
Divided into three long weekends in 2015, ¡Viva!, one of Cornerhouse’s most popular events, will present an eclectic film selection with award winners and UK prèmieres, established filmmakers and new talent, features and documentaries, and inspirational figures from the Spanish and Latin American film industries leading talks, Q&As and workshops.
6. The Ladies’ Room
28 March 2015
Celebrating the radical history of Stevenson Square through Mancunian women past and present. A Northern Quarter festival.
Historically Stevenson Square was declared the meeting point for protest marches, political speeches and newspaper readings. Many of the city’s most radical figures have been its women and so, as part of the Wonder Women month long celebration of women, The Ladies’ Room presents a carefully curated day of talks, workshops, tours and performances delivered by current women, and in dedication to historical ones.
The long boarded over underground toilets in the centre of Stevenson Square become the focal point of a day long programme of events in which you are invited to question the status of the square as a social space, its heritage values, and through the square’s usage during The Ladies’ Room it begs the question – how can we make better use of the square?
The day will feature talks, workshops and performances from Elizabeth Alker (BBC), Helen Pidd (The Guardian), Emma Jane Unsworth (author), Hayley Flynn (Skyliner), Lauren Bolger (Bridport Prize), Civic Engineers, PlanIt, Sarah Hall (Human Geographer, UoM), Hannah Barker (Head of History, UoM), Curiosity Bureau, New Leaf, Out House, The Art Bar, Manchester Urban Sketching Group and more very special guests to be revealed.
Venues range from a takeover of the former Koffee Pot café through to a rooftop garden, via an underground bank vault. The square itself is set to transform for 24 hours.
7. Great Manchester Run
10 May 2015
Europe’s biggest 10K running event has seen more than a quarter of a million enthusiastic runners take to the streets of Manchester since its establishment in 2003. The event is broadcast live on BBC and has raised over £22 million for charity. The event attracts some of the world’s top athletes on a purpose-built track in the city centre!
Get Started Here: greatrun.org/great-manchester-run
8. Grillstock festival returns with meat, music and mayhem
30 & 31 May 2015
Barbecue and music fans get ready, as tickets to Manchester’s Grillstock go on sale tomorrow, 22nd October, with the biggest festival of its kind returning to Albert Square on the 30th and 31st May.
Following a sell-out 2014, hip-hop, blues, rock and country will once again be the soundtrack to the weekend, alongside the very best BBQ food and craft beer this side of Kansas.
Dozens of competition BBQ teams from across the world will light their coals and compete to be crowned King of the Grill ‘Grand Champion’ in a smouldering US style low ‘n’ slow BBQ cook-off. There are seven rounds in total, with the best of the best showcasing their skills, hoping to win over the judges with their slow smoked chicken, ribs, brisket and pulled pork. Be in the right place at the right time to sample the finest BBQ the UK has seen.
Last year saw Grillstock favourites Hayseed Dixie and Vintage Trouble topping the bill over the weekend. Visitors consumed 9 tonnes of meat and over 100,000 pints of craft ale.
Tickets are on sale from www.grillstock.co.uk priced starting at £25 with a limited number of ‘early bird’ discount tickets available online with up to 35% off the regular price.
9. Manchester Day Parade
14 June 2015
This year’s Manchester Day promises to be even bigger and better!
As well as the amazing parade through the heart of the city packed full of music, amazing structures and vibrant costumes, Manchester’s city centre squares will feature a dazzling array of performances, decorations and mouth watering food and drink throughout the day.
If you want to participate or volunteer in the parade or just to watch from the sideline, you can find everything you need to know at: www.themanchesterdayparade.co.uk
10. Manchester Jazz Festival
31 July – 9 August 2015
The incredible Manchester Jazz Festival celebrates 20 years in 2015. With 10 days of live jazz in the heart of the city centre and fringe events at venues like Band on the Wall, Matt & Phreds, Soup Kitchen and The Midland, this is a festival not to miss! The official line up will be released in the spring. Follow @manjazzfest to stay up to date on artist information.