England may or may not have progressed in the World Cup by the weekend. Rather than drowning your sorrows/getting merry, this week’s ‘three to see’ explores some alternative activities in the city.
From arty battles to a bike ride to Blackpool – with plenty of added Sparkle – what is clear is that this is a city of creative energy.
Other things to throw yourself into include ShinDigger Sessions Block Party 2, where the beer-brewing boys are teaming up with RedbankCo, Manchester Three Rivers Gin and Reform Radio for a party in the archways; the launch of the exhibition Camille Smithwick: Ode to the Untruth starting 6th July at HOME; and an exhibition of Goya and Hogarth: Prints of Darkness, bringing the two famous artists together, beginning at The Whitworth on 7th July.
Oh, and it’s the last weekend of Manchester Beer Week too, if you really do fancy a pint (or several).
Manchester Art Jam X Mancunian Way
Hosted by Paint Sayers, Manchester Art Jam is a live artistry showdown and fabulous fundraiser on Friday. It’s adrenaline-pumping live art action with a difference. The night will be opened by the Lord Mayor, and you’ll find a powerful collection of artwork and poetry inspired by experiences of homelessness, curated by Jed Austin. DJ Tru Colours will be adding to the mood, along with music from upcoming artist Lauren Luca. There will also be spoken word from the Urban Poet and live art from local creatives as well as the 40-minute artist showdown. Artwork created will be auctioned off with proceeds going to Mancunian Way – a charity working with the city’s homeless to get them off the streets and into safe accommodation. The audience are also encouraged to get involved by creating their own artwork on scraps of card, train tickets and other items. All donations on the night will go to Mancunian Way. Friday 6th of July from 7pm at Hatch, Oxford Road. Free Entry.
Manchester to Blackpool bike ride
This is a fantastic fundraising event for The Christie charity, with cyclists covering 60 miles from Manchester to Blackpool on Saturday. The route begins at a new starting point for 2018, from the Piazza at MediaCity, and goes along the country lanes of Lancashire leading to the famous Blackpool South Promenade. Why not go along to the starting line (6.30am-9.20am) to cheer on the competitors – last year it involved over 4000 participants – or even get involved yourself by signing up online? It’s a ride popular with cyclists of various abilities, and riders will complete a total climb of 1800ft as well as taking in scenic views of the North West, all whilst raising money for The Christie. There will also be refreshments and music in the Solaris centre in Blackpool once participants have arrived. Saturday 7th July.
Sparkle – the national transgender charity – is bringing back the massive celebration that is Sparkle Weekend – and everyone is welcome. There will be a big free party in Sackville Gardens on both days, open from 12pm with a series of performers including T-Party London on Saturday and Jojo McClay on Sunday, as well DJs all weekend. Expect to see market stalls and pop-ups in plenty of places, too. And if you like, you shall go the ball: the annual Sparkle Ball is being hosted at Mercure Manchester Piccadilly, a glorious bash with a meal (£45) or just the dancing (£20) on Saturday. But don’t worry if you don’t feel like donning a ballgown or tux, as there’s an innovative Alternative Sparkle Ball taking place on the same night at TriBeca on Sackville Street. Expect Motown, 70’s, 80’s, alternative and guilty pleasure tunes, and no tickets required… just one big party! Saturday 7th and Sunday 8th July. Tickets from £20.